The colder it gets outside, the more I want to cozy up indoors in front of a fire with a delicious glass of wine. But believe it or not, there’s an even more enjoyable option where you still get to drink wine! I know how much you guys love wine and the experiences that go along with it, so I’ve put together a list of 10 winter wineries that are a must for your winter wine tasting adventures.
Since we’re staying state-side this year, I’ve included wineries in American wine regions you can easily sip. Cheers!!
Why visit a vineyard in winter?
- It’s off season so you’re going to find some stellar travel deals on hotels and tastings. You may also find that many wineries will be offering holiday specials on their bottles.
- Given each of the 50 states of the United States produces wine, visiting a local winery during the winter doesn’t have to include traveling far from home. It could easily make for a fun day trip or weekend getaway.
Touring winter wineries is a great way to get out from under your blanket and stock up on a few bottles to enjoy at home once you get back. There are some amazing seasonal wines – and special pricing – that most wineries offer during the fall and winter months, and you’ll be able to experience the wonders of the landscape as well. Is there anything more pretty than a vineyard in winter? Snow twinkling in the sunlight, the silence as you look over the fields, the warm feeling as a sip of barrel-aged Cabernet Sauvignon swishes against your tongue…Oh yes, that would do it quite well, thank you very much.
These 10 wineries provide the perfect setting to sip wine and enjoy the view from a vineyard in winter. By the way, you don’t have to pick one – you are totally allowed to visit all of them. I certainly won’t judge!
Top 10 Winter Wineries to Sip In
Buena Vista Winery (Sonoma, CA)
Located just outside the town of Sonoma, California, Buena Vista Winery is one of the oldest on this list with over 160 years of experience crafting fine wines in this compelling and well-known region. Here you’ll find a tasting room, visitor’s center, and the winery itself. While trying various seasonal wines you’ll discover the history of Buena Vista and how they staked their claim in the wine world long before Napa and Sonoma became buzz words used to impress your friends. You can even bring your pet! Enjoy the views with outdoor seating and public, family-friendly tours, and experience some of the best flavors in California.
Elmaro Vineyards (Trempleau, WI)
Elmaro might not be as old as some winter wineries, but their tree sure is. They have been serving the state of Wisconsin since 2011 and have a property that boasts a white pine tree estimated to be around 300 years old! The tree is featured in their logo and ties their name into the landscape which has been home to their vines since 2006.
Potomac Point Vineyard & Winery (Afton, Virginia)
An hours drive from DC sits Potomac Point Vineyard & Winery where you can experience the thrill of winter wine tasting in a unique setting. Potomac Point opened in 2007 and has been focused on crafting exquisite wines that pair wonderfully with their bistro offerings. With the lush garden backdrop, you’ll feel like a queen as you taste and swish your way through their wine flights. And get this, they do brunch, too! Every Sunday from 11 AM to 6 PM you can pair delicious wine with a gourmet spread and really tuck in.
Veritas Vineyard & Winery (Afton, Virginia)
If you want luxury and opulence, Veritas is the place for you. Nestled in the Monticello wine region, you’ll enjoy stunning mountain backdrop with fields of vineyards, making this the perfect getaway for winter wine tasting. You can find gourmet eats in their Farmhouse restaurant and take a tour of their operation while sipping away too.
Estrella Del Norte Vineyard (Santa Fe, NM)
Winter wine tasting in Santa Fe, New Mexico? Yes please! Estrella Del Norte Vineyard is just 15 minutes north of the city and they’ve been making wine for over 400 years! The best part about enjoying this vineyard in winter is the clear, open view of the New Mexico sky and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains that tower above. You hardly need a reason to visit Santa Fe, but Estrella is here just in case. You can even stay at their vineyard casita if you’re looking for weekend winery getaway.
Black Star Farms (Leelanau Peninsula, MI)
Just 15 minute drive from Traverse City you’re transported into the rolling hills of the Leelanau Peninsula, aka Michigan wine country. Like I’ve mentioned before, I adore staying at a hotel winery, Black Star Farms is one winter wineries that makes the perfect pairing. Not only is the wine delicious – I love their Gewurztraminer and Riesling – but the 160 acre winery-estate offers over three miles of onsite hiking trails for snow shoeing in the winter, multiple outdoor patios, beautiful lake views, an equestrian facility and you’re super close to the quaint towns if you want to do a little exploring.
Dr. Konstantin Frank Wine Cellars (Finger Lakes, NY)
Dr. Konstantin Frank Wine Cellars was named a Top 100 Winery of 2019 by Wine & Spirits Magazine and one of the 10 Best Tasting Room in America by USA Today. In otherwords, don’t just take it from me, Dr. Konstantin Frank Wine Cellars is one of the winter wineries not to miss. Ok, one in all of the Finger Lakes – no matter the season – to sip in. I learned about Dr. Konstantin Frank during my American Wine Specialist certification process and you guys, this guy changed wine making on the East Coast. He created a “Vinifera Revolution” – a movement that forever changed the course of wine growing in the Finger Lakes and the United States. His vision, knowledge and determination are credited with elevating the New York wine industry from a state of happy mediocrity to a level that today commands world attention. So, go and sip in a little American wine history this winter.
Stone Hill Winery (Herman, MO)
The town of Herman, Missouri is soooo cute and offers several wine tasting opportunities. After visiting Stone Hill Winery though I had to include it in my list of winter wineries to sip in. (Stay at the Hermann Hill Vineyard and Inn and you can walk to the winery! Each room has a private hot tub too!!!) The winery specializes in local grape varietals, two of my favorites are its award winning Norton and Chardonal Reserve. Plan to schedule your tasting so you can then walk over to its onsite restaurant to enjoy even more of their wines and delicious cuisine.
Youngberg Hill (Willamette Valley, OR)
It’s no wonder that Youngberg Hill was name one of Wine Spectator’s favorite locations. It’s set on a 50-acre hilltop surrounded by exquisite vineyards and views and has a nine-room bed & breakfast that’s nestled among the 30-year old vineyard. Using a ‘Green’ approach to wine making, the winery focuses on organic and biodynamic farming of its wines – Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay.
Valdemar Estates (Walla Walla, WA)
It’s hard to narrow it down to one winery to visit in Walla Walla given there are so many delicious choices. However, not all tasting rooms remain open during the winter months so for this reason I narrowed it down to Valdemar Estates. It’s tasting area includes a variety of indoor and outdoor options along with a pairing menu. All include stunning views of the surrounding vineyards. The fun thing to note about Valdemar Estates is that the owner/winemaker – Jesús Martínez Bujanda – is from Spain where his family produces wine in Rioja. So, you not only get to sip his Walla Walla wines BUT his family’s Spanish wines too. FYI – All are amazing.
Winter wine tasting can provide the thrill you’re looking for when everything outside seems dark and cold. Beating the winter blues with wine is a blessing and one that can be achieved by heading out to find the perfect wine at one of these winter wineries. Cheers to your next winter wine tasting!