Have your wine, drink it and do so much more, too.
A slew of wine-country spots are taking their grape-soaked offerings to a new, multifaceted level with everything from gourmet food pairings to off-road vineyard tours. Here, five to try:
Thanks to new owners Charles and Ali Banks (Terroir Selections), you can now tour Mayacamas Vineyards’ 465-acre property, complete with a waterfall and epic views of Mount Veeder, while strapped into a vintage Land Rover. The 125-year-old winery is one of the few where you can taste from the cellar or sip a newer vintage crafted in the Old World style by former Screaming Eagle winemaker Andy Erickson. Starting at $75/person; 1155 Lokoya Rd., Napa, 707-224-4030; mayacamas.com.
Clif Family Winery and Velo Vino have joined forces on curated experiences for wine drinkers and bicycle lovers alike. Choose a tour of downtown St. Helena by beach cruiser or a more intense trip through Napa Valley’s hillsides on a high-performance bike. Fuel up at the beginning of each excursion with the vineyard’s namesake Clif bar and an espresso, and end with bruschetta from the in-house food truck, paired to limited-edition, small-production wines. Starting at $75/person; 709 Main St., St. Helena, 707-968-0625; cliffamilywinery.com.
At Francis Ford Coppola Winery, purchase a tasting, then head out to one of four first-come, first-serve regulation-size bocce courts. If you work up a sweat, buy a $35 pass and take a dip in one of the two on-site pools, then wrap up your day over Flintstonian cuts of meat on the terrace at the Italian-driven Rustic, Francis’s Favorites restaurant. 300 Via Archimedes, Geyserville, 707‑857-1471; francisfordcoppolawinery.com.
If the Super Bowl memorabilia on the walls at legendary football coach (and Calistoga native) Dick Vermeil’s new Vermeil Wines tasting room in downtown Napa doesn’t solidify its status as a must-visit for sports-loving oenophiles, then its generous pours will. Sip away as you catch a 49ers game on one of the oversize 65-inch television screens. They’re open until 11 p.m. on weekends, so you can conceivably end the day with a bottle of XXXIV red. 1018 1st St., Napa, 707-254-9881; vermeilwines.com.
Hand-painted ceilings, 130-year-old marble walls and Murano chandeliers set the scene for Del Dotto Vineyards St. Helena Venetian Estate’s newly aggrandized public tasting room. Thursday through Sunday, the $60 pairing option includes salumi made in-house from Winkler Farms’ Mangalitsa pigs, and pizzas freshly baked in an alfresco wood-burning oven by the winery’s in-house pizzaiolo. 1445 St. Helena Hwy. S., St. Helena, 707‑963-2134; deldottovineyards.com.
By Carolyn Alburger.
Edited by Lesley McKenzie.