Eight of California's Most Beautiful Wineries
Lush with fruit in summer and starkly beautiful in winter, the vineyards of California have a natural beauty worthy your visit. The workhorses of the wine industry, the winery structures, and tasting rooms, where grapes become wine and wines get sampled, vary tremendously.
From corrugated steel warehouses to handsome chateaux and contemporary estates, the distinctive ambiance of each winery is part of the charm. There are hundreds of gorgeous properties, but we want you to take a closer look at the eight beautiful wineries of California we focus on. Get your trip planner. You will want to prepare for a tour of California's most beautiful wineries when you finish!
This beautiful California winery produces small quantities of premium wine. The winery is family owned and is nicely tucked into the Napa Valley hills. The historic cave was dug by hand in 1885. They are one of only six still in existence from that era. The historic caves are complemented beautifully by the Del Dotto Venetian Estate Winery and Caves.
The Estate was opened in 2007. It pays homage to the Del Dotto's connection to Italy. The walls are lined with Italian marble and frescos that illustrate the winemaking process. Extraordinary chandeliers of Venetian crystal twinkle subtly on the mosaic marble floors and hand-painted ceilings, easily pushing Del Dotto to the top of the most beautiful California winery list. You will be forgiven if you forget you are in California while you sample the wine and food at Del Dotto.
This California winery takes a similarly elegant page from history with an 1888 stone castle, built into the hillside with walls between three and twelve feet thick, insulating the precious product inside from temperature extremes. The swans gracefully cruising the lake and the idyllic gardens surrounding the chateau make for postcard views. The wines themselves are made of the very grapes that turned the global tide regarding California wines in the 1976 Judgment of Paris, pitting Montelena sips against Burgundy's best in a blind tasting with French judges, and winning top honors. North of Napa in Calistoga at the base of its namesake, Mount Saint Helena. A welcoming, knowledgeable staff makes this one of the most popular winery locations, so booking a more private experience during peak travel days is prudent, but worth the effort to drink in this pastoral winery setting.
This winery design is California through and through. Appearing at first glance to be a high-end fishing lodge. The structure is rustic in material and design, but it is grand in stature. The winery building matches its surroundings perfectly with beautifully aged wood paneling, flowering vines snaking through the pergola, and the massive exposed stone fireplace and chimney. The weathered wood and iron theme continues inside. The charming chandeliers and Redwood walled tasting room all confirm this is a place of comfort, friendship and a hint of sophistication.
The owners continually work to improve the already sublime experience. They go about their business making premium wines and developing relationships with customers. They are constantly improving the food pairing programs. There is a barrel room café and an outdoor dining/social space for visitors to enjoy.
This is a must see winery in the Dry Creek Valley. Another gorgeous California winery that mixes top-notch wine with beautiful surroundings.
A member of the Vintage Wine Estates Group, Clos Pegase Winery near Calistoga appeals to fans of Michael Graves' postmodern architectural style, fine art aficionados, and Cabernet connoisseurs. This beautiful California winery offers dramatic views and lush grounds with thoughtful balance. The stunning panoramas of Heritage Garden, Applebone Vineyard, and the Mayacamas Mountains enhance the setting. The ambiance is enhanced further by the soothing rhythm of water pouring out of a 17th-century Renaissance fountain. Classic art pieces from Henry Moore, Francis Bacon, and Jean Dubuffe adorn the walls.
The current releases and the library wines are best sampled on a tour of the cave. You can pair your wine tasting with cheese and charcuterie pairings. The tour is accompanied by a film in the Cave Theatre focused on the history of the winery. This elegant, carefully curated feast for the eyes as well as the palate is a unique stop for those who appreciate exceptional aesthetics.
Surrounded by four hedged vineyards, the Opus One estate presents an understated jewel box of perfect proportion. This winery successfully blends the design sensibilities of the classic chateaux of France with clean California contemporary. The crisp white stone of the buildings is softened by the lush greenery. The beautifully crafted wood doors and lovely details help harmonize the central structure with the landscape to create a pleasing sense of place.
Winery tours options include a formal seated tasting in the library or a tasting with an outstanding view from the Partners' Room. You may also enjoy a tasting from the colonnade or terrace or the observation room. Opus One continues to maintain its place as one of the most beautiful California wineries.
This next winery is home to five acres of gardens embracing the Villa Fiore Hospitality Wine Center. The winery offers visitors beauty and serenity every month of the year. Styled after the Italian/French parterre geometry the gardens on the grounds feel park-like. You will enjoy the relaxed color and texture of trees, shrubs, perennial, and annual plantings. Waterfalls, fish ponds, and bronze sculptures dot the landscape of 2,000 plant species. 10,000 tulips and daffodils bloom here each spring.
The views from the location on the Alexander Valley's eastern RockRise Mountain boasts a 1,200-foot perch with spectacular views. The Italian villa, gazebos, waterfalls, and benches provide perfect photo opportunities with Old World ambiance and grace.
Cade Winery is stunningly designed and LEED Gold Certified. The design is thoughtful. The architect did an amazing job of highlighting the beauty of the natural surroundings. The tasting room environment is comfortable for tasting and allows you to focus on the wine.
With a name taken from the Shakespearean-era term for oak casks, this reclusive Howell Mountain estate exudes chic. At an elevation of 1,800 feet, the pristine panorama of valleys and hills is divine. The buildings and caves are an exercise in sustainability. They are functional, comfortable, and well-appointed. Elegant pools add to the cool factor of this distinctive local favorite worthy. Cade is truly worth a visit for both the eye and the palate. It's easy to place Cade on our list of beautiful wineries in California.
A romantic 19th-century stone castle accessed by a long private approach, Stag's Leap Winery is the magical beauty of Europe blessed with California's blissful weather and landscape. Historic gardens beckon. They are planted to reflect flavors and aromas inherent in Stag's Leap estate wines. Set far afield from the madding crowd, an abundance of wildlife visits the grounds, providing privileged visitors with the full experience, roaming the stone Manor House, terraces, wine cave, and posh amenities, while enjoying some of California's most highly rated wines.
More Beautiful California Wineries
There is no way we can cover all the beautiful California wineries in a single post. There are just too many out there. Here is a list of the wineries that really should have made the cut, but we ran out of space! Many of these are just as beautiful and worthy of a visit as the spectacular wineries we listed above.
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