The Best Wineries for Fall Picnics in the Greater Sacramento Area
It’s officially fall! The days of triple-digit temperatures will soon be behind us, leaving pleasantly warm afternoons and crisp, cool evenings. That, coupled with the turning leaves, makes fall the perfect season for picnicking. But where to go? The greater Sacramento area has no shortage of scenic natural areas that make ideal picnic spots, but why not enjoy the fall harvest season in all its glory by combining a picnic with a little wine tasting? There are dozens of wineries within an hour’s drive from Sacramento that have welcoming patios, expansive lawns and sweeping vistas, so you can sip while you snack.
It should be noted that due to Covid-19 precautions and social distancing mandates, many area wineries have modified their operations. All require masks to be worn when not seated, and groups are limited to six or fewer. Some require reservations, especially on weekends. Be sure to check each winery for the latest information.
And now, onto our picks for the best wineries near Sacramento for fall picnics!
Lava Cap Winery | Placerville
Located in the heart of Apple Hill near Placerville, this inviting, family-owned winery offers views of the rolling, vineyard-covered hillside. You can pack a picnic and taste their award-winning Grenache, Zinfandel or Rosé while taking in the mountain vibe.
Julietta Winery | Clarksburg
This intimate winery in Clarksburg is just 20 minutes from downtown Sacramento, but it seems like a world away. Views of the mountains, the water and the surrounding vineyards make for a scenic day trip, especially when you add in live music and food trucks. You can get a flight to sample their Cabernet, Chardonnay and other varietals.
Rancho Robles Vineyard | Lincoln
This family-run winery in Lincoln has all the makings for the perfect picnic spot: a charming patio overlooking a pond, a scenic vineyard surrounded by oak trees, and live music performed by local bands. Oh, and did we mention the wine? Rancho Robles is especially known for their estate-grown Barbera.
Vannatta Wine | Elk Grove
Hand-crafted, small-batch wines are the hallmark of this quaint winery in Elk Grove. From Sierra Rieslings to Amador Syrah, a variety of wines are available for tasting. Live music and other special events add to the chill vibe, making it a great place to while away the day.
Naggiar Vineyards | Grass Valley
An afternoon at this picturesque winery in Grass Valley is like stepping into a Tuscan estate, with rolling vineyards, trickling fountains and garden statues. Don’t feel like packing a picnic? No problem, they have food trucks on site, plus live music to boot. Plus, their estate-grown Barbera, Sangiovese and Syrah is some of the best in the area.
Miraflores Winery | Placerville
Award-winning (and highly-rated) Malbec, Zinfandel and Syrah are on the menu at this winery in Placerville. You can pack your own picnic or take advantage of their build-your-own picnic basket, with your choice of cheese, meats, nuts and fruit. They also hold special events like food and wine pairings on their lovely shaded patio overlooking the landscaped grounds.
Miner’s Leap | Clarksburg
Located along the Sacramento River this boutique winery in Clarksburg is known for its beautiful grounds and amazing sunsets. Wines range from heavy reds like Cabernet to refreshing whites and rosés, as well as sparkling wines. Plus, they have live music most weekends, so you can enjoy a glass of wine while listening to local tunes.
Viña Castellano | Auburn
If you’re a fan of Spanish varietals like Tempranillo, this family-run winery in Auburn is for you. They have an expansive lawn area amongst the vines (complete with a lovely pond), and they even offer picnic goodies for sale like Spanish meats and cheeses, tapenades, olives and nuts. They also have food trucks and live music.
Matchbook Wine Company | Woodland
Just a half-hour from Sacramento, this friendly winery in Woodland has a large patio overlooking the estate vineyards and coastal mountain range. You can pack a picnic or take advantage of food truck fare on weekends, while sipping their Chardonnay, Syrah or Petit Verdot.
McConnell Estates | Elk Grove
The tasting room of this quaint winery in Elk Grove is in a refurbished 1860s farmhouse. The surrounding grounds have plenty of space to spread out and relax while sipping their Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Tempranillo. They also host special events like farm dinners and concerts.