Top Santa Rosa Wineries for Kids: Discover St. Francis & More

Santa Rosa, nestled in the heart of Sonoma County, isn’t just a paradise for wine lovers; it’s a haven for families too. I’ve discovered that you don’t have to leave the kids at home to enjoy a day touring vineyards and sipping on the region’s finest.

Believe it or not, many wineries here roll out the red carpet for families, offering activities and spaces that cater to the younger crowd. From picnic areas with breathtaking views to grape juice tastings for the little ones, there’s something for everyone. Let’s dive into the best wineries in Santa Rosa that promise a memorable experience for both you and your kids.

Paradise Ridge Winery

When my family and I stumbled upon Paradise Ridge Winery, I immediately knew we’d found something special. Situated atop the rolling hills of Santa Rosa, Paradise Ridge offers not just breathtaking views but an atmosphere that’s as welcoming to kids as it is to adults. It’s a place where wine tasting intertwines seamlessly with art, history, and nature, creating a unique experience that’s hard to find elsewhere.

The winery’s sculpture garden caught my eye first. It’s an open-air museum of sorts, featuring a collection of striking sculptures set among native plants and oak trees. My kids were fascinated, exploring the paths and discovering new art pieces around each bend. It felt like a treasure hunt, with the lush landscape of Sonoma County as the backdrop. For a parent trying to instill an appreciation of art and nature in their children, this was a golden opportunity.

But what really sets Paradise Ridge apart for families is its approach to wine tasting. Grape juice tastings are available for kids, allowing them to feel included in the adult-oriented activities. They loved having their own “tasting” while my partner and I sampled the winery’s signature wines. It’s these thoughtful touches that make Paradise Ridge a standout destination for families looking to enjoy Sonoma County’s wine country together.

For outdoor enthusiasts, the winery offers several hiking trails that wind through its estate. We packed a picnic and hit the trails, finding spots with stunning views of the valley below. It was the perfect way to mix a bit of adventure with our winery visit, and the kids burned off energy running up and down the paths.

At Paradise Ridge, it’s apparent that the winery values sustainability and community. They’re deeply committed to preserving the land and supporting local initiatives, which I appreciated learning about during our visit. It’s refreshing to see a business not just talk about sustainability but actively practice it.

Matanzas Creek Winery

After exploring the family-friendly features at Paradise Ridge, my journey through Santa Rosa’s wineries took me to Matanzas Creek Winery. Nestled in the rolling hills of Sonoma County, this place has a charm that’s hard to resist, especially for families.

Right off the bat, I was taken in by the breathtaking lavender fields that surround the winery. They’re not just for show; the lavender is harvested and used in a variety of products available in their gift shop. The sight is most spectacular in June when the lavender is in full bloom. Kids will love running through the fields, and it’s the perfect backdrop for family photos.

Matanzas Creek isn’t just about the views, though. They offer a range of activities that are sure to engage kids and adults alike. One of the highlights for my family was the Bocce Ball Court. It was refreshing to see the kids take a break from their screens and enjoy some outdoor fun. The winery has picnic tables nearby, allowing parents to relax and sip on their wine while keeping an eye on the playful competition.

Speaking of wine, Matanzas Creek is renowned for its Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc. But they haven’t forgotten about the little ones. During our visit, the staff offered grape juice for the kids, which was a nice touch that made them feel included in the tasting experience.

What truly sets Matanzas Creek apart, however, is their Butterfly Garden. This enchanting space is home to numerous butterfly species and serves as an educational experience for children. They can learn about the life cycle of butterflies and the importance of conservation. The garden is carefully maintained and provides a serene spot for families to unwind and connect with nature.

For those looking to delve deeper into the world of winemaking, Matanzas Creek offers a guided tour. It’s a fantastic opportunity to see the vineyards up close, learn about the winemaking process, and discover the estate’s commitment to sustainability. The tour is engaging and informative, making it an enriching experience for both kids and adults.

As our day at Matanzas Creek came to a close, I was reminded of the joy that comes from sharing new experiences with loved ones.

Kunde Family Winery

Following the serene trails from Matanzas Creek, my journey led me to another gem that I’m thrilled to share with you: Kunde Family Winery. Nestled amidst the rolling hills of Sonoma Valley, this winery is not just a wine lover’s retreat but a family paradise that warmly welcomes kids.

Right off the bat, I was impressed by Kunde’s commitment to sustainability and farming practices that have been passed down through five generations. It’s not every day you find a place that marries history with modern eco-friendly efforts so seamlessly.

Engaging Activities for the Little Ones

Kunde Family Winery goes beyond the ordinary to ensure that every family member, regardless of age, has something exciting to look forward to. Here are a couple of highlights:

  • Eco-Tour Adventures: These tours are a fantastic way for families to explore the diverse ecosystems of the winery. An off-road vehicle takes you through the vineyards, showcasing the natural beauty and biodiversity. It’s educational, interactive, and, most importantly, a whole lot of fun for the kids.
  • Junior Ranger Program: This was a highlight for my little ones. They learned about the local wildlife, plants, and the importance of conservation. It’s a hands-on experience that not only entertains but educates, instilling a love for nature in the youngest of hearts.

