5 California Wineries, 5 Beautiful Tasting Rooms

by  Kristine Hansen | May 15, 2014
Napa Valley
Napa Valley / erperlstrom/iStock

What beats a glass of Pinot Noir? How about a Pinot Noir with a view? In the California wine tasting rooms we've rounded up below, the views might be just as good as the wines. From a grove of redwood trees in Mendocino County’s Anderson Valley, to a wharf in Santa Barbara overlooking Channel Islands National Park, here are five great views to enjoy while sipping California wines at the source:

Hahn Estate, Soledad

Hahn Estate’s posh, 1,000-acre parcel – located in eastern Monterey County – is a stunner. Panoramic views of the Santa Lucia and Gabilan Mountains can be seen from the mountainside vineyards. For a closer look, take an ATV adventure tour ($45 per person; departs twice daily), followed by a tour of the cellar and a reserve tasting in the VIP room. Even the tasting room’s patio boasts a postcard-worthy view.

Deep Sea Wine/Conway Family Estates, Santa Barbara

Strolling down Stearns Wharf in downtown Santa Barbara, you'll want to head straight to Char West Fish & Chips. Just beyond that is Deep Sea Wine’s tasting room, which is fresh from a recent renovation and features unobstructed views of Channel Islands National Park and the Santa Barbara Riviera. The outdoor deck – with its half-glass walls – feels more like a yacht than a tasting room.

Goldeneye Wines, Philo

Mendocino County’s cool climate (thanks to the nearby Pacific Ocean) nurtures the excellent Pinot Noirs at Goldeneye Wines – and the view isn’t too shabby, either. Cozy up in an Adirondack chair in front of terraced vines at Confluence Vineyard, with redwood trees as the backdrop. Consider grabbing a hunk of Cowgirl Creamery cheese and a crusty baguette en route to the tasting room: picnic facilities are open to guests. Tastings ($10-$20) include a current release Pinot Noir and wines from the Migration label. Or, splurge for the Estate Tasting ($30, guided tasting with artisanal cheeses).

Domaine Carneros, Napa Valley

Gaze out from Domaine Carneros’ stately villa and you’ll swear you’ve been temporarily transported to Bordeaux. Reserve a table at the tasting room’s wide terrace overlooking Carneros and linger over not wines and snacks. Select from four flights ($30-$40) that focus on bubbles and Pinot Noirs. Then, opt for cheese plates, a charcuterie plate, caviar, truffled whitefish or smoked salmon – all selected specifically to pair with Domaine Carneros’ wines.

Ferrari-Carano Vineyards, Healdsburg

Within Ferrari-Carano Vineyards’ five-acre gardens are fish ponds, streams, and foot bridges. On a given visit, plan on tasting the wines in two areas: Villa Fiore Wine Shop ($5 for four selections) and Enoteca (pouring four limited-release and reserve wines for $15 in an underground cellar). Seven private-tasting experiences offering gourmet food pairings ($20-$35). Free tours – departing at 10 a.m. Monday-Saturday – take visitors through the gardens, as well as the cellars, crush pad, and vineyards.

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