8 Must-Visit Wineries With Stellar Food

By Sara Ventiera  |  May 10, 2016
Credit: Bonobo Winery

Few activities are more peaceful than sipping wine while surrounded by vines. Steady drinking is sure to get the stomach grumbling; however, there aren’t that many vineyards with solid dining options on the property. If you’re looking to execute the perfect pairing while enjoying picturesque vineyard views, here are eight wineries offering fantastic food.

  • Credit: Bruce Damonte

    Hamel Family Wines

    California has strict laws regarding restaurants in wineries. So, many wineries opt for private dining to fill in the food void. Hamel Family Wines offers three signature food experiences prepared by executive chef Clinton Huntsman. The Reserve Tasting Experience ($100) includes a tour of the winery, estate house and the wine caves, followed by a private tasting paired with local cheeses, Huntsman’s signature charcuterie and light bites. Picnic packages are available as well, including a Linen Bag Breakfast Tasting with poached eggs, braised greens with bacon rillettes and fresh Blue Ribbon biscuits topped with house-made jam, and champagne ($35). The lunch version includes seasonal greens, daily entree of locally sourced meats, cheeses and produce, a side dish and freshly made dessert ($50). Reservations required.

    15401 Sonoma Hwy., Sonoma, CA; 707-996-5800

  • Veraisons Restaurant at Glenora Wine Cellars 

    The first winery on Seneca Lake, Glenora is a big name in the Finger Lakes wine game. The on-site restaurant is a regional favorite, too. Overlook the vines from inside the cathedral-ceiling-capped dining room or the outdoor terrace. Executive chef Orlando Rodriguez sources local ingredients for his seasonal menus. Anticipate items like beet poke, spring flatbread, braised pork belly and Lacinato kale pappardelle and Moulard duck breast with braised fennel, black mission figs, dukka and fig gastrique.

    5435 State Rd. 14, Dundee, NY; 800-243-5513

  • The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards 

    Due east from San Francisco is an off-the-beaten-path wine gem, Livermore Valley. There, you’ll find the excellent Restaurant at Wente Vineyards, featuring organic, sustainable, ingredient-driven California wine country cuisine. Executive chef Mike Ward’s (a Picholine and El Paseo alum) fare is rooted in American cuisine with influences from France and Italy. The daily changing menu incorporates produce from The Restaurant’s organic garden in dishes such as spring peas on toast with whipped black pepper ricotta, charred spring onion and house-made pancetta; and 38 North Chicken Breast with ras el hanout, wild rice pilaf, piquillo chile purée, pepita relish and garden greens.

    5050 Arroyo Rd., Livermore, CA; 925-456-2450

  • Credit: Andrea Hubbell + Pippin Hill

    Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards 

    Set in the rolling hills of Virginia’s wine country, Pippin Hill is an idyllic place to eat, drink and take in the views. It overlooks a serene valley and the Blue Ridge Mountains. A short drive from Charlottesville, this is a highly popular destination, frequently hosting weddings and private, intimate events. Lunch is offered Tuesday through Sunday in the bistro-style dining room and on the stone-covered terrace. Ingredients are sourced from the property’s farm as well as local farm partners. Executive chef Bill Scatena creates dishes that pair well with the wines, such as charcuterie, tapas, grass-fed sliders and house-smoked speckled trout with arugula, avocado, cucumber, crispy shallots and Meyer lemon. On-site cooking classes are available, too.

    5022 Plank Rd., North Garden, VA; 434-202-8063

  • The Restaurant at Justin Vineyards 

    This all-in-one vineyard, restaurant and inn offers everything you need in a winery visit: beautiful views of the vines, elegant dining and a sophisticated place to sleep. Executive chef Will Torres relaunched the food program in 2013 with a fresh seasonally rotating menu for brunch, lunch and dinner. Dishes like Monterey asparagus risotto, local king salmon and Angus skirt steak with onion cream, ramps, garden carrot and lovage-smoked jalapeño chimichurri are paired with award-winning wines.

    11680 Chimney Rock Rd., Paso Robles, CA; 805-238-6932

  • Credit: Don Hankins

    The Restaurant King Estate 

    Opened in 2006, King Estate’s restaurant has a decade of experience pairing Northwest wines with regional food. Much of the menu is sourced from the property’s 30-acre organic farm and orchard. Like at most winery restaurants, the brunch, lunch and dinner menus change according to the season. Look for creative dishes like cauliflower tagine and spring salmon belly with crudo ponzu, pickled estate-garden vegetables, greenhouse cucumbers and citrus suprémes. For mains, you might see lamb daube over artichoke heart cannelloni, estate greens, Parmesan and pea shoots. Of course, it all matches with the nice selection of wines sourced from the property.

    80854 Territorial Hwy., Eugene, OR; 541685-5189

  • Sorrento’s Ristorante at Tsillian Cellars 

    Before developing an interest in wine, Tsillian Cellars owner Dr. Bob Jankelson fell for Italy’s food. When it came to opening a vineyard restaurant, he went back to his first love. Nestled between the grapes and the south shore of Lake Chelan, this stunning establishment looks like it’s been plucked from right under the Tuscan sun, complete with rustic tawny facade, graceful columns and an old-school tile roof. It’s hard to beat the ambiance, but the simple food is impressive, too. For brunch, lunch and dinner, kick back with new riffs on classics, including gnocchi carbonara, veal parmigiana, margherita pizza and frittata.

    3875 Hwy. 97A, Chelan, WA; 509-682-9463

  • Jamesport Vineyards 

    Most Long Island wineries offer cheese plates and snacks to go along with tastings. Jamesport takes it up a step. On weekends, the North Fork vineyard offers wood-fired pizzas and bistro fare on the patio. In between flights, snack on shrimp cocktail, lobster rolls, Burrata with oven-roasted tomatoes, margherita flatbread and other pies like Greener Pastures, topped with fresh mozzarella, ricotta and olive oil, finished with lemon and olive-oil–dressed arugula.

    1216 Main Rd., Jamesport, NY; 631-722-5256