Nothing says wined and dined like an al-fresco, farm-to-table dinner amongst the vines.
Here are nine opportunities to do just that this summer.
KJ is hosting monthly meals through October in their notoriously gorgeous estate gardens (which will, of course, supply many of the ingredients) as part of their summertime Farm-to-Table Dinner Series ($175/person). Each event will have a different menu highlighting local purveyors, such as American Wagyu from Snake River Farms on July 14 or Liberty Duck from Sonoma County Poultry on August 11. The evening will begin with hors d'oeuvres, followed by a light starter, a family-style dinner, and dessert. Of course, the wine will be flowing all night long, carefully paired with each course. // 5007 Fulton Rd. (Fulton), kj.com
Robert Mondavi Winery
Robert Mondavi is always looking for fun ways to bring guests into their famed To Kalon estate vineyard, so every Thursday through October, there's a hands-on Garden to Table Dinner ($150/person). You'll begin with a walking tour of the winery gardens to harvest ingredients for the meal, and then move into the kitchen to watch the culinary team start to prep. The tour finishes with a peek at the winery facilities and, finally, you'll settle in among the vines for a three-course dinner with wine pairings.
If Thursdays don't work, on Saturday, August 25, Mondavi is hosting Dinner Under the Stars ($145/person) to celebrate the release of their Reserve 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon. Dine on a multi-course meal at gorgeously-set farm tables, and then head inside for dessert and dancing. // 7801 St. Helena Hwy (Oakville), robertmondaviwinery.com
Russian River Vineyards
This epic evening on June 24 is set up as a progressive dinner ($250/person) where you'll nosh from one setting to another throughout the night. Your first stop will be the on-site farm to nibble on raw, pickled, and marinated veggies pulled from the garden along with buttermilk and vegan sunflower dressings. Next, head to the crush pad for wood-fired snacks like naan and garlic flatbreads, and then into the cellar with winemaker Giovanni Balistreri for barrel samples and canapes. Finally, sit down for a massive family-style dinner from executive chef Ben Davies, who cut his teeth in several Michelin starred restaurants. Expect dishes like Oaxacan green polenta, honey glazed carrots with toasted cashews, plus three carving stations serving up salmon, pork shoulder, and prime ribeye. // 5700 Hwy 116 N. (Forestville), russianrivervineyards.com
(Courtesy of B.R. Cohn Winery)
B.R. Cohn Winery
B.R. Cohn is upping the ante with their sunset-timed Farm to Table Dinner Series ($75/person), bringing in none other than Sonoma's famous The Girl & The Fig to prepare the meal. On July 7, the menu is built around a spiced duck sugo; on July 28, Sonoma porchetta. The event takes place inside an open-air barn with vineyards views as far as you can see. // 15000 Sonoma Hwy (Glen Ellen), brcohn.com
Seghesio Family Vineyards
Head over to Healdsburg on July 7 for Seghesio Family Vineyards' Chef's Dinner ($200/person), set on their idyllic Tuscan-style terrace. Drawing from executive chef Peter Janiak's roots, this dinner has a New England theme—think tasty seafood dishes—with each course thoughtfully paired with Seghesio wines, including refreshing summer whites, zinfandels, and the Italian varietals for which they're known. // 700 Grove St. (Healdsburg), seghesio.com
Jamieson Ranch Vineyards
Pinot noir lovers will want a seat at Jamieson Ranch Vineyards' Sunset Supper ($125/person) on July 21. A five-course meal pairs JRV pinots (starting with a refreshing rosé of pinot) with dishes like sweet white corn velouté, cassoulet of duck confit, and pinot noir–braised pork shoulder. The whole evening will take place on the veranda, overlooking panoramic vineyard views. // 1 Kirkland Ranch Rd. (American Canyon), jamiesonranchvineyards.com
(Courtesry of Pine Ridge Vineyards)
Pine Ridge Vineyards
If you're a sucker for big Napa cabs, then you won't want to miss the intimate Summer Cabernet Dinner ($250/person) at Pine Ridge Vineyards on July 28. Enjoy a four-course meal including a juicy Niman Ranch steak, live music, and a lineup of Pine Ridge's fantastic Stags Leap cabs. The winery will also host a vineyard lunch right around harvest time (September 15, $185/person); this too will feature a four-course meal, but this time with a leg of lamb. // 5901 Silverado Trail (Napa), pineridgevineyards.com
Can't make it to France this summer? Imagery Estate's French Connection Dinner ($100/person) on August 11 will transport you there Cinderella-style (you know, for the night). The soirée includes a family-style dinner of French cuisine and dessert, like roast chicken with herbs de Provence, ratatouille, and macarons. // 14335 Hwy 12 (Glen Ellen), imagerywinery.com
(Courtesy of Landmark Vineyards)
While all of these wineries no doubt have spectacular views, wine, and food, only Landmark is coming at you with one of life's greatest pleasures: lobster. Their annual Lobster Feed ($125/person) takes place on September 21. Strap on a bib and dig into fresh lobster with sides of prawns, hot links, artichokes, potatoes, corn, sourdough baguettes, and of course, tubs of butter—which all washes down smoothly with Landmark's single vineyard chardonnays. // 101 Adobe Canyon Rd. (Kenwood), landmarkwine.com