When visiting Napa Valley, the beautiful rolling vineyards and California hillside settings are perfect for enjoying an outdoor picnic. There is nothing better in Napa Valley than some outdoor sun, a glass of fine wine, and some finely paired snacks.
Napa has several wineries that you can check out that will provide a picnic to remember, from the wine tastings to the gorgeous settings:
- Pope Valley
- Rutherford Hill
- Andretti Winery
- Dutch Henry
- Landmark Vineyards
- Kuleto Estate
- Nichelini Winery
- Clos du Val
- Rombauer Vineyards
- Monticello Vineyards
- Vincent Arroyo
- V. Sattui
- Charles Krug
Most of these wineries allow you to bring your own picnic food but a couple do not, thus requiring you to purchase their food on location. We’ll cover those details and what else you might need to know about each winery.
Pope Valley Winery is a smaller, boutique style winery. They are also family owned and offer their hospitality with a very quaint old fashioned feel to it. It’s located about a 50-minute drive north of Napa. You can bring your own picnic food, although you cannot bring any outside alcohol. They have bocce ball and cornhole near the picnic area so that you can also play a few games while you enjoy your lunch. You might even get a visit from their family dog, Gus. They also have their wine caves to check out, which are over 100 years old and were dug by hand all those years ago.
If you make a reservation for a tasting and a picnic table, you’ll even get 10% off a bottle of wine. Additionally, if you don’t feel like bringing or packing your own lunch, they do offer a lunch and tasting package with a special boxed lunch from their local market. This gives you a chance to just enjoy tasting their wine, with a delicious box lunch, and take in the surrounding beauty and history of the winery.
Set high on the eastern hillsides of Napa Valley, Rutherford Hill is a highly recommended winery that has some of the best views of the valley. This winery does get rather busy, so if that’s not a deterrent for you, this winery is a must. At Rutherford, you can bring your own picnic lunch and enjoy it with a glass of their award winning wine at their Oak Grove picnic grounds.
After you’ve had your lunch, take some time to tour their hillside wine caves. These caves are carved within the cliffs right behind the winery. Do take into consideration that there is a $75 fee per table to use their picnic area, but that fee is waived if you purchase $75 or more in wine from the winery. Even though it is one of the best views for a picnic, you may not bring outside alcohol to the winery, so just plan on checking out their wine.
Andretti Winery is another great place to slow down and enjoy your wine. This winery can be found along a quiet country road, but just 10 minutes from downtown Napa, CA. This winery name is actually a namesake after the famous race car driver, Mario Andretti, who was also one of the founders of the winery. The winery prides themselves on delivering old world charm designed after the style of an Italian village.
The Andretti winery has quite a few different options on their facility for enjoying their wines and the beautiful grounds, more so than most wineries. For instance, they have more than 5 different types of tasting options, plus a few different tours and experience options, like an intimate dining experience. All of which you should check into when you go enjoy the Andretti wine.
The views at Andretti Winery are very beautiful, and you can bring in your own picnic and use their lunch and picnic area, which is set nicely surrounded by oak trees and next to their vineyards. They also have tour experiences that include a picnic lunch if you’d prefer not to bring your own.
If your preference is the smaller, casual and intimate type of wineries, then you’ll really enjoy Dutch Henry Winery. They have some nice picnic areas with tables, and bocce ball to play on the side. Dutch Henry has some wine caves where they store their wine as well that they will take you to tour, which is a neat experience before or after your picnic.
In fact, if you really like supporting the eco-friendly type of businesses, you’ll want to spend some time at Dutch Henry. The wine caves are built to have a very minimal impact on the surrounding landscape, as well as to save on energy and minimize their carbon footprint. Dutch Henry went even further to also installed solar energy panels to establish good environmental business practices. On top of that, their farm is certified organic, to include their olive trees. If the wine isn’t enough to entice you on your picnic adventure, add on the olive oil tasting and the entire experience is surely one to remember.
Landmark Vineyards actually has two winery locations, the closest one to Napa will be in the Sonoma Valley, just a short 40-minute drive from Napa. Like the majority of wineries, you cannot bring outside alcohol, but you can bring your own picnic to Landmark Vineyards.
If you don’t want to bring food, or even just want to add to what you have, they do offer some food plates to take out for your own picnic. Landmark takes it a step further with their picnic package, however, by offering an actual picnic blanket, cheese board, wine glasses and picnic basket filled with meat, cheese, and crackers!
There is no cost to use their picnic facilities, except for a minimum of $25 in wine purchase per adult. You’ll want to enjoy wine with your picnic anyways, so it will definitely be part of the experience. If you have groups of 8 or more people, you’ll want to make reservations first.
The unique feature about Kuleto Estate is that they are set up on top of a mountain, with amazing views of Lake Hennessey and about 83 acres of vineyards. This winery is just a short 40-minute drive from Napa, CA, but well worth it as you won’t find a view like this anywhere else.
Kuleto Estate does require reservations, so make sure to set those up before you go for a tasting our tour of the facility. In order to picnic there, you also must purchase two bottles of their wine, but a tasting is included in this purchase and picnic option. Many people who visit Kuleto Estate express that it has a very Tuscany like feel to it, and they rave about the views and the picnic area with tables under the grapevines.
Noted as the oldest family-owned winery in the Napa area, Nichelini Winery sets out to give you that personalized, “welcome home” feel when you visit their winery. They still carry on with a little more of that rustic, serene style and give you a place to visit away from the hustle and bustle. North of Napa, CA by about 35 minutes is where you’ll find Nichelini Winery, but the drive alone is beautiful and well worth the extra time to get there.
