The Best Family Friendly Wineries in Northern California

by | Feb 18, 2024 | Featured, North America, Travel Tips | 15 comments

If part of your family trip to California needs to include visiting family-friendly wineries, you will want to keep reading. This post highlights some great places to taste wine with kids in tow.

Northern California’s Best Family Friendly Wineries

California is such a fantastic place for a family vacation partly because there is so much to do! From exploring national parks to theme parks or spending a day at the beach to evenings spent playing games at the Pier, there is something for everyone.

Personally, my travels to California are incomplete without a few wine tastings sprinkled in. Now, wine tasting is undoubtedly something that only adults over 21 can participate in. They are not typically considered a “must-do” activity for a family vacation. However, wine lovers will be happy to know there are plenty of wineries that will accommodate children. So keep reading for the best family-friendly wineries in California.

Family Friendly Wineries in Napa Valley

Napa has plenty of wineries that are family friendly

Just a 2-hour drive from San Francisco is one of the most well-known wine regions in the United States, Napa Valley. It’s known for award-winning wines, Michelin-Star restaurants, and luxurious accommodations. Sounds like the perfect place for a family vacation, am I right?! It is though! Napa is a great place for the whole family to enjoy time together. There are plenty of outdoor activities like kayaking or hiking and tons of outdoor spaces for laid-back picnics.

Napa Valley is most known for producing world-class Cabernet Sauvignon, but they also produce other fantastic varietals. If you are a wine lover, you’ll want to make sure to add the following family-friendly wineries to your Napa Valley itinerary.

Castello di Amorosa

Castello di Amorosa is an iconic winery in Napa Valley and one of the Valley’s favorite family-friendly wineries. It’s an actual medieval Tuscan castle, complete with a drawbridge, moat, and four levels of wine caves and cellars below ground.

The Seated Tasting Experience is great for adults and kids of all ages. Seated tastings are held outdoors and include a taste of 5 of their wines and grape juice tastings for those who are under 21. This experience also allows you to take a self-guided tour of the castle too. You and your family can roam around the two main levels and see the Courtyard, Truncated Tower, Chapel, and the Great Hall.

Beringer Vineyards

Beringer Vineyards is the oldest operating winery in Napa Valley. The first harvest took place in 1876, so it’s no surprise the estate has been named a State Historic Landmark. The tasting room, located in the Rhine house, is open 7 days a week. It is restricted to guests 21 or older. However, Beringer Vineyards does have a Sip & Stroll Around Beringer experience that is family friendly.

The Sip & Stroll tasting experience allows you and your family to walk around the outdoor spaces of the estate. Those who are 21 years of age and older, will be able to select a glass of wine to enjoy as they wander through the beautiful gardens. This wine experience is an outdoor-only activity, and not a seated or hosted tasting experience.

Napa Cellars

Napa Cellars is a picturesque winery that is located on historic Highway 29 in Oakville. The wines are all made from vineyards on their estate and fruit produced by other local growers. Their passion is making great wines that honor the terroir of Napa Valley.

One thing I love about Napa Cellars is that they encourage visitors to bring outside food to enjoy in the winery’s picnic area. Book an outdoor tasting experience and you are welcome to bring along a picnic or purchase items they have for sale. Not many wineries allow this! Having an outdoor picnic lunch with your family is such a fun way to spend a beautiful day in Napa. Their expansive lawns are the perfect place for the younger kiddos to run around, and they even have corn hole for the older kids.

V. Sattui

The next winery on the list, that is perfect for families is V. Sattui. One cool thing to know is that their wines are only sold at the winery and cannot be found in stores or restaurants. If you find wines you like, my recommendation is to join their wine club. By being a wine club member, you will also receive discounted access to their special events.

In my opinion, the best way to spend an afternoon at V. Sattui is by enjoying a picnic on their grounds. There are plenty of picnic tables on over 2 acres of beautiful grounds. Food can be purchased from their deli or marketplace. On Saturdays and Sundays, they do have a couple of food trucks, which are always fun. Grab a bottle of wine, some soft drinks, and some snacks, and spend the afternoon listening to live music while the kids play.

Where to Find Family Friendly Wineries in Sonoma

There are many wineries in Sonoma that are family-friendly

Just 25 minutes (by car) from Napa Valley is Sonoma County. It is another wildly popular wine region in Northern California. It is a little more laid-back and less expensive than Napa, but that doesn’t mean the wine is any less fabulous. Sonoma is much larger than Napa and has a wide variety of soil and climate conditions. Personally, I think some of the best Pinot Noir is produced here.

There are over 425 wineries in Sonoma and quite a few that are great for the whole family. If you are vacationing in the area and want to set up a tasting, there are plenty of options that will allow you to bring the kiddos. Keep reading for some of my favorite family-friendly wineries.

