Cozy Destinations for Fireside Wine Tasting
Baby, it’s cold outside, so why not sit by the fire and enjoy a winetasting indoors?
Or, bundle up and enjoy the nip in the air by an outside firepit. Red wine tastes so much better when the weather is chilly, so now’s the time to indulge in a rich cabernet blend, a righteously spiced cherry-infused merlot, or perhaps a dark and fruity zinfandel with a classic pepper-tinged finish, or a meaty, enveloping syrah.
At Anaba Wines, on the edge of the Petaluma Gap, you can relax on the couch or in cozy chairs by the massive double-sided fireplace as you take in the quiet ambience of what feels like the library of a country manor.
From its hilltop aerie outside of Windsor, Chalk Hill Winery’s grand estate pavilion feels like a country castle worth the climb, featuring a handcrafted 21-foot-tall French Louis XIII-style limestone fireplace. Lunches and dinners can be booked here.
Truly the grand chateau, Domaine Carneros features a splendid fireplace in the salon, and what’s better than sipping bubbles as you watch the raindrops, or count the clouds prancing like sheep over the Bay.
In Healdsburg, Dutcher Crossing Winery invites you to admire the stone fireplace, constructed of railroad remnants, while contemplating the Prosperity Blanc de Blancs Sparkling, made from estate chardonnay, or one of their many zins.
Kenwood’s Chateau St. Jean Winery just celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2023, with multi-vintage Cinq Cépages tastings, which are lovely to enjoy fireside during the chilly winter months.
Dutton Estate in Sebastopol offers a S’mores & Cozy Wine Tasting until March, where you toast marshmallows over your own mini firepit, while sipping on four reds. Or just be lazy by the indoor fireplace.
Perched just beyond the Sonoma raceway, Ram’s Gate in Carneros boasts a magnificent outdoor fireplace designed by Howard Backen (Harlan Estate, Cliff Lede), with spacious views of the surrounding vine-covered hills. Additional fireplaces offer warmth to accompany Joe Nielsen’s soul-warming syrahs.
Sugarloaf Wine Co. in Santa Rosa features the wines of four wineries, including Sosie and Reynoso, and their welcoming indoor fireplace can be enjoyed with any tasting experience. Wines come from Mendocino, Carmel Valley and Sonoma. They also offer bocce and brunch.
Three Sticks in the historic 1842 adobe in downtown Sonoma, is an oasis for lovers of chardonnay, and single vineyard pinot noir, which you can enjoy next to the fire pit in the charming garden.
In Napa Valley, The Monarch Stag Room at Baldacci Family Vineyards is reserved for their Cave Tour & Estate Tasting, and seats 2 to 4 people. It can be closed off from the adjoining room, and has an intimate, private feel in a luxurious setting with leather couches and a beautiful stone fireplace.
At Cliff Lede’s craftsman-style tasting room, wax poetical by the fire with Chris Tynan’s 100-point Poetry blend. Or catch a little sun on the veranda.
There’s something precious about the frog carved into the mantel at homey Frog’s Leap in Rutherford, where the ambience and warmth reflects the ongoing mission of organic farming and sustainability of founder John Williams.
You’ll find the Enoteca (wine library) or the Salon of Villa Fiore at Ferrari-Carano Vineyards & Winery, luxuriously cozy settings for wine tasting enjoyment.
From its Stags Leap perch, Silverado Vineyard overlooks one of the best views in Napa. Inside, that impressive fireplace makes the GEO Cabernet taste even more grand.
At the end of the breathtaking gondola ride that takes you to the mountaintop at Sterling Vineyards, a special treat awaits at the Hilltop Tasting Room. Enjoy a 90-minute fireside wine, cheese and charcuterie tasting while gazing at the patchwork of vineyards nestled in the Calistoga hills.
Heitz Cellars in St. Helena boasts a stunning stone fireplace with a mantel of reclaimed wood in a tasteful dining room that feels like a top-drawer restaurant.
The Athenaeum at Inglenook has what was a large recessed hearth where cooking was done in medieval times. At the newly renovated salon, you can indulge in music on vinyl, listen to live piano, or play chess, backgammon, and craps.
At Larkmead Vineyards, one of Napa Valley’s most historic estates, there are two fireplaces in the main tasting room. One is located inside, creating a cozy atmosphere for warm, fireside wine tastings, while the other sits on the stunning side porch overlooking the estate.
The Miller House at Frank Family Vineyards allows guests to enjoy a seamless indoor-outdoor experience on the Napa Valley floor anytime of year with floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors. Inside is an inviting lounge area with cognac-colored leather sofas around a central fireplace. Artisinal cheeses and charcuterie are available with advance reservation.
At Scout, Montage Healdsburg’s rustic-chic restaurant, bask in the glow of the outdoor firepits as you savor a glass of one of the seasonally selected local wines. Should you choose to spend the night, retire to your own warmly lit fireplace room and ponder the annual mustard bloom in the surrounding hills.
The Priest Ranch tasting room in Yountville is a uniquely cultivated and unexpected wine country experience. What can be more indulgent than sitting by a toasty fire and enjoying four distinct thick cuts of pork belly paired with four wines that have been selected to enhance the flavors of one another perfectly. For a the lighter tasting experience, enjoy the luxury of bubbles and fresh caviar.
Both Ledson Hotel & Zina Lounge and Ledson Winery & Vineyards offer multiple toasty fireplaces where you can curl up with an award-winning glass of red wine to chase away the chill.