So my hubby and I (pre pandemic) would visit Napa at least four times a year, he has clients up north and Napa is just an hour outside of where we go for them. Now before we had a little one it was such a wonderful time and experience to go wine tasting, hire a car and just be completely carefree for a weekend. Now that we have our little man our Napa trips look a little different (we don’t always bring him but about half the time we do!). It’s less of a carefree experience and more of an appreciation experience while also tending to and entertaining a toddler, and of course drinking responsibly. One of the many issues we first encountered when going to wineries at Napa were finding kid friendly ones and when you google it there’s no good running list to tell you which ones are a green light.
We’re going to take some of the guess work out of it for you, below are some incredible wineries that also happen to be kid friendly. We also highly recommend limiting your winery visits to two wineries a day, possibly three depending on the temperment of your kid. When we go we usually only do two wineries in the day and find a lunch spot where we can just leisurely eat and our little guy can run around (V. Sattui is an amazing spot for this).
We’ve found wineries that limit their reservations to just a couple a day and pretty much reserve the space for just you and your tasting party are 9 times out of 10 kid friendly – but they are also on the pricier side. As a parent – let me tell you – I will pay what ever your tasting fee is to have a judgment free environment where my little one can come and enjoy your property while we enjoy your wine. With that being said, we have been blessed with an angel baby who somehow is so well mannered and can be easily entertained… with a phone 😉 JK can’t all kids be entertained that way? We save the phone for when he’s starting to feel a little rambunctious and we need to buy a little extra time. We’ve been bringing our little man to the wineries since he was a baby – his first trip to Napa was at 3 months old and he’s been going at least twice a year since then. Little man actually enjoys sitting and listening to guided tastings and he LOVES to smell the wines – we always joke around that he’s going to be a sommelier or a winery owner when he’s older.
We picked this winery because it’s up on Prichard Hill and it’s one of our favorite areas in Napa Valley. This winery did a private tasting (they only offer private tastings, two a day – so book in advance! it can be difficult to get into) and are soooo kid friendly! The staff are super friendly and love kids! This winery had a little car/train set for our little man to play with along with a bin of toys. I have to say I was a little hesitate bringing our well behaved little man in here because I thought it was going to be a little too nice for him but they even have a large chalkboard wall that they let them draw on!
As for the wine, it does not drink like Prichard Hill to me, it has much more Howell Mountain characteristics on the palate… Makes sense considering one of their neighbors is Screaming Eagle. They do “experiment” wines where they try a new blend, corkage, fermentation process etc. each year and they never repeat what they did again after that. Ovid truly encourages their winemaker to take risks and have fun with the grapes.
I loved this winery! This kid friendly winery doesn’t have toys like Ovid but they do have incredible staff and owners who are super friendly and love kids. This is a cab lovers dream winery, it’s higher end wine that gives you the experience you want while wine tasting in Napa and allows for your little one to tag along. Also – when you’re there get a bottle of the Aurora (we picked it up and seriously drooling over it on our wall… it’s not going to last long there)
This winery was similar to Ovid in the sense that they do private tastings twice a day, so you have the whole winery to yourselves. This makes it especially nice so that your little one can run around and enjoy the outdoors all within eyesight. After going through their caves they also take you on their golf cart to get a better vantage point of the property.
We visited after the Glass Fires and the owners house was burned down and their forest entry scorched. They were doing control burns while we visited and thankfully their caves and tasting area were left unscathed. Absolutely gorgeous property and beautiful views.
Okay so this one was my top pick for our trip! This was a winemaker for the day experience which was so incredibly cool! This winery is kid friendly and the property big enough where our little man could walk/run around without getting in anyones way.
What was SO cool about this was that we were given four different wines to mix, measure and pour into glasses to create our own custom blend. This interactive experience is great for little ones because they can “help” you mix (and I say “help” because if they’re wearing something nice you’re going to limit how much they help you pour and measure). We took our three year old there and he had so much fun, this would be even better with a kid that’s a little older and more coordinated where they can measure out the pours for you (almost like a chemistry class!).
The best part? After making three different blends (progressively getting better… trust me my first one was awful. Hubs was a natural and hit the nail on the head with his first blend) you choose your favorite blend and they will fill a bottle with it! After the bottle is filled they bring it out for you to cork, foil and label it yourself! Amazing experience for sure a must try!
So this winery is so pretty and great for kids (and dogs!). They have a beautiful little pond in the front of the winery and a great outdoors space for tastings. Definitely would recommend bringing a blanket or jacket on a cold day here because they did not offer any type of heaters.
This was probably our little mans favorite winery because so many guests brought their puppies (he loves dogs)! But also he loved seeing the sheep on their property! So much fun for little ones whenever there are farm animals around 😊 They’re also super sweet there and offered coloring kits for him if he wanted it.
As for the wine – their malbec was really good and filled with blueberry flavors, probably my favorite one from their tasting! Service was on the slow side at this winery so plan your day accordingly.
Stags Leap district – so if you’re familiar with Napa you know this district has a cult following. Not my personal favorite region but I have to say the wines here surprised me, especially the “cheaper” wines (I say “cheaper” because you’re still paying about $40/ bottle on it)
I’m not a huge California Chardonnay fan but they do theirs french style (chablis) and it is incredible! I absolutely loved it. And their FEL Pinot Noir? YUM! This was one of our last stops this trip and it was such a great experience.
We had Kelly helping us and she was amazing and so great with kids! Our little man is super shy and she brought him out of his shell by the end of the tasting. All of the staff there love kids and we’ve honestly never had such a welcome with a little one. Also – this winery is dog friendly!! Super pretty winery with plenty of space to stretch those little legs 🎉
Chandon is one of the few sparkling wine wineries that allows you to bring your little one.
What we love about it is that they take walk in’s which means you can do an unguided tasting and just keep going up to the bar to get your next tasting once you finish what’s in your glass. The other great thing about Chandon is that they have such a beautiful property with loads of space to go explore and run around without getting in anyone’s way… this includes the weekends. It’s a great winery for when your little one is a little restless and wants to burn off some energy (without getting in anyone else’s way).
Make sure to check out our Sparkling Wine Guide to Napa Valley for more on this winery!
PSA before the mom shamers come – 1. Let’s not judge especially if you don’t have kids 2. If you have kids and still want to mom shame – let’s not because really who needs or wants to be judged 3. If you’re a parent there’s a good chance you’ve had an alcoholic drink while parenting – you can drink responsibly! Always make sure one parent is completely sober and drink responsibly!