Going to Napa and Sonoma Valley, California, USA
- Train Town20264 Broadway, Sonoma, CA
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Just wanted to echo everything Amy said.
Sterling - Tram yea!, Wine boo....
Pride - absolutely fabulous wines, and I think they even have a basket of kids' toys in the tasting room in the corner, but you do need to make an appt to go there (and it is up on top of Spring Mountain, in fact the winery straddles the county line between Napa and Sonoma)
Reverie - absolutely fabulous wines, with a nice lawn and a fairy circle of oak trees to run around in, but I think you need an appt there too. If you do go to Reverie, consider stopping at Von Strasser also - you literally have to drive past their front door to get to Reverie, and they make excellent Cabs and a very impressive Gruner Veltliner if you like that.
- Sterling Vineyards1111 Dunaweal Lane, Calistoga, CA 94515recommended Sterling VineyardsAmy
I didn't love Sterling Vineyards because it's a factory-like winery that produces mediocre wines, however the tram ride might be hit with kids. One of our favorite wineries is Pride...amazing wines, but it's a long drive into the hills. I believe they have a little playground area, but perhaps call ahead to find out. http://www.pridewines.com/content/default1421.html Our other favorite boutique winery is Reverie and there's a beautiful grove of trees the kids can run around in. Amazing wines, beautiful setting, located on Diamond Mtn (the same location as Opus One, but half the cost). http://www.reveriewine.com/
- Far Niente Winery1350 Acacia Drive, Oakville, CArecommended Far Niente WineryIf you / your kids are into cars, this place has great wine (Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon) and a pretty cool collection of classic cars. And their Dolce dessert wine is delicious!
- Calistoga Ranch580 Lommel Rd, Calistoga, CA 95415recommended Calistoga RanchTo stay at Napa, my recommendation si Calistoga Ranch. 5 starts!
- Opus One Winery7900 Saint Helena Hwy, Oakville, CArecommended Opus One WineryTravis, The very best wine you will have taste and at the sound of great opera is at Pus One Winery. You should not miss this!
- Robert Craig Wine Cellars625 Imperial Way, Napa, CA 94559-1329recommended Robert Craig Wine CellarsBob and Lynn Craig are lovely people, and their wines are excellent. The main focus here is on Cabernet, and their four Cabs are all excellent and based on different geography. The Cabs are Mt Veeder, ... read moreHowell Mtn, Spring Mtn, and Affinity (the floor of the Napa Valley). All are delicious, and all age well. The Chardonnay here is also excellent, and the Rose is pretty darn good too.Craig Kellar
Last suggestion. Robert Craig makes excellent wine, everything from Chardonnay to Rose to superb Cabernet Sauvignons. The tasting room is in a business park, so nothing exciting there, but behind the tasting room is a very large grassy area that the kids can run around in or play on, especially if you bring a frisbee or something. If your kids like to read, there's a very comfortable couch in the tasting room as well.
The staff here are excellent - if you go, tell them (probably Jeff or Rachel) I sent you.
- Tamber Bey1251 Tubbs Lane, Calistoga, CA 94515recommended Tamber BeySmall, family-owned winery with property in Yountville and Oakville has a lovely little tasting room in downtown St Helena on Adams. Staff here are very friendly, the location is convenient, the decor ... read moreis pretty, and the wines are pretty darn good too. My favorites were the Chardonnay and the Rabicano (a Cabernet Sauvignon-based red blend).Craig Kellar
This is a very new tasting room, with really good wines. Once again, the kids would get bored quickly with the room itself, but you are in the middle of downtown St Helena, and you can then walk around (before or after) to check out the restaurant and/or stores. If you come early, Gillwoods is a great place for breakfast for the whole family, or if you come later, you can show the kids a fabulous chocolate store (Woodhouse) with very pretty and artistic chocolate designs. There's also an ice cream place one block to the west of Highway 29.
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Can't write a review b/c I haven't been there myself, but my friends take their kids to Frog's Leap and let them run around the farmyard with the cats & chickens.
- St. Clement Winery2867 St. Helena Highway North, St Helena, CA 94574-9655recommended St. Clement WineryExcellent winery with great help in the tasting room. The Merlot is very good here, and the Meritage (Orropas) is excellent, but the best wines here are the single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignons. ... read moreDanielle Cyrot (the winemaker) knows what she is doing. The building here is very quaint. However, it is a steep walk up the driveway to get to it. So, if anyone in your car is mobility challenged, please drive up and around so you can drop them off by the house before you go back down to the parking lot. There is a handicapped parking spot up at house level if you need it.Craig Kellar
Up north of the city of St Helena is St Clement Winery. Very cute old building, on a hill, with some picnic tables if you want to bring your lunch. The staff here are always great, and while the kids will get bored quickly with the inside of the house, there is a porch swing in front that can keep them busy for a while.
- Rubicon Estate1991 Saint Helena Highway, Rutherford, CA 94573recommended Rubicon EstateGreat winery. Francis Ford Coppola bought the old Inglenook chateau, and resurrected a great winery. At first it was called Niebaum-Coppola, then the name changed to Rubicon Estate. He just bought ... read morerights to the Inglenook name, so the name of the winery may or may not change again. This place used to house a small museum of FFC's stuff from his movie career, including his Oscars, some costumes from his films, and the Tucker car, but that stuff has been moved to his winery in Sonoma county. So what you have here is a lovely estate with an impressive fountain and reflective pool, and some very good wine (better than at his Sonoma winery). Best wines? Cask Cabernet, Pennino zinfandel, Estate Merlot, Estate Cabernet Franc, Blancenaux. And, of course, Rubicon.Craig Kellar
OK, so Rubicon Estate charges a lot for tasting ($25 or $50, I think, depending on which level you go for). But, if you are up for that, the wines are good (and great in the $50 room) and your kids could have fun exploring the grounds, checking out the building (cool stairs and little dungeon-type areas).
