When you think of wine tasting in Napa, you may think of sprawling fields of green filled with picnics and wine. But, this isn’t usually the case. In fact, having a picnic in Napa is a surprisingly complicated ordeal. The county doesn’t allow it at most wineries; those who are permitted were typically grandfathered in before the rule was made. But to me, there’s nothing better (and often more affordable) than sipping wine among the vines, with a great basket of food.
To save you the hassle, here is my guide on the best picnic-friendly wineries in Napa.
10 Best Picnic-Friendly Wineries in Napa
Napa Cellars has a beautiful courtyard with plenty of space for a picnic, and even provides some fun lawn games (my favorite is the life size Jenga stack). If you’re looking for a fun picnic in Napa, I definitely recommend Napa Cellars. They’re open Thursday-Monday by reservation only, so be sure to plan well ahead!
The AXR winery is a historic site located in the heart of St Helena. You can enjoy a true picnic in Napa while partaking in a private Napa valley tour, or single vineyard tasting. AXR also has a lot of history, and I loved learning about their story of the fairy circle of redwoods.
Bennet Lane is at the north end of the Napa Valley, and offers a beautiful view of the Mayacamas Mountains. The setting is quaint and the perfect destination for a picnic with friends. The town of Calistoga is nearby, which makes it a great place to start your day of wine tasting before venturing further into Napa. I would personally describe Bennett Lane as a “hidden gem”!
Honig Vineyard & Winery
If you like Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc, then this is the place for you! Gather your favorite pairings for these varietals, and partake in a beautiful, scenic picnic in Napa. One of my favorite things about this winery is that it’s family owned, and each member of the family plays a big part in the everyday functions, while being extremely knowledgeable about the wines they produce. Being here feels like being at a fun family reunion!
Pestoni Family Estate Winery
The Pestoni Family has owned this vineyard for years, and are extremely welcoming and accommodating. Upon arriving, you’ll feel instantly relaxed as you take a stroll their gardens and experience a picnic in the scenic vineyard.
Charles Krug Winery
Charles Krug is the best place to have a picnic at! What makes it the best, is that you don’t have to do any prep work thanks to their pre-prepped picnic options. They allow you to pick out sandwiches and charcuterie at the onsite deli or even order up a wood-fired pizza to enjoy on the lawn. There’s also a lot of history to this winery, including that they were the first tasting room in California!
Pope Valley Winery
Pope Valley is one of Napa Valley’s oldest wineries, and it is absolutely beautiful. Pack a lunch before your visit, so that you can sit at one of their picnic tables, while tasting their delicious wines, and even play some bocce!
Rutherford Hill Winery
Rutherford Hill is a great escape in Napa. You can take a visit of their wine caves, or enjoy sweeping views of Rutherford from one of the best picnic spots! Their staff is always super friendly and knowledgable, which makes the experience even better.
Ashes and Diamonds Winery
Ashes and Diamonds is the perfect visit for those who want a true luxury wine tasting experience. Upon arriving, you’ll receive a pre-packaged gourmet picnic of seasonal, fresh, and wood-fired dishes prepared in-house. The architecture here is breath taking, I would highly recommend seeing it in person, because the pictures just don’t do it justice!
This 30 acre lot at Rombauer Vineyards is a must-visit. It’s the perfect spot to bring your own provisions and soak up the gorgeous garden views with a buttery Chardonnay. One of my favorite part of this vineyard are the walking paths and places to explore. There’s also a very aesthetic and beautiful outdoor patio area, which is always a plus for me!
4 places to pick up picnic snacks for your picnic in Napa
I always stop by Oakville grocery before heading out for a Napa picnic! They offer quality local ingredients, and delicious, feel-good favorites. You can find all of your charcuterie favorites here before your day of picnicking!
Pack your own charcuterie
This is the easiest thing to do! Plus it’s super convenient to have it already packed and ready for the day, plus it’s nice to know that you’ll have your favorite snacks at your fingertips.
Gott’s would make a great stop for some grab-and-go on your way to the next winery on your list! Their food is delicious, and is the perfect pairing for a picnic in Napa.
More than just a butcher shop, the Fatted Calf offers meaty goods and services that are varied and unique! From cooked duck, to a lavish charcuterie board, they have it!