Wine may be the way of life in Napa and Sonoma counties, but on gorgeous country days, an indoor cellar or tasting room doesn't always feel like the place to be.
For the best of both worlds, we fancy a sip surrounded by cypress trees and rolling vineyards. Here are five wineries with patios perfect for al fresco swishing and swirling.
Perfectly pruned Cypress trees set a regal vibe a Clos Pegase.(Courtesy of Clos Pegase)
Fancy pants wine connoisseurs with a taste for the European will want to make reservations for tastings in the Cypress-lined courtyard garden at Clos Pegase, the Michael Graves–designed estate just outside Calistoga. There are several ways to sip alfresco here: with a picnic lunch, a tour of the vineyards, or with s'mores by the fire in your own private cabana. During warmer months, opt for a mineral-y sauv blanc; but you might also sip on a decadent Port or late-harvest chardonnay. // 10am to 5pm daily by appointment; 1060 Dunaweal Ln. (Calistoga), clospegase.com
With organic Bordeaux-style wines, monthly hi-fi happy hours, summer movie nights and concerts, pet-friendly Gun-Bun is a vibe. Chill out beneath the olive trees in the courtyard for the 90-minute Rhinefarm tasting ($50/person) which includes five to seven wines (plus the option of adding snacks) with views of the pond. Want to feel the wind in your hair? Book the Pinz Excursion ($105/person) for a moveable tasting through the vineyards on a vintage Swiss Army truck. // 11am to 4:30pm daily, reservations recommended; 2000 Denmark St. (Sonoma), gunbun.com
Cosentino's ivy-clad facade is just the first hint that nature plays a starring role in the tasting experience here. Constructed in 2015, the pet-friendly patio has plush seating, water features, a large stone hearth and heaters, making the coziest setting possible for enjoying a flight ($30-$40/person) year-round; if you're feeling decadent, add a pairing of Kollar Chocolates. Come summertime, Cosentino hosts events such as a lobster feed and barbecue. // 10:30am to 6pm daily by reservation;7415 Saint Helena Highway (Napa), cosentinowinery.com
There are few vineyards in Napa or Sonoma that maximize their bucolic surrounds quite like Viansa, where the terrace—with its sweeping views of Sonoma Valley, San Pablo Bay, and the Mayacamas Mountains, as well as a gourmet marketplace serving wood-fired pies—is only the beginning. Drop-ins are welcome, but reservations will take your alfresco tasting to a totally different level: Book a 90-minute hilltop tasting on the summit ($35/person) or a flight with savory snacks by a fire pit on the Vista Lounge ($50/person). Not a planner? Pop in anytime for a drink and bite in an Adirondack chair on the lawn. // Walk-ins welcome 10am to 5pm daily (reservations required for large groups and private tastings); 25200 Arnold Dr. (Sonoma), viansa.com