- Turnbull Wine Cellars8210 St Helena Hwy, Oakville, CA 94562recommended Turnbull Wine CellarsOld, established winery with several different types of wine. Here, I would focus on their Cabernet Sauvignons.Craig Kellar
Travis, I forget how old your kids are. If they are old enough to like photography, Turnbull has a photography exhibit going on that should keep them busy for a little while.
- John Anthony wine bar1440 1st Street, Napa, CA, United Statesrecommended John Anthony wine barFriendly tasting room next to the Avia Hotel. Good Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon.Craig Kellar
If you are in the heart of downtown Napa, this tasting room is right next to the Avia hotel. Once again, there's very little for kids to do in the actual building, but you've got lots of stores (including Anette's Chocolates and Ben n Jerry's) close by to give them something to look at and/or reward them for being good.
- Mason Cellars714 1st Street, Napa, CA, United Statesrecommended Mason CellarsVery good Sauvignon Blanc here, at several different price points.Craig Kellar
Travis, I think the key for kids while winetasting is finding something at/near the winery they can look at or do besides stare at the walls and the wine bottles. Mason has the best wine (in my opinion) in this neighborhood, and it's one block away from the Oxbow Market - a great open market that has everything from coffee and vegetables to ice cream and cupcakes. Also, there's another Gott's Roadside (formerly Taylor's Refresher) at Oxbow (besides the one up in St Helena) if you're looking for good burgers.
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We're at our place in St Helena this weekend. - let me know if youd like to get together
On a winery that would be kid friendly: roundpond
On restaurants: travigne pizza, farmstead
- Larson Family Winery23355 Millerick Rd, Sonoma, CArecommended Larson Family WineryVery kid friendly. Pick up sandwiches ahead of time to have a picnic there. I disagree with the previous advice...i don't know how old your kids are, but train town for one hour is perfect (start ... read morethere - 10:00 am open) followed by a picnic in one of the wineries. Check in if you're staying over night - there are lots of beautiful hotels with pools...then a nice dinner with great food (arrange for a babysitter ahead of time). It's not the same with kids, obviously, but can still be very enjoyable.
- Castello di Amorosa4045 N. St. Helena Highway, Calistoga, CArecommended Castello di AmorosaHuge old style castle. Great for wine tasting and to experience a little bit of the medieval times.
- Peju Province Winery8466 Saint Helena Highway, Rutherford, CA 94573recommended Peju Province WineryAt the Peju winery in Napa we had the best experience. The wine is first class, the tasting rooms elegant and the people are really great. Walk around the gardens and check out some of the grounds, ... read morethey are breathtaking.Charles Kramer
When you get there ask if Lisa or Ariana is there and tell them you are good friends of Brenna and Charlie. Hopefully you'll get to hang with them a bit.
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Check out BarBersQ (www.barbersq.com) Casual joint, but they have great comfort food, that kids love!
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my first advice would be...don't go. We tried a few weekends ago and the kids were pretty bored with wineries for obvious reasons. Nothing like sipping pinot noir with kids saying, "are you done yet? Can we GO!?" There are 1 or two that offer horseback riding on property, but have min ages, and a few for nice picnic areas, but in general i found it a tough kid-destination. When possible, i would do picnics versus restaurants. TrainTown ("theme park" where everyone suggests) is a real disappointment. Be sure to stay in a place with a pool!!!
- Ubuntu Napa1140 Main St, Napa, CA 94559
- V. Sattui Winery1111 White Lane, St Helena, CA 94574-1551recommended V. Sattui Winerynot a super napa-phite winery, but a fun place to have a picnic w/the kids. large open grounds, pretty good wine (gamay rouge is a great summer picnic wine) , and a well-stocked deli.
- Quintessa1601 Silverado Trail, Rutherford, CA 94573recommended QuintessaQuintessa is a small winery that lets you taste wine from individual grapes before it's mixed. It was by far the best wine tasting I've been to. It's also in a super modern beautiful building near ... read moreAuberge du Soleil (best choc chip cookies). Joseph Phelps is always a good solid choice too.Jennifer Scholnick
Quintessa is a small winery that lets you taste wine from individual grapes before it's mixed. It was by far the best wine tasting I've been to. It's also in a super modern beautiful building near Auberge du Soleil (best choc chip cookies). Joseph Phelps is always a good solid choice too.
- Napa Valley Bike Tours & Rentals6500 Washington Street, Yountville, CA, 94599
- CADE Winery360 Howell Mountain Road South, Angwin, CA
- Cline Cellars24737 Arnold Drive, Sonoma, CA 95476-9216
- day 2
- Gott's Roadside933 Main Street, St. Helena, CA
- The Model Bakery1357 Main St, St Helena, CA 94574
- Folie à Deux Winery7481 st. helena Highway, CA
- Safari West Wildlife Preserve & Tent Camp3115 Porter Creek Road Santa Rosa, CA 95404
- Zahtila Vineyards2250 Lake County Highway, Calistoga, CA
- Ceja Vineyards1016 Las Amigas Road, Napa, CA
- Bouchon Bakery6528 Washington St, Yountville, CA 94599