Twelve Top Wine Country Outings

VIA readers share their favorite winery and vineyard destinations in California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, and Utah.

Bocce ball at Landmark Vineyards, Kenwood, Calif., image

Visitors play bocce ball at Landmark Vineyards in Kenwood, Calif.

California

Boeger Winery Placerville, Calif. “Boeger has both excellent wines and stunning grounds,” says Mitchell Mark. “Taste, buy a bottle, and picnic under a tree near a creek or pond. It doesn’t get better.” boegerwinery.com.

Cooper-Garrod Estate Vineyards Saratoga, Calif. “A perfect place, and not only for tasting,” says Elena Baryshnikova. “Take a hike in the mountains and enjoy stunning views of Silicon Valley, or bring lunch, buy some wine, and sip it under shady eucalyptus trees.” cgv.com.

Hess Collection Napa, Calif. “Combines world-class art with premium wines,” says Mike Fleice. “Donald Hess has built a collection that challenges you to stop and think—a welcome addition to the usual winery touring.” hesscollection.com.

Landmark Vineyards Kenwood, Calif. “Be sure to stroll the landscaped grounds here and take in the beautiful views of nearby Sugarloaf Ridge,” says Lori Barron. “You can buy wine in the tasting room, then take it out back and play bocce ball.” landmarkwine.com.

Preston of Dry Creek Healdsburg, Calif. “We love this family-owned organic winery,” says Krista Glaser. “We take a picnic basket, buy some zinfandel, and play with the cats while sitting at one of the picnic tables.” prestonvineyards.com.

Idaho

Huston Vineyards Caldwell, Idaho. “Gregg and Mary Alger make a fine blend of cabernet, merlot, and syrah, which they pour with other wines in their comfortable tasting room,” says Rob Lundgren. “They are excellent at pairing food with wine and sometimes hold delicious Basque dinners inspired by strong southwest Idaho Basque traditions.” hustonvineyards.com.

Nevada

Pahrump Valley Winery Pahrump, Nev. “An oasis,” says Linda Scholl. “Just an hour from Vegas, this charming winery has guided tours, a tasting room, and a restaurant.” pahrumpwinery.com.

Oregon

Ankeny Vineyard Salem, Ore. “We love this winery,” says Lara Kierlin, “not only for its pinot noir but for the gorgeous property with its small animal farm, picnic area, and pioneer family cemetery.” ankenyvineyard.com.

LaVelle Vineyards Elmira, Ore. “It’s a pleasant drive here through farms and woods,” says Albin Brandstetter. “Enjoy a view of Fern Ridge Reservoir from the top of the vineyard, then stop at Bush’s Fern View Farms to buy fresh produce.” lavellevineyards.com.

Orchard Heights Winery West Salem, Ore. “This place has the best Sunday brunch, with breakfast burritos, made-to-order omelets, and Belgian waffles topped with fresh marionberries,” says Susan Hensley. “After brunch you can visit the tasting room, explore the gift shop, or settle on the back deck to enjoy panoramic views.” orchardheightswinery.com.

Sweet Cheeks Winery Eugene, Ore. “Amazing!” says Elizabeth Downs. “The view here is beautiful, the wines rank among the best, and the staff makes you feel at home. We purchased bottles, sat outside around a fire, and laughed all afternoon.” sweetcheekswinery.com.

Utah

Hive Winery Layton, Utah. “The wines here remind you of eating fresh fruit,” says Karl Schatten. “Hive makes wines and meads from peaches, strawberries, raspberries, currants, and citrus fruits.” thehivewinery.com.

Photography by Robert Holmes

This article was first published in January 2013. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.

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