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13 California Wineries Offering Next-Level Epicurean Experiences

13 California Wineries Offering Next-Level Epicurean Experiences

Elaborate, multicourse menus combine the best of both worlds with incredible food and exceptional wines

Posted 13 days agoby Tina Caputo

In California, you don’t necessarily need to score a reservation at a Michelin-starred restaurant to taste extraordinary culinary offerings. Here, visitors can treat their discerning palates to next-level food and wine pairing experiences at dozens of wineries across the state. Golden State vintners have raised the bar in recent years, with many hiring chefs away from fine dining restaurants to create elevated, multicourse menus that put cheese and crackers to shame. They also allow visitors to spend even more time relaxing at the wineries, immersing themselves in the experience.

Here's just a sample of wineries throughout California, listed north to south, that offer incredible food and wine pairings. Menus often change with the seasons, so be sure to check winery websites for the latest offerings.

Foursight Wines, Boonville

Foursight Wines takes its food-pairing show on the road with the half-day Guided Food & Wine Tour of Anderson Valley. Each tour is customized to guests’ tastes and interests, so whatever your foodie fantasies entail, Foursight can make it happen—from visiting a farm to meeting a local chef. They’ll even be your designated driver as you sip and taste your way around the valley.

Jordan Winery, Healdsburg

Explore Jordan Winery’s 1,200-acre estate aboard a luxurious Mercedes Sprinter van, stopping along the way for wine and food tastings. The Ultimate Healdsburg Wine Tour finished with a tasting of the estate’s extra virgin olive oil and a hilltop wine-pairing lunch at Vista Point, prepared with live fire by resident chef Jesse Mallgren—formerly with Michelin-starred The Madrona in Healdsburg.

Joseph Phelps Vineyards, St. Helena

The Chef’s Tasting Menu at Joseph Phelps Vineyards pulls out all the stops with a nine-course food and wine extravaganza pairing seasonal plates with single-vineyard wines from the Sonoma Coast and the Napa Valley—including a library vintage of Phelps’ celebrated Insignia red blend.

St. Francis Winery & Vineyards, Santa Rosa

St. Francis Winery’s five-course Wine & Food Pairing experience, held in the Mission-style winery’s private dining room, showcases Sonoma County’s agricultural bounty and ingredients from local purveyors. Dishes like green garlic and ricotta risotto and five-spice pork belly make mouthwatering matches for St. Francis Zinfandel and Bordeaux-style wines.

Lynmar Estate, Sebastopol

In the rustically beautiful setting of Lynmar Estate’s Quail Hill Vineyard in the Russian River Valley, the Collectors Lunch Pairing guides guests through a multi-course lunch inspired by the winery garden—all paired with Lynmar’s elegant Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines.

Ashes & Diamonds, Napa

With a different theme each season, the A&D Wines + Food experience is a California nouvelle-inspired lunch featuring seasonal, family-style dishes paired with Ashes & Diamonds’ Old-Napa-Meets-New-Napa–style. In June, A&D will add the Vintage Experience—a modern reimagining of a classic steakhouse supper that includes dishes like roasted asparagus with koji hollandaise and lemon, and Flannery beef with fresh horseradish.

Domaine Carneros, Napa

Sparkling wine is a great match for just about everything, and the Bubbles & Bites tasting at  Domaine Carneros provides delicious proof. In June, for example, the tasting explores the flavors of Vietnam, Thailand, and India to create bubbly harmony with dishes from Vietnamese-style shrimp to massaman curry to pork banh mi.

Acquiesce Winery & Vineyards, Acampo

Step into the 100-year-old barn at Acquiesce Winery & Vineyards for the Elevated Tasting Experience to sip four Rhône-inspired white and Rosé wines, thoughtfully paired with savory small bites—from soup shooters to spreads—crafted by the winery’s in-house chef. It’s a truly special experience at this winery located just north of Lodi in the Central Valley.

Ironstone Vineyards, Murphys

The winery’s Elevated Experiences pair Ironstone Vineyards’ reserve and limited-release wines with elegant canapés crafted by the winery’s culinary team. Guests also learn about the winery’s history and winemaking techniques as they taste wines made from century-old vines.

Justin, Paso Robles

During the Estate Tasting and Lunch, visitors can experience the cuisine that earned The Restaurant at Justinboth a Michelin star for quality and a Green Star for its sustainable practices. Led by a resident wine guide, the tasting highlights Justin’s winemaking practices while pairing the latest vintages with dishes from the seasonal á la carte lunch menu.

Le Cuvier Winery, Paso Robles

The gorgeous hilltop location at Le Cuvier Winery in Paso Robles is almost reason enough to opt for the Entrée & Flight Experience, but the food and wine ultimately steal the show. Following five amuse-bouche pairings, including bites like seared duck breast with beet puree, guests enjoy a main entrée matched with one of Le Cuvier’s Rhône- or Bordeaux-style wines.  

Presqu’ile, Santa Maria

The Wine & Food Tour at Presqu'ile guides guests through the extensive cave and winery, then up to the scenic hilltop pond. At the private lookout terrace—boasting 280-degree views of the estate vineyard, the San Rafael mountains, and the Pacific Ocean—visitors sip sparklers and single-vineyard wines paired with small plates from the estate garden.

Bottaia Winery, Temecula

Anyone who thinks charcuterie can’t make a meal has never visited Bottaia Winery. The Seated Charcuterie Pairing + Tasting includes five Italian-varietal estate wines paired with a choice of an antipasto platter, charcuterie board, or Mediterranean vegetable platter. Artfully displayed, boards include tasty components like Genoa salami, prosciutto-wrapped grissini, roasted cauliflower dip, grilled baby artichokes, and basil burrata.

California Winery

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