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Take Your Tasting Outdoors During California Wine Month

September is California Wine Month - a time for wine lovers to soak up the last days of summer with trips to local wineries. Throughout the state, wineries are providing socially distanced outdoor seating for small and private groups and even drive-through experiences. Virtual tastings and online ordering are also available to celebrate the month for those who want to sip and swirl from home.

Reservations are required at all wineries unless otherwise stated. To ensure safety and comfort, call ahead to confirm current health and safety measures. 

Trinity County

  • Located in the historic East Fork valley of Trinity County, Alpen Cellars is a high-elevation, family-owned winery - and California’s only off-grid winery. In order to get to Alpen Cellars, visitors have to travel on two-lane back roads through the Trinity National Forest, featuring views of the rugged Trinity Alps mountains.


Butte County

  • With about 20 wineries and vineyards across Butte County, there's no shortage of places to unwind with a glass or procure a favorite vintage. Durham, Bangor and Oroville each boast an enviable list of wine purveyors and growers. Whether exploring a district or single winery, wine enthusiasts in Butte County will find high-quality wines paired with reasonable tasting fees, relaxed and inviting tasting rooms, and easy access to the winemakers (they’re often the ones pouring the wine tastings).


Placer County

  • Placer County's small, rural wineries offer a relaxing and safe environment to get outdoors and enjoy some socially distanced leisure time. There are more than 20 wineries to choose from, with expanded outdoor areas for tastings, wine flights or wine by the glass or bottle. The winemaker just might be pouring for lucky wine lovers.


Napa Valley

  • Charles Krug
    Private cabanas are the newest way to experience the oldest wine estate in Napa. Charles Krug - founded in 1861 – opened five new private Wi-Fi enabled outdoor tasting cabanas on the winery's picnic grounds suited for socially distanced wine experiences.

  • Cuvaison Vineyard
    “The Vineyard Hike” at Cuvaison is a new outdoor experience designed to de-stress while immersed in the quiet beauty of the Carneros region. At the end of the hike, enjoy an estate tasting with a cheese pairing on the patio along with a farm-fresh boxed lunch from the Market at Carneros Resort.

  • Newton Vineyard 
    Newton Vineyard is offering the Newton Vineyard Exploration tour in celebration of California Wine Month. This private experience starts with a drive through Newton’s Spring Mountain vineyards in a deluxe, open-air utility vehicle, and ends with a customized tasting 1,600 feet above the valley floor - complete with panoramic views of the Napa Valley. 

  • TOR Wines
    Known for its handmade single-vineyard wines, TOR Wines provides outdoor and at-home experiences ranging from customized on-site tastings to a private virtual tasting with TOR’s Associate Winemaker, David Grega. For small groups, the “Pritchard Hill Hike & Flight” includes a stroll into the Vaca Mountains followed by sampling of Chardonnays and vintage Cabernets paired with small bites.

  • Twilight at Trefethen
    Guests can have Trefethen estate to themselves every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening at Trefethen. With only one table available, the night includes a private tour followed by a seated tasting with a “Taste the Estate” experience.


Sonoma County

  • Ferrari-Carano Vineyards and Winery
    Ferrari-Carano Vineyards and Winery in Healdsburg is open for tastings and offers plenty of room to enjoy delicious wines at a safe distance. Awarded “Most Sustainable Winery” in the county, Ferrari-Carano also offers complimentary virtual tastings so wine lovers can experience a guided tasting of their favorite wines from the comfort of their homes.

  • Reeve Winery
    The family-owned Reeve Estate and Tasting Room in Healdsburg is open for family- and pet-friendly outdoor tastings featuring vineyard views. The Reeve estate is just a short drive from the town of Healdsburg, up the winding country roads and sweeping hillsides of Sonoma’s Dry Creek Valley. 


Berkeley

  • Donkey & Goat Winery
    Considered pioneers in Berkeley’s natural winemaking movement, Donkey & Goat’s vineyards are organic and biodynamically farmed. The winemaker follows suit in the cellar, crafting stunning natural wines in small lots. Donkey & Goat’s safe socialization program ensures guests have an enjoyable time in their outdoor backyard.


Gilroy

  • Martin Ranch Winery
    Take a scenic drive along the aptly named Redwood Retreat Road to Martin Ranch Winery and enjoy wine tasting in a restful and socially distanced picnic area overlooking the vineyard.


