Wine tasting is an enjoyable activity on its own – but paired with the opportunity to get in some steps, explore the vineyards where the grapes are grown, or tour the local wine region, all while learning about the winemaking process  – that's even better. Here are seven destinations in the US where visitors can enjoy a scenic hike and an unforgettable wine experience. 

View of the vineyards at Tor Wines © Courtesy of Tor Wines / Suzanne Becker Bronk

Napa Valley, California

Greg Melanson’s vineyard on Pritchard Hill is perched approximately 1500ft above the vineyard valley floor. It’s usually not open to the public to explore, but Melanson works with TOR Wines to bring a small number of people to his “top-of-the-world” style vineyard to enjoy the magnificent views, and hike its steep grade to gain a better understanding of the region.

After either heart pumping vineyard walk or a leisurely stroll, visitors will enjoy a tasting of TOR’s Grand Dames Chardonnays and Melanson Cabernets paired with small bites. TOR also offers a picnic or lunch for an additional cost to accompany the wine tasting. $200 per person

Green vines in a wine vineyard, with a blue sky above
Vineyards of Malibu’s Saddlerock Ranch © Courtesy of Saddlerock Ranch / Joe Flores and Haley Pointer

Malibu, California

Malibu Wine Hikes offers a two-mile guided loop hike suitable for all ages. This tour explores the vineyards of Malibu’s Saddlerock Ranch, climbing approximately 300ft in elevation, with consistent views of the Pacific Ocean and vineyards on all sides. Hikers will learn firsthand about the types of wines produced on property, and there are plenty of opportunities to take photos along the way.

Hikers will also catch a glimpse of the well-preserved Chumash illustrations at the “Cave of the Four Horsemen,” and have the chance to sample produce from the onsite organic garden. At the end of the trek, each person is awarded with an entire bottle of wine in the varietal of their choosing, with selections of white, red and rosé. $49 per person

The Spanish Revival architecture of Belmond El Encanto, surrounded by palm trees
Belmond El Encanto staffs a head sommelier to curate wine selections for a seasonal picnic © Courtesy of Belmond El Encanto

Santa Barbara, California

Belmond El Encanto in Santa Barbara, California, offers acres of open space to explore, and the opportunity to enjoy a guided hike within the nearby Santa Barbara hills in combination with a gourmet picnic lunch and wine pairing at the peak. Since Santa Barbara is a popular spot for growing and sipping wine, this property staffs a head sommelier to curate wine selections to match specific seasonal picnic basket menu items.

There are several trails onsite for guests to choose from, ranging from easy to challenging, led by expert guides who are familiar with the area – and all with scenic ocean and hillside vista views. $260 per couple

A hillside covered in grape vines during autumn
The Kunde vineyard during fall © Kunde Family Winery / Sonoma Valley Visitors Bureau

Sonoma, California

Located in Kenwood, in the heart of Sonoma Valley, the Kunde Family Winery's 1850-acre estate offers two different “wiking” experiences. The Dog Hike offers guests the opportunity to experience a firsthand adventure with fourth generation winegrower Jeff Kunde, his wife Roberta, and their dogs on a long trek. This moderately strenuous trip lasts for approximately four hours, and concludes with a much-deserved wine tasting and wine country lunch onsite. A portion of the fee for the Dog Hike will be donated to Dogwood Animal Rescue Project and Sonoma County Humane Society, both programs which rescue and rehabilitate abandoned or neglected animals.

Alternatively, the Hike & Taste in the Vineyards offers a more casual hiking experience through the Kunde family’s property with the chance to hear about the history and process of winemaking, onsite. $90 per person for the Dog Hike; $40 per person for the Hike & Taste

A hand with red nail polish holding a wineglass that reads "Tooth & Nail"
Savoring a glass at Tooth & Nail © Molly O'Brien / Lonely Planet

Paso Robles, California

Tooth & Nail Winery is an enormous castle-style estate on the Central Coast’s Paso Robles. The estate offers visitors the chance to embark on a guided walk through the sprawling hillside vineyard paths, down through the onsite barrel room and through the rooms of the castle, itself. On this two-hour excursion, guests will enjoy a foot tour of the expansive property paired with the experience to taste the company’s wines along the way and learn about their origins. $80 per person

A sign reading "Mt Tabor Trails"
The area connecting Round Barn and Tabor Hill wineries has nearly four miles of hiking trails © Courtesy of Moersch Hospitality Group

Buchanan, Michigan

Sister wineries Round Barn and Tabor Hill in Southwest Michigan offer nearly four miles of hiking trails connecting the two properties. Wine and food selections are available at both trailheads, making it possible to take a scenic stroll while simultaneously enjoying some of Southwest Michigan’s finest signature refreshments.

The Mt Tabor Trail system hosts three levels of difficulty ranging from easy, to moderate, to challenging, exploring the picturesque rural terrain of vineyards, fields and woods. The trails can be accessed from either the Round Barn Winery, Distillery and Brewery in Baroda or the Tabor Hill Winery & Restaurant in Buchanan, with optional stops at one or both wineries to enjoy the full experience. Price varies based on purchase

Rows of green vineyards
Hiking among the vines at Stone Tower Winery © Courtesy Stone Tower Winery

Loudoun County, Virginia

Stone Tower Winery just south of Leesburg, Virginia, has introduced a Self-Guided Vineyard Tour – a 1.25-mile beginner’s level hike through vines, hills and rugged terrain on which trekkers can take a tote bag containing a map, two glasses and a wine tasting kit.

“You get to enjoy the [seasonal] colors and a selection of our estate wines as you walk,” says Stone Tower Winery Hospitality and Catering Specialist Sam Miller.

At various points during the 45-minute hike, visitors can scan a QR Code on the map with their cell phones and an audio narration on the estate’s grape varietals and wines will play. The tasting kit itself contains four miniature bottles of wine – two whites and two reds to satisfy any kind of wine taste. $25 pp for nonmembers, $15 pp for club members, added cost depending of specific wine sampling selection varies per wine.

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