One thing that is nice about this winery is that it doesn’t have that tourist type feel. Nichelini Winery is a nice, quaint location for your picnic as well. Set right in St. Helena, there are many who rave about how great the Nichelini wines taste and the hospitality received at this family business.
Their picnic areas are behind their main building, set with corn hole and bocce ball. You can even bring your dogs with you, as they are part of the family too.
Just 14 minutes north of Napa taking the Silverado Trail, you’ll find Clos du Val Winery. Clos du Val encompasses the value of family, as they aim to treat every visitor as if they are part of the family. The views you will take in are of the Stags Leap District, which includes many of the vineyards in this area, particularly focused on Cabernet Sauvignon wine.
Clos du Val offers a variety of experiences, one which is great for a picnic, their Family First experience. With this reservation, they include a basket filled with delicious food items, paired with a bottle of their award winning wine, all to be enjoyed at a table reserved in an olive grove. When making your reservation, you’ll be able to pick out your food items and the wine you wish to include. You can bring your leashed pets to this area of the winery, but you will need to make a reservation.
You are allowed to bring your own picnic here as well set among their picnic table area. You just have to pay for one of their wine tastings or purchase a bottle of wine. Well worth it as their wines are delicious and the views are really fantastic.
About 30 minutes north of Napa you’ll find the Rombauer Vineyards, another eco-friendly winery that sports a great picnic option. For Rombauer, they try are very aware of how their business impacts the environment. 70% of their energy is actually provided by solar power and all the green waste that comes from farming their vineyards is used right back into the soil, plus they recycle all of their cardboard, glass, and plastic. These are all things that are just a bonus to their beautiful vineyards that serve as your picnic backdrop.
One thing to remember when planning a visit to Rombauer Vineyards is that every visit is by appointment only. You can make a reservation on their website for a variety of different options at the vineyard. So, in order to have a picnic there, you also must reserve one of their experiences, like a Classic Wine Tasting or their Joy of Wine Experience, which is a tour through their underground wine cellars plus a tasting and pairing with cheese session.
In combination with your experience, you can snag one of their picnic tables, as they are on a first come first served basis. However, you will not be disappointed, as their picnic tables are set within one of the most beautiful garden areas you will find in the Napa Valley.
From the Corley Family comes the Monticello Vineyards, which has been family owned for the past 40 years and it is the Corley family’s primary vineyard. Monticello is another winery close to Napa, CA, only an 11-minute drive away. You’ll find this location to be another fantastic spot to take your picnic lunch. The gardens and vineyard here are very beautiful, but they also have a unique, historic feature on the property, the Jefferson House. This was modeled after Thomas Jefferson’s original home in Virginia.
You won’t need a reservation here unless you are doing a tasting or ordering food on site. So you can take your own picnic and enjoy their picnic table area. This is a really unique setting and a perfect option for a laid back afternoon luncheon.
A great place to try the wine and olive oil, Vincent Arroyo Winery will satisfy both tastes. Only 40 minutes from Napa, CA, Vincent Arroyo Winery is a laid back place to take in picturesque vineyards and your own picnic lunch. They do require reservations, but their charge for a tasting is one of the most reasonable you’ll find in the area.
The picnic area is nicely set among some nice flower beds and large shade trees. They have two onsite family dogs, Bodega and JJ, that may even come to say “hello” during your picnic. When you picnic here, it will feel more like being part of their family, as it is a smaller winery and off the beaten path.
The next wineries are great options for a picnic if you don’t want to bring your own food, as they don’t allow outside food or alcohol. In exchange for that, they offer food on the location that you can enjoy for a personalized picnic.
It is well known that cheese goes fantastic with wine. If this is your style, you’ve definitely got to check out V. Sattui winery. Located in St. Helena, V. Sattui has a marketplace with a completely loaded cheese bar that includes over 200 different cheeses.
They don’t allow outside food here, so this is where you can enjoy a variety of selections on their menu, not to mention lots of different cheeses. Their menu includes salads, sandwiches, pasta, and paninis. They also make their own charcuterie, which goes great with fresh fruit and their cheese. If you have room at the end of your lunch, they have some fantastic desserts that are made in-house, like gelato, tiramisu, and Crème Brulee.
On weekends at V. Sattui, they throw a barbeque where you can alternatively select a wood-fired pizza they make on their Italian style thin crust. Or choose from BBQ ribs, jalapeno skewers, beef brisket, or salmon sandwiches. So many delicious savory options, your picnic will be amazing just with the food alone! Then head to their picnic area, which is bigger than 2 acres, surrounded by their vineyards, flower beads, and large oak trees.
If by chance your trip to V. Sattui falls on a rainy day, don’t worry because those days they will set up picnic tables in their underground barrel room. That in itself would also be a neat experience, surrounded by the smell of aging wine. Either way, you will make a great picnic memory at V. Sattui.
The Charles Krug winery has an Italian heritage, which they love to embody into their food and pairing options. Who doesn’t love pizza? Especially paired with a glass of wine. They have an outdoor pizza kitchen that serves up Italian-style pizzas, Thursday through Monday, that was baked in their Mugnaini wood fired pizza oven. These are made from vegetables and herbs right from their gardens on site and meats from their salumeria.
You could also check out their salumeria, where they make their variety of meats with their own wines included in the ingredients, like Bianco, which was created with their very own sauvignon blanc cooked right into the meat. They have a beautifully landscaped lawn area with picnic tables where you can enjoy your pizza or salumi and take in an amazing view.
While you are at Charles Krug, you’ll definitely want to enjoy their wine tasting. Charles Krug is one of the oldest wineries in the valley, in operation for over 150 years, and opened the very first wine tasting room. There is so much history to take in when you visit, that a picnic alone would not give you the full picture of what Charles Krug is all about.