2020 has seriously thrown your plans for a loop. That vacation to Europe? Not happening. We get it, and we are super ready for the pandemic to be over. These 6 family friendly wine regions are great for all ages!
Thankfully, as long as you plan ahead and do it safely, you can still take a vacation that the entire family will enjoy – and try some amazing wine in the process.
A vineyard is kind of the perfect place to escape to right now. Lots of land, open air…many vineyards were basically already set up for social distancing. Plus, visiting a regional winery is a chance to get out of the city for a minute. And yes, family-friendly wineries are a thing.
So, why not plan a weekend getaway or day trip that the whole family will enjoy? While you sample the local vino, the kids can do some fun and exciting activities. Depending on where you go, there are opportunities for juice tastings, underground caves, and farm animals.
No matter what part of the country you’re in, you’re most likely only a few hours’ drive to a great wine destination where you can bring the kids and chill out for a few hours or a few nights. Check out the top 6 family-friendly wine regions to visit this fall.
1. The Midwest
The midwest is dotted with amazing wineries, and Traverse City, Michigan has basically everything you could want in a fall wine-themed excursion.
Be sure to hit up Chateau Chantal on the rural peninsula north of Traverse City – a family-friendly winery with a bed and breakfast on site. They’re offering socially distanced tastings during the pandemic. So, while you sip vino on the patio, the kids can roll on the big lawn next to this vineyard or play with toys. If you time your visit right, you and the family can even stomp grapes in a barrel.
2. The Finger Lakes
The Finger Lakes region in New York is known for crisp air, fall foliage, and – yes – wine. With a wide variety of hybrid and European grapes, like Pinot Noir, Merlot, and Riesling, you can sip your way through the Finger Lake and never get bored.
While you’re there, spend a weekend at Barrington Cellars, with 220 acres of vineyards off Lake Keuka. While the adults enjoy wines like Cabernet Franc or Riesling, the kids can sample grape juice blends. There’s a red blend (made with Concord, DeChaunac, and Vincent grapes) and a white blend (a blend of Diamond and Delaware grapes). Yum.[mc4wp_form id=”7238″]
Despite the warm weather, Texas boasts over 400 wineries. Across the state, Texas is known for excellent varieties of Cabernet Sauvignon and drought-resistant grapes like Tempranillo and Mourvèdre.
If you’re near Austin or San Antonio, make the drive out to Hilmy Cellars in Fredericksburg. Not only does Hilmy Cellars offer a tasting room, it’s also the site of a working farm where animals actually “work” on the vineyard. Try the local vino while the kids can chase the goats around.
4. The Pacific Northwest
Oregon and Washington State are home to some of the nation’s top wineries, serving up cool-climate wines like Pinot Noir.
If you’re looking for a spot to take the family, check out Fortis Winery in Cave Junction, Oregon. It’s on a spacious 112 acre area of vineyards, ponds, creeks and forest in the heart of southwestern Oregon. Guests can stay in the 5-bedroom Maple Ranch Johnson House and enjoy activities like hiking, horseback riding, river rafting, kayaking, snowshoeing, and, of course, wine tastings.
5. California’s Central Coast
Only a three hour drive from LA, Paso Robles is a must-see destination for wine lovers along California’s central coast. While the area produces a wide variety of wines, it’s most famous for its Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Syrah.
If you’re traveling with the kids, make a stop at Eberle Winery in Paso Robles. Not only can you get award-winning handcrafted wines, but the kids can explore underground barrel-filled tunnels. Your family can also play bocce ball or corn hole at this dog-friendly winery.
If you thought Sonoma County was for wine snobs, think again. Not only can you get some of the best wine in the world there, but many wineries open their doors to kids as well as adults.
Francis Ford Coppola Winery is a top destination for families in the heart of California’s wine country. With two large swimming pools, a bocce court, and play areas for the kids, you can be sure that everyone has a great time when you taste some amazing red and white wines.
In Vino Finito
Need some help figuring out what kind of wine to taste when you arrive? Email us and we can help you figure out what kind of wine you’re likely to enjoy.
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