Carmel Valley

  • Carmel Valley Village is home to many of the area's 26 wine tasting rooms, which are all within walking distance from one another and feature ample outdoor seating. Great places to try the region's top two varietals, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, are the I. Brand and Family tasting room and Albatross Ridge's new wine tasting cottage. 

  • Carmel-By-The-Sea is home to 17 wine tasting rooms located throughout the walkable, one-square-mile village. Galante Vineyards features award-winning wines created by one of the village’s founding families, and the KORi Wines is one of the newest tasting rooms. Most of the tasting rooms in the Village have moved their tastings outside for a safer, relaxing experience.


San Luis Obispo County

  • Paso Robles Wineries
    Family-owned CASS Winery offers a two-hour electric bike ride that includes a bottle of wine and two picnic lunches to enjoy in the vineyard. Guests can also opt to enjoy wine overlooking the lush vineyards. The castle-like grounds of Tooth & Nail Winery are open for outdoor tastings, flights and bottles of wine for groups of six or less. Tablas Creek Vineyard welcomes open-air tasting on their patio for groups of six or less. Hearst Ranch Winery, with tasting rooms in both Paso Robles and San Simeon, invites guests to enjoy wine by the glass or bottle service.

  • Cambria Wineries
    Wineries in Cambria are open and ready to welcome guests for socially distanced wine tastings. Black Hand Cellars provides sips on their patio, on a first-come, first-served basis, while maintaining safety guidelines. Cayucos Cellars offers wine by the glass or bottle on the front patio or back deck, while Cutruzzola Vineyard has tastings on its sidewalk patio. Moonstone Cellars is open for tastings in the Garden Courtyard and Stolo Vineyards is open for tastings and bottle service in the meadow on the grounds.

  • Malene Wines, San Luis Obispo
    Before getting bottles of wine,  guests receive bottles of personal hand sanitizer and water at Malene Wines. The experience includes pre-poured tastings adjacent to the winery’s Instagram-ready Airstream tasting room. 

  • Kynsi Winery, Arroyo Grande
    Instead of traditional wine glasses, Kynsi Winery is serving wine in reusable, recyclable tumblers in their outdoor space. 


Santa Maria Valley

  • Santa Maria Valley's relaxed wine country is home to more than 30 winery tasting rooms within a half hour, many of which are open with modified tasting room processes. Presqu'ile Winery, owned by the Murphy family, has seating on its outdoor patio and terrace; Cottonwood Canyon Winery, located near the picturesque Foxen Canyon Wine Trail, is offering private tastings for large groups on the cave terrace or outdoor seating for individual parties; and Cambria Winery, owned by the Jackson women, is providing staggered reservations for its outdoor patio every Friday through Sunday. 


Santa Barbara County

  • Buellton Wine Country
    Private wine tastings in vineyards and outdoor seating at wine tasting rooms are available on a getaway to Buellton. Hitching Post Wines is open for outdoor dining and wine tasting and Brick Barn Wine Estate is taking reservations for private tastings in the vineyard. Wine enthusiasts looking to taste multiple wines can head over to Industrial Way where outdoor seating is available from wineries including Alma Rosa Winery, Margerum Wine Company, Kalyra Winery, Buscador Wine, Cholame Vineyard and McClain Cellars.

  • Carr Winery
    Fitting right in with its 1940s Quonset Hut, guests can sip wine on Carr Winery’s outdoor patio. The winery also offers “drive-through” style pick up for bottles and cases to enjoy at home.

  • Paradise Springs
    Located in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara's Funk Zone, Paradise Springs is a must-visit with its new, vibrant outdoor seating area. Dubbed the first “bi-coastal winery,” wine selections are served outside in a lovely parklet. Staff members visit the table after each pour, allowing space to relax and feel comfortable.


Oxnard

  • Herzog Wine Cellars
    Herzog Wine Cellars is the largest producer of kosher wines in the United States. The family-owned company is known for its fine craftsmanship, artisan wine and farm-to-table dining. Herzog Wine Cellars is open Sunday through Friday, and reservations are for 90-minute blocks.

  • Strey Cellars
    Strey Cellars invites guests to enjoy a contemporary twist to wine tasting. Single red varietals prove to be the specialty at Strey, but this in no way limits the breadth of wine offerings. Wine by the tasting, bottle and glass is available Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 12 to 6 p.m. Seatings are available every 30 minutes for a 90-minute maximum stay.


