People travel from all over the world to go wine tasting in the Napa Valley but here in Oregon, we don’t have to go that far to sip award-winning wines in an idyllic setting. The Willamette Valley is our go-to local destination and we’ve found the best spots that not only welcome kids, they offer plenty of family-fun. So don’t book a sitter, just read on to find out where to go wine tasting with the whole familia.

photo: Al Case via flickr

Ponzi Vineyards
The Ponzi family started one of the original Oregon wine labels, and their beautiful new tasting room featuring fireside seating, a covered terrace and bocce ball courts makes it perfect for moms, dads and kids. This winery also features a kids’ table with crayons and paper in addition to panoramic views of the vineyard and valley. Outside there are bocce courts and picnic tables. Plus, there is plenty of room for the kids to run and play with the vineyard right next to the tasting room.

Where:19500 SW Mountain Home Rd. Sherwood
Hours: 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Price: $20/tasting flight.
Online: ponziwines.com

WillaKenzie Estate
Have you ever played Pétanque?  Take your family to WillaKenzie Estate and you can all learn together!  You can also have a picnic on the patio, on the lawn, or even around the fire pit if it’s a bit cool outside.  During the warmer months, WillaKenzie even has food trucks that set up shop for your dining pleasure.  The tasting room has a wide selection of red and white wines to suit your palate while the kids enjoy the great outdoors.

Where: 19143 NE Laughlin Rd., Yamhill
Hours: Daily 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Price: From $20/tasting flight.
Online: willakenzie.com

photo: Ed Schipul via flickr

Stoller Family Estate
Stoller is truly a family-friendly winery. With broad, green lawns to run and play, an on-site Frisbee golf course for the big kids, a playground for the littles, and even a tire swing, your family won’t want to go home! And with Stoller’s varieties of crisp, flavorful wines, you won’t want to, either. Try the refreshing stainless steel Chardonnay, or maybe you prefer a dry Rosé. And don’t forget to sample their most famous variety, the Pinot Noir. I suggest the Dundee Pinot, bold and well-rounded, just like our beautiful state!

Where: 16161 NE McDougall Rd., Dayton.
Hours: Daily, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Price: $15/tasting flight (waived with 2 bottle purchase).
Online: stollerfamilyestate.com

photo: Sheila Sund via flickr

Brooks Winery
The Brooks Winery rose out of tragedy when its owner, Jimi Brooks, passed away unexpectedly in 2004, leaving the winery to his son, Pascal, then only 8 years old. Maybe it’s no surprise, then, that the winery is particularly accommodating to families with children. There are various fun activities to keep the kiddos busy while you enjoy your tastings, including cornhole, darts, and a lovely picnic area. The staff will serve lemonade so the wee ones can taste along with you, and afterward you can all play a game of badminton to give you some energy for the drive home. The tasting room is also a convenient 15 minutes from the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum and the Evergreen Wings & Waves Waterpark, both located on the Museum Campus in McMinnville, making it a perfect day trip for the family. Of course, we know this day won’t be all about the kids! Brooks offers an assortment of Oregon’s signature variety, Pinot Noir, and they also continue to produce award-winning Rieslings, a passion of Brooks’ founder.

Where: 21101 SE Cherry Blossom Lane, Amity.
Hours: Daily, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Price: $20/tasting flight.
Online: brookswine.com

Van Duzer
Spend an afternoon sipping wine and hiking with your little outdoor enthusiasts. Located next to the Baskett Slough, a national wildlife refuge, Van Duzer offers and opportunity for you to imbibe on their fruit-forward wines while your kiddos catch a glimpse of the local wildlife including birds and breathtaking butterflies. You can pick up a trail map at their tasting room while you try the pinot noir and pinot gris and then explore the refuge’s many paths.

Where: 11975 Smithfield Rd., Dallas, Or.
Hours: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Daily
Price: $20/tasting flight.
Online: www.vanduzer.com

photo: Stacy via flickr

Alloro Vineyard
If you’d really like to take a family trip to Italy, try visiting Alloro Vineyard instead.  This inviting villa in the country will make you feel like a welcome house guest.  Grab a glass of Pinot or a crisp Chardonnay, and take the kiddos out to stroll among the cypress trees, or take a tour through the vineyards and around the Italian herb garden. The friendly vineyard dog will chase sticks from your littles all afternoon, while you relax and absorb the  ambiance rurale.  

Where: 22075 SW Lebeau Rd., Sherwood.
Hours: Thur-Mon, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Price: $15/tasting flight.
Online: allorovineyard.com

Grape EscapesTours
As you can see, family-friendly wine tasting in the Willamette Valley is no problem! If you know some other families that want to go along, there are even family-friendly tours available. Grape Escapes offers a variety of private and joinable tours, and they can craft your trip just the way you want it. They welcome kids, and are knowledgeable about which wineries will be the best for you. So, don’t be afraid to take your whole family along on your next vineyard tour, they might just have as much fun as you do!

Price: Starting at $75/guest
Online: grapeescapetours.com

Be sure to tell us all about your family’s trip in the comments below. Saluti!

—Lisa Riley