11 Can't-Miss Family-Friendly Wineries in Sonoma County
Welcoming children, teens, and their oenophile parents, these wineries and vineyards offer fun for all ages.
Just because you're visiting a winery doesn't mean you have to leave your kids at home! From swimming pools and farm animals to outdoor games and scavenger hunts, these 11 wineries go a step further by providing entertainment and other experiences for kids and teens during their visit.
Relax with the whole family in this resort-like winery setting, with beautiful grounds and a lovely swimming pool (tickets required in advance). Families can reserve a luxurious cabana for the day, complete with pool passes, lounge chairs, towels, and wine tastings — for the adults, of course. If you have a movie buff in your bunch, the winery is a fantastic place for them to learn about some of Francis Ford Coppola's most iconic films, like "The Godfather" and "The Outsiders." During the summer, the winery features live music along with activities for kids of all ages.
Located in Northern Sonoma County, Alexander Valley Vineyards is family owned and operated. The Tasting Room is open seven days a week, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. No appointments/reservations are required. Estate tastings and cave tours are complimentary unless you are a group of 7 or more. The winery is family-friendly, but asks that children be supervised at all times as it is a working winery.
Perched on the shoulder of Sonoma Mountain, overlooking miles of vineyards and valleys, Belden Barns boasts an immersive, hands-on experience for visitors of all ages. The winery offers scavenger hunt adventure backpacks for children that encourage them to wander the 55-acre property in search of flora, fauna, and other whimsical items. Belden Barns also features a basketball court, cornhole, and various family-friendly events, like the annual fall Grape Stomp and spring Cork Hunt. Leashed dogs are welcome on the vineyard grounds as well.
The name says it all — Benziger Family Winery puts families, as well as the environment, first. Founded in 1980 by the Benziger family, the winery is now known as one of the most forward-thinking and sustainable vineyards in the region. For those visiting with children, Benziger features hourly tours, including the Biodynamic Vineyard Tram tours in a tram pulled by a tractor. Parents can also sip on some of their biodynamic and organic wines, like the Frank Johnson Sauvignon Blanc and La Reyna Pinot Noir, while enjoying a quiet picnic with the kids on the vineyard's beautiful grounds.
If your kids or teens are fans of history, then Buena Vista Winery should be a stop on your Sonoma County itinerary. California's first premium winery, Buena Vista was founded in 1857 just one mile from Sonoma Square. Today, families can learn about the deep-rooted history of Buena Vista as well as the evolution of California's wine industry while taking a guided tour of the property and underground wine caves, or by exploring the interactive Wine Tool Museum.
Are your children begging you to take them to Europe? If so, bring them to the beautiful, European-style Chateau St. Jean instead! Known for its outstanding reserve wines and vineyard designated blends, this winery is an idyllic oasis that offers something for the whole family. Take your children on a guided tour of the awe-inspiring property. Play bocce ball or test their puzzle-solving skills in the Unlock the Chateau Escape Room. Then, picnic on the gorgeous, Mediterranean-esque gardens where you can opt for French-inspired cheese and charcuterie boards along with tasting flights and wine by the glass or bottle.
7. Cline Family Cellars, Sonoma
This 350-acre, family-run vineyard offers an unpretentious, farmhouse wine tasting experience. Kids will love the many turtles, birds, fish, and donkeys that call Cline Family Cellars their home. Along with wine tastings and animals, Cline Family Cellars boasts several other family-friendly experiences. Reserve a garden cabana for a day of R&R for the whole family. Learn about the history of the winery on a guided tour. Or, visit the on-site California Missions Museum, with its historic displays of all 21 California missions.
8. Landmark Vineyards, Kenwood
Located at the foothills of the Mayacamas Mountains, this beautiful winery offers a bounty of fun for children and adults alike, set against a magnificent backdrop. From a large and lively bocce ball court and picnic area to horse-drawn wagon rides during the summer, you're guaranteed to make family memories that last a lifetime at Landmark Vineyards. While mom and dad enjoy a glass or two of the winery's small-production Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs, the kids will be entertained by countless coloring books in the tasting room.
9. Larson Family Winery, Sonoma
An old rodeo ranch-turned-winery, Larson Family Winery is a family- and dog-friendly winery in the heart of Sonoma County's Carneros region. The cowboy-style atmosphere is very relaxed and surrounded by affable animals, including three dogs: Ollie, Rosko, and Louie. Families can also enjoy bocce ball courts and a grass area for picnics.
10. Preston Farm & Winery, Healdsburg
A must-visit for any kid who loves cats, this feline-friendly winery and farm (leave your dog at home) was founded in the 1970s by the Preston family, known throughout Sonoma County for their commitments to sustainable farming and community activism. Families can stop by the winery to taste their estate wines, homegrown olive oil, fresh bread, and pickled vegetables — and, if you're lucky, your little one can help bottle-feed one of the winery's lambs.
11. Truett Hurst Winery, Healdsburg
Nestled on a biodynamic farm in the heart of Dry Creek Valley, Truett Hurst is known for its Zinfandel and Petit Syrah as well as their iconic creekside red chairs and a salmon habitat restoration area. Around the property, expect to see goats, chickens, and sheep roaming in search of their next snack. If your child loves animals, then Truett Hurst should be at the top of your list.