Los Angeles County

  • On the edge of Santa Clarita sits two award-winning wineries. Reyes Winery, known for its five popular grape varieties, is open to the public for curbside pick-up, in-store purchases and wine tasting by the glass. Nearby Agua Dulce Winery, a fully operational winery and vineyard, features acres of rolling greens, an animal farm and a large shaded gazebo for lounging. Both wineries require guests to wear marks and safely social distance. 


Temecula Valley

  • Avensole Winery
    Avensole Winery, one of the oldest original vineyards in Temecula Valley, is a resort-like property featuring outdoor seating with vineyard and sunset views.\

  • C’est la Vie at Europa Village
    C’est la Vie is a French winery featuring a spacious wine cave, beautiful rose gardens and outdoor gathering spaces. The tasting room is open daily for outdoor tastings.

  • Robert Renzoni Vineyards
    Located in the heart of Temecula Valley, Robert Renzoni Vineyards is a 12-acre estate featuring lush olive trees, two creeks and picturesque picnic grounds. The winery is offering wine tasting flights on its front patio.

  • “Crush from Home” Virtual Event
    In celebration of California Wine Month and the 10th anniversary of its annual CRUSH event, Temecula Valley is launching "Crush from Home" - a virtual event featuring a weekly series of virtual wine tastings and culinary demonstrations to participate in from the comfort of home.


BIPOC-Owned Wineries and Winemakers
There are 130 Black-owned companies in California offering a variety of wines, illustrating the diversity within California’s wine industry. This is a small selection of BIPOC wineries and winemakers, visit https://wineinstitute.org

Oakland

  • McBride Sisters Wine Collection
    McBride Sisters Wine Collection is the largest  African American-owned wine company in the U.S.. The company fuses Robin and Andréa McBride-John’s love of New Zealand and California Central Coast wines. In addition to the namesake collection, the sisters advocate for Black women with special lines of “Black Girl Magic,” “SHE CAN” and “SHE DOES” wines. The SHE CAN Professional Development Fund promotes the advancement of women in the wine industry.


Napa Valley

  • Brown Estate
    Downtown Napa is also home to Brown Downtown, a tasting room for Brown Estate, the first and only Black-owned estate winery in California’s Napa Valley. It is known as one of the region’s most well-regarded Zinfandel producers.

  • Darjean Jones Wines
    Specializing in boutique wines from different California regions, Darjean Jones Wines embody unique flavors through an artisanal winemaking process. The winery is owned by Dawna Darjean Jones, a Louisiana native and first-generation African American winemaker who strives to create wines with epic intention.


Anderson Valley

  • Theopolis Vineyards
    Known for its small vineyard and hand-crafted wine, Theopolis Vineyards was founded by owner Theodora R. Lee, also known as “Theo-patra, Queen of the Vineyards.” Theopolis’ award-winning red and white wines are available to order online and virtual tastings are available to learn more about wines at home. 


Sonoma Valley

  • Corner 103
    Lloyd Davis left New York City and a career in finance to follow his passion for wine in Sonoma County. He has been making award-winning AVA wines for years at Corner 103 and offers a seated wine tasting with five award-winning wines in a socially distanced atmosphere.

  • Bodkin Wines
    In 2011, Chris Christensen found his passion for winemaking, resulting in the creation of America’s first Sauvignon Blanc with bubbles. Bodkin Wines, run by Chris and his partner Andrew Chambers, has produced 15 varieties of wine for enthusiasts to enjoy from the comfort of their homes or outdoors with friends. /li>


Paso Robles

  • Bodega de Edgar
    Bodega de Edgar is known for premium, small-batch Spanish wines featuring the highest quality fruits from sustainably farmed vineyards. 

  • Michael Rose Cellars
    A stop by Michael Rose Cellars is a must to sip the boutique, hand-crafted wines in the winery amongst the barrels.

  • LXV Wine
    Walk to LXV Wine in downtown Paso Robles for authentic, minimalist inspired contemporary blends from proprietors Neeta and Kunal Mittal.

  • Indigené Cellars
    Black-owned Indigené Cellars from winemaker Ray Smith is a great option for tasting family-owned and award-winning wines.

Note:
 As communities re-open after COVID-19-related closures, some parks, businesses and attractions may still be closed or have new protocols in place. Please verify local guidelines and regulations for all destinations and hours and availability of individual businesses before publishing. Check out Visit California’s Responsible Travel Hub for guidance on how visitors can travel within California safely.

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