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Bocce in the West

You can play the Italian game of bowling at wineries in California.

illustration of a man with a glass of wine leaning against a huge bocce ball, image
Photo caption
Various vineyards allow you to sip fine vintages and then try your hand at bocce.

"What other sport can be played with a wineglass in one hand?" asks Brent Randol of the St. Helena Bocce Club. At these wineries, patrons play free.

ARMIDA WINERY Healdsburg, Calif. The regulation court is garnished by a rose garden and eye-popping views of the Russian River Valley. Enjoy a free tasting or buy a bottle and fixings for a picnic on the deck. (707) 433-2222, www.armida.com.

BYINGTON VINEYARD & WINERY Los Gatos, Calif. Bowl on this crushed-shell court nestled between a wooden arbor and a pinot noir vineyard that looks out over Monterey Bay. (408) 354-1111, www.byington.com.

DIAMOND OAKS WINERY Oakville, Calif. Grounds include a picnic area with a court set amid oaks and cypresses, with views of Napa Valley. (707) 948-3000, www.diamond-oaks.com.

PEDRONCELLI WINERY Geyserville, Calif. Try this crushed-granite court in late afternoon—after a free winetasting—and catch the sunset from the deck. (707) 857-3531, www.pedroncelli.com.

SUMMERS ESTATE WINES Calistoga, Calif. This oyster-shell court looks out on vineyards and a geyser known as Old Faithful. (707) 942-5508, www.sumwines.com.

Illustration by Michael Klein

This article was first published in September 2006. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.