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Kids and Wine Country don't always go hand in hand, but that is changing. A new breed of family-friendly wineries are now welcoming wine loving parents and their (well-behaved) children for some fun in the vineyards - kids sipping grape juice while parents relax, wine in hand. Click through the gallery to discover the most kid-friendly wineries in Sonoma and Napa counties.
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Larson Family Winery, Sonoma
For over 120 years, the Larson family has been farming the land of the Carneros region of Sonoma and when they started making wine in the 1970s, they made their farmhouse into a family and pet friendly wine destination. Bring a picnic and the little ones and enjoy an afternoon of wine tasting in the sun. Larson Family Winery offers bocce and kid-friendly games and has a vast lawn that makes for a perfect game of tag. Tastings start at $10.
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Castello di Amorosa, Calistoga
The closest thing to Disneyland in Napa Valley is Castello di Amorosa - a 121,000 square foot replica of an Italian castle from the Middle Ages. It took 15 years to build, and even a bored 15 year old will be impressed. Book a 1-hour guided tour, which features everything from gargoyles to knights in shining armor, a dungeon, and an opportunity to meet the winery cats. There are also peacocks, sheep, chickens, and other farm animals. Kids can sip grape juice and color their hearts out in their own play area while parents enjoy vino. Tours start at $15.
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Francis Ford Coppola Winery, Geyserville
One of Sonoma County's most famous family-friendly wineries, Francis Ford Coppola Winery has an expansive pool for an afternoon of family fun in the sun. Food and wine is delivered poolside to parents while kids indulge in bocce, a teepee with a kid's library, board games, and more. There is also a museum inside the winery featuring props from Coppola's famous films like The Godfather and Dracula which welcomes adults and kids alike. Reservations recommended for pool access. Pool passes start at $15 (children) and $35 (adult).
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Benziger Family Winery, Glen Ellen
It's not just in the name! Benziger Family Winery is truly a family run operation - generations of Benzigers have been raised on the winery property known for its organic and biodynamic wine offerings. Their winery tour is a must for any first-time visitor to Wine Country, no matter the age. Kids will love the tour - you'll ride a tram through the winery property, while learning about biodynamic and organic winemaking practices and agriculture. Sheep and cows make appearances and you even travel into the wine caves. Tours start at $10 (children) and $25 (adults).
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Preston Farm & Winery, Healdsburg
A must-visit for any kid who loves cats! This cat-friendly (so leave your dog at home) winery is also kid-friendly, with gardens, bocce, and not just cats, but also Preston Farm & Winery's famous sheep, who are prolific - baby sheep are plentiful and if you're lucky your little one can help bottle feed them. Bring a picnic, grab one of Preston's famed Rhône varietal wines, and enjoy the rustic vibe of this West County winery. Don't miss the farmshop, offering fresh farm-grown produce.
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Cline Cellars, Sonoma
One of the first wineries you pass when you enter Sonoma Valley, Cline Cellars continues to be a family run winery that offers an unpretentious, farmhouse tasting experience. Kids will love the property and parents, the wine. Pack a picnic and take a guided tour of the property. Learn about the history of the winery, visit the very cool California Missions Museum, see the barrel room, and meet their resident turtles, birds, fish and donkeys. Tastings are free, but it's $10 to book a picnic table for a picnic. Reservations recommended.
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Sterling Vineyards, Calistoga
Sterling Vineyards offers yet another unique tasting experience in the northern Napa Valley, for all ages. Your family's tour starts with a ride 300 feet up a mountain via an aerial tram to the winery. The trams provide a 360 degree view of the surrounding Napa Valley and is the only way to access (and leave!) the mountaintop estate. Upon landing at the winery, kids will receive age appropriate backpacks filled with a drink, snack, and a game. After a self-guided tour of the winery, you can enjoy wine tasting overlooking Napa Valley. Experiences start at $15 (children) and $32 (adult).
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Buena Vista Winery, Sonoma
Founded in 1857, Buena Vista Winery is the oldest commercial winery in California. The historic property provides not only a delicious wine tasting experience for adults, but also an educational and interactive experience for kids. Schedule a tour guided by period actors, who will guide your family through the historic property, including visiting old wine caves and the Historic Wine Tool Museum, which features a colorful multi-media presentation that feels like Wine Country meets Disneyland. Don't miss the hedge maze and the giant crocodile. Tastings start at $25 for adults.
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Cornerstone Sonoma, Sonoma
Cornerstone is fun afternoon escape, featuring a restaurant, gardens, shops, and of course - wine! Kids can exhaust themselves here as they explore the property's expansive sculpture gardens which feature artworks from international sculptors, most of which are interactive, allowing kids to climb on and play with the art. While the kids play, parents can sip wine at one of three tasting rooms: Keating Wines, Meadowcroft Wines, and Poseidon Vineyard & Obsidian Ridge. Picnics welcome, too.
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Landmark Vineyards, Kenwood
Proud producer of pinot noir and chardonnay, Landmark Vineyards has created a welcoming, family-friendly environment at their Kenwood estate. Every Saturday, May through October, jump aboard Sonoma Valley farmer Pat Prather's horse drawn carriage for a tour of Landmark's estate vineyards. Kids will love not only the horses, but also the interesting history about the property - including the winery's founder, the great-great-granddaughter of John Deere. After the tour, relax with a picnic and wine tasting on their vast, play-friendly lawn. Carriage tours are free, tastings start at $30.
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