10 Wineries Where You Can Stay and Learn

Whether you're an aspiring vintner or would just like to learn a little more about how the magic gets in the bottle, here are grapes-to-glass wineries where you can stay, tour and toast with your host.

By: Steve Larese

Photo By: Matthew Lovette

Photo By: Natasha McGuire

Abeja Winery, Walla Walla, Washington

Located on 35 acres of farmland, Abeja Winery has turned former farm buildings into seven private, well-appointed farm-chic guesthouses. Guests may tour the three vineyards that grow primarily Viognier and Syrah grapes, and learn about Abeja’s pruning and growing techniques.

Youngberg Hill, McMinnville, Oregon

The nine-guestroom Youngberg Hill bed and breakfast overlooks 20 acres of vineyards of Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay that are grown organically and without irrigation, using only rainfall. Guests are welcome to tour the vineyard and ask about Youngberg Hill’s methods, and pitch in to help with the fall harvest. Stylish rooms include a gourmet breakfast, and most have views of the vineyard.

Comstock Wines, Healdsburg, California

Choose from one of four contemporary rooms at Comstock Wines, each featuring a fireplace, private entrance, wrap-around porch, spa bathrooms and a shared fully appointed chef’s kitchen and media room perfect for larger groups. The 17-acre estate winery offers yoga and wine tastings, and the Winery Tour and Taste takes guests out into the vineyards to learn about the history of Comstock and its winemaking philosophy and techniques, as well as its sustainable farming practices.

Gervasi Vineyard, Canton, Ohio

This 55-acre Tuscan-inspired winery and vineyard has 24 suites with fireplaces and a four-bedroom farmhouse with a complete kitchen for larger parties. Take a culinary or wine class through the on-site Cucina Culinary and Wine Education Center, and learn the finer points of growing wine grapes on a winery tour. Enjoy dinner at The Bistro, Piazza Outdoor Patio or Crush House Wine Bar and Eatery, and further relax with an in-room massage treatment.

Biltmore Winery, Asheville, North Carolina

Biltmore Winery is part of the Vanderbilt-built chateau that boasts 150 acres of vineyards and produces 150,000 cases of wine yearly. Guest may choose from the Village Hotel or the luxury Inn or Cottage, with rates starting at $189. Several wine-related classes and tours are offered, ranging from wine tastings to the Winery Production Tour, where enthusiasts go behind the scenes of the winery to learn the science and logistics of the estate’s wine label production. The Vine to Wine Tour visits the vineyards to discuss grape production. The West Range Tour takes guests via motor coach to the Biltmore’s west side to learn about its forestry, farming and sustainability programs.

Madison Vineyard Estate Winery, Madison, Indiana

Opened in 2005, with the vineyard dating to 1995, Madison Vineyard Estate Winery has four guestrooms in the winery with private baths that overlook the vineyard, plus two cottages for families and larger groups. Eleven varieties of grapes are grown on-site, and guests may request a tour of the vineyard and winery operation. Special event packages are offered throughout the year.

Estrella del Norte, Santa Fe, New Mexico

At Estrella del Norte, choose to stay in one of four Southwest-style casitas just north of Santa Fe surrounded by one of three vineyards. Lend a hand in the vineyard and take a wine class to learn about the history of winemaking in New Mexico, which arrived with the Spanish in the 1500s. Special events are planned year-round, including the fall harvest and Harvest Dinner. Make sure to take home a bottle of the popular Holy Molly, a red wine infused with red chile and chocolate.

Messina Hof Winery & Resort, Bryan, Texas

One of the state's oldest wineries, Messina Hof’s first vineyard was planted in 1977. Today, the winery produces 130,000 gallons annually at its three locations in Bryan, Fredericksburg and Grapevine. In Bryan, stay at the Villa B&B that has 11 suites with private patios and lakeside views and include homemade breakfasts and mimosas. In Fredericksberg, the Manor House B&B has four separate cottages with private entrances and kitchenettes. Learn about the history of winemaking in this region settled by German pioneers, help out with the harvest and tour the vineyards and historic cellars, where you can sample vintages straight from the casks.

Paradise Hills Resort & Spa, Blairsville, Georgia

Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Reisling, Chardonnel, Traminette and Sangiovese are grown on Paradise Hills Resort & Spa’s 35 acres of vineyard that surround cabins ranging from one to four bedrooms. Tour the vineyard and winery, and help stomp grapes during the late summer harvest. After, relax with a massage treatment at the on-site European-style spa.

Dunning Vineyards Estate Wines, Paso Robles, California

Stylish one-bedroom suites overlook 40 acres of vineyards and coastal mountain property at Dunning Vineyards Estate Wines, and have king beds, private patio terraces, marble baths and spa tubs and full kitchenettes. Take an agricultural tour that teaches proper pruning, canopy management, irrigation and harvesting of grapes before moving on to fermentation techniques, blending wines and other winemaking skills, followed by wine tastings.

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