A Tasting Room with a View

For the adults in the group, the tasting room at Kunde offers a laid-back atmosphere where you can savor the exquisite flavors of their wines. The view from here is simply breathtaking, overlooking the lush vineyards with the backdrop of Sonoma’s mountainous terrain. The staff are incredibly knowledgeable, sharing the stories behind each wine, which adds a personal touch to the tasting experience.

Wine and Hikes: A Unique Combination

The standout experience for me, combining two of my passions, was the Hike & Taste adventure. This guided hike through the estate’s trail system offers stunning views, a moderate workout, and ends with a well-deserved wine tasting. It’s an extraordinary way to immerse oneself in the beauty of Sonoma Valley while savoring the fruits of this land.

Imagery Estate Winery

Continuing the journey through Santa Rosa’s family-friendly wineries, I stumbled upon a gem that’s a feast for both the palate and the eyes: Imagery Estate Winery. Nestled in the heart of Sonoma County, this winery goes above and beyond to blend art, wine, and a welcoming atmosphere perfect for families.

From the moment you step into Imagery Estate Winery, you’re greeted by vibrant artworks that adorn the walls, a testament to their philosophy that wine, like art, requires appreciation of the unique. Each bottle here showcases a label designed by contemporary artists, making a visit here as enriching for the mind as it is for the senses.

Family-Friendly Activities

Imagery isn’t just about savoring fine wines; it’s a place where families can bond over a variety of activities. They’ve tailored their experience to be inclusive of all ages, ensuring everyone leaves with cherished memories. Highlights include:

  • Art Gallery Tours: A guided tour of their on-site gallery introduces families to the intertwined world of art and winemaking.
  • Lawn Games: The spacious outdoor area is equipped with games that are perfect for keeping kids entertained while adults indulge in a tasting.

The wines at Imagery, much like their approach to family entertainment, are meticulously crafted. They pride themselves on producing unique varietals that challenge the palate, from the bold Barbera to the silky smooth White Burgundy. Tastings are conducted in an informative yet relaxed manner, allowing everyone, from novices to wine aficionados, to enjoy the nuances of each sip.

Sustainability at Heart

What truly sets Imagery apart, beyond the art and the wines, is their commitment to sustainability. They’re not just about creating a great product; they’re dedicated to preserving the environment for future generations. This commitment is reflected in their sustainable farming practices and the eco-friendly design of their facilities.

Imagery Estate Winery offers the perfect blend of education, relaxation, and fun, making it an unforgettable stop on any family’s tour of Santa Rosa. Whether you’re admiring the artwork, savoring a glass of wine, or playing a game of bocce with the kids, there’s something here that every family member will enjoy. It’s a place where the beauty of Sonoma County’s landscape, the allure of fine art, and the taste of exceptional wines come together in perfect harmony.

St. Francis Winery & Vineyards

After exploring the unique combination of art and wine at Imagery Estate Winery, my journey brought me to another family-friendly gem in Santa Rosa, the St. Francis Winery & Vineyards. Nestled in the heart of Sonoma Valley, this winery stands as a testament to the region’s rich wine-making heritage and its commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship.

St. Francis Winery & Vineyards is renowned for its breathtaking scenery, with stunning views of vineyards stretching out towards the majestic mountains. As I wandered through the grounds, I couldn’t help but admire the beauty of the place. It’s not just adults who’d find this view mesmerizing; it’s a visual treat for kids, too, providing a spacious and safe environment for them to explore and play.

What sets St. Francis apart—and makes it a must-visit destination for families—are its family-friendly tours and tastings. They offer a variety of experiences designed to welcome visitors of all ages. While adults savor the winery’s award-winning portfolio of wines, which includes robust Zinfandels and elegant Chardonnays, kids are treated to their own selection of grape juices. This inclusive approach ensures that everyone in the family gets to enjoy the tasting experience, making memories that last a lifetime.

Educational tours are another highlight at St. Francis. Guides expertly weave tales of the winery’s history, the wine-making process, and the importance of sustainability in their operations. It’s an engaging way for kids to learn about agriculture and environmental conservation, emphasizing the winery’s commitment to “Farm to Table” principles. The vineyard’s eco-friendly practices not only contribute to the production of high-quality wines but also serve as an excellent educational tool for young minds curious about nature and science.

Key Highlights Description
Scenic Views Stunning landscape perfect for family photos
Family-Friendly Tastings Offers grape juices for kids
Educational Tours Learn about sustainability and wine-making


Visiting Santa Rosa with the family doesn’t mean skipping the winery tours. Places like St. Francis Winery & Vineyards have made it a joy for both adults and kids. They’ve managed to blend educational tours with fun tastings, ensuring everyone leaves a bit more knowledgeable and happy. Their approach to sustainability also adds a valuable lesson for the young ones. It’s clear that a trip to Santa Rosa can be as enriching as it is enjoyable for families. So pack your bags and get ready to explore these vineyards where the welcome mat is out for visitors of all ages.

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Ben Rutstein is the publisher of this website, he started traveling to northern California in 2014, and the Santa Rosa is one of his favorite places to visit, from that time onwards he has explored everything from visiting cafes to yoga in parks, local hikes.

He is known to drop everything at a moments notice for a visit to a winery or a visit to a park.

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