1. Clos Du Val in the Stags Leap District offers a pleasant picnic area not far from Napa. It’s far off the highway in a shaded area. www.closduval.com. (707) 261-5200.
Cuvaison Estate Wines in Calistoga has a picnic area that’s not too far
off the Silverado Trail, but still offering a nice experience.
www.cuvaison.com. (707) 942-6266. Cuvaison in Carneros can't host
Hall Winery Hall's impressive new winery features to second story
tasting room overlooking vineyards, imporessive art, open views of the
wine production and the restored old stone winery plus they allow
picnics. 401 St. Helena Highway South St. Helena. (707) 967-2626.
4. Menage a Trois and Napa Cellars, which share a winery and the bizarre geodesic tasting room in Oakville, have a pleasant picnic area under the trees. They offer especially good picnic wines, too. www.folieadeux.com. 800-535-6400.
5. Frank Family Vineyards in Calistoga is one of the premier picnic location on the valley floor. You can taste at the new tasting room in a restored farm house, then enjoy your picnic at one of the tables on the well-tended ground. They uniquely of these selections have sparkling as well as still wines to accompany your picnic. www.frankfamilyvineyards.com. 707-942-0859
6. Louis M. Martini Winery in St. Helena. At the historic Martini winery, the picnic grounds are in a pleasant enclosed, shaded area behind the winery. The wines include some only found at the winery including rosť and Amabile Moscato. www.louismartini.com. (707) 963-2736
7. Nichelini Winery is high in the hills off highway 128 east of Rutherford almost in Chiles Valley. It’s still owned by the same family who founded it in the last 19th century. Aside from the delightful old winery and picnic grounds, it features an unusual white Sauvignon Vert as well at classic reds.
8. Rustridge Ranch and Winery in high Chiles Valley east of Napa is everyone’s visit of the wine country life. In addition to growing grapes and making fine wines, it raises thoroughbred horses, and even has a small B&B if you can’t tear yourself away from the site after lunch. If you don’t want to pack a lunch, Cucina Italiana at Lake Berryessa not far away makes box lunches that you can order in advance and enjoy at the ranch. www.rustridge.com. (707) 965-9353.
9. Rutherford Grove Winery & Vineyards features a classic picnic ground, with a square of towering trees framing the picnic tables. www.rutherfordgrove.com. (707) 963-0544
10. Rutherford Hill Winery has perhaps the top picnic destination in Napa Valley, and yes, that “top” is a double meaning. The picnic tables lie high above the valley floor, above even tony Auberge du Soleil so with arguably better views. The picnic area is so popular that they charge to use it, but the cost includes wine. Be sure to call ahead. www.rutherfordhill.com. (707) 963-1871V. Sattui Winery in St. Helena is in a class by itself. It and soon, Charles Krug, have the only delis at wineries in Napa Valley, and in fact, you have to buy your food and wine there if you want to enjoy the pleasant picnic grounds. www.vsattui.com. (707) 963-7774. Check on Krug and Cairdean Winery also north of St. Helena, which will have delis and picnic grounds soon.