Francis Ford Coppola Winery

Francis Ford Coppola Winery is the perfect family-friendly winery because it offers a resort-type experience. Two swimming pools overlook the vineyard and families can reserve a cabine to receive a pass for the pools. When hunger strikes, the Pool Café is also available throughout the day to order from. It’s a great way to spend a summer day at the winery.

They also offer a Private Wine and Bocce Experience where you and your family can reserve a bocce ball court while tasting some of their delicious wines. If you, or anyone in your family, is a movie lover make sure to check out the Self-guided tour featuring movie memorabilia. It’s complimentary for all guests.

Benziger Family Winery

Benziger Family Winery is another fantastic option for kid-friendly wineries. They value three things: great wine, healthy vineyards and most importantly family. Their delicious wines are certified sustainable, organic and Biodynamic.

The educational tram tour showcases the biodynamic farming practices as you ride through the beautiful vineyards on the back of a tractor. Your guide will educate you on the winemaking techniques and the history of the property. The kids will be entertained by the tractor ride and sightings of farm animals. It ends with wine or grape juice tastings. Tractor tram tours are only 60 minutes in length, meaning even the shortest attention spans can handle it.

Landmark Vineyards

Another fantastic family-friendly winery is Landmark Vineyards which is located at the foothills of the Mayacamas Mountains. Their signature wines are Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. If you have ever tasted them, you know just how incredible they are. Their Chardonnay is one of my favorites to sip on a warm spring afternoon. Speaking of great ways to spend the afternoon, the Landmark Bocce Ball & Wine Experience is a unique experience that is fun for the whole family. It includes 2 hours of play on the Kenwood Estate Bocce Ball Courts, a glass of wine per guest, and a cheese and charcuterie board. If the weather doesn’t permit this experience, kids will still be entertained with a coloring book that is provided for them in the tasting room.

Family Friendly Wineries in Northern California

Northern California is a great place to find family-friendly wineries

A family vacation to Northern California is fun for everyone. It’s a trip where each family member gets to experience an activity that brings them joy. From museums to hiking trails and kayaking to time at the beach there is something for everyone. And with so many family-friendly wineries, even the wine lover will be fulfilled. I hope you found this post helpful in finding some of the best family friendly wineries in Northern California.

The Best Family Friendly Wineries in Northern California

If you would like help planning your next wine country vacation, visit my calendar to schedule a complimentary consultation. Planning wine-country getaways is my specialty!

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15 responses to “The Best Family Friendly Wineries in Northern California”

  1. Tereza Kumric Avatar

    Sounds like a great vacation. The ambiance of Castello di Amorosa definitely caught my attention and looks like it would be a favourite!

  2. Katy Trott Avatar

    What a great idea to make wineries family-friendly. I remember being dragged around some in South Africa as a child when it could have been fascinating if done correctly

  3. Maryanne Avatar

    I would love to visit some winemaking areas in the U.S. especially Napa or Sonoma. Thanks for your guide – it’s very helpful.

  4. Tracy McHugh Avatar
    Tracy McHugh

    I went on a family vacation as a kid to Napa and we stopped at a winery. When I lived in San Francisco I went to another winery, but I didn’t partake as much as I should have. It’s definitely a beautiful area! Great options you have here.

  5. Olga Avatar

    Wow, Katie, it is an amazing article! I love wine and good wineries. We plan to visit Northern California this year, and I`ll definitely stop to try my favorite wine in Napa Valley.

  6. Sarah Avatar

    I had no idea there were so many family-friendly wineries. They all look like quite fun experiences to visit.

  7. Sharyn Avatar

    I didn’t realise there are family-friendly wineries. But I guess if you go on the tours and learn how wine is made, kids of all ages will enjoy this.

  8. Taylor Avatar

    Definitely agree about Beringer! I used to live in the area as a kid and my family would go frequently. EVenturally I became the DD haha.

  9. Amanda Avatar

    I’m a California native and miss it so much! I absolutely love Napa and my hubby and I actually did a mini moon there when we got married. We visited Francis Ford Coppola and loved it. I’d really like to return and check out some of the others!

    1. katie Avatar

      Napa is amazing. I feel like I leave a piece of my heart there every time I leave.

  10. Jolayne Avatar

    You wouldn’t have to drive too far before finding something awesome to see in California.

    1. katie Avatar

      I know it! haha There is something awesome around every corner!

  11. Linda (LD Holland) Avatar

    We do love to visit new wineries when we are in California. Each seems to have its own charm. Good to know there are some family friendly wineries too.

    1. katie Avatar

      Yes, the uniqueness of them is one of my favorite things (and the wine :))

  12. PlacesofJuma Avatar

    Thank you so much for the fantastic infos!

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