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Here are the Our Favorite Wine Country Locale's Still Welcoming Enthusiasts

Lauren Gruber | April 7, 2021 | Food & Drink Lifestyle Food & Drink Food & Drink Feature

California’s wine country community is still as vibrant as ever, serving up socially distant and virtual wine tastings.

The overlook at BRAND Napa Valley
The overlook at BRAND Napa Valley

Brand Napa Valley

This wine-tasting experience includes seasonal bites and sips from four signature bottles: the 2017 proprietary blend, a melange of cabernet franc and cabernet sauvignon aged in French oak barrels; the 2017 cabernet sauvignon with notes of creme de cassis and cinnamon; BRIO 2016 red blend, a Bordeaux-style bottle abundant with hints of black cherry and cardamom; and BRAND Napa Valley 2018 white wine, the latest addition to BRAND’s portfolio. St. Helena,

Outdoor seating at the Faust Haus PHOTO: BY ADRIAN GAUT
Outdoor seating at the Faust Haus


In the heart of Sonoma County lies Russian River Valley, home to Bricoleur Vineyards and some of the region’s best pinot noir and chardonnay. The 40- acre vineyard is hosting The Essentials Picnic, featuring a handselected array of seasonal treats such as prosciutto and fontina piadinis, quinoa with local mushrooms and beet salad with black truffle chevre. Of course, the spread is accompanied by a chilled glass of 2019 Rosé of Grenache to enjoy in the estate’s scenic outdoor spaces. Windsor,

The Essentials Picnic at Bricoleur Vineyards BY KAILANI ANDRADE
The Essentials Picnic at Bricoleur Vineyards


Travel back in time at the Faust Haus, a restored Victorian farmhouse and Prohibition-era cellar turned immersive wine-tasting experience. Remodeled by Aidlin Darling Design, the handsome estate’s luxe interiors pair perfectly with a glass of the indulgent cabernet sauvignon with aromas of luscious dark fruit and cedar. Hoping to establish itself as a salon of sorts, Faust Haus will also invite artists, authors and designers for exhibitions and workshops. St. Helena,

The vines at Passalacqua Winery COURTESY OF PASSALACQUA WINERY
The vines at Passalacqua Winery

Meadowood Napa Valley

Sip cabernet sauvignon under a cabana at Meadowood’s poolside oasis. The luxe resort’s Learning Center invites guests to immerse themselves in an exclusive and educational wine-tasting experience backed by Napa Valley’s vast history of winemaking. St. Helena,

Sprawling across 110 acres, BRAND Napa Valley is home to three distinct vineyards. BY JIMMY HAYES
Sprawling across 110 acres, BRAND Napa Valley is home to three distinct vineyards.

Passalacqua Winery

If you’d prefer to sample wines from the comfort of your backyard, Passalacqua Winery offers completely virtual wine tastings in a variety of themes. The Light, Bright & Fun set ($150) tastes just like summer with refreshing bottles of sauvignon blanc, rosé and chardonnay paired with a private virtual tasting session. For a more personalized experience, the sample sips kit includes three curated 2-ounce pours suited to your personal palate, gleaned from a virtual consultation. Healdsburg,

Photography by: From top, starting with second image, photos: by Adrian Gaut; by Kailani Andrade; courtesy of Passalacqua Winery; by Jimmy Hayes