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4 Napa and Sonoma Wineries That Meeting Groups Will Savor
Bricoleur Vineyards Tasting Barn, Sonoma County, California. Credit: Bricoleur Vineyards.
The Wine Country of Napa and Sonoma counties epitomizes the good life, in California and beyond.
Give your groups a taste of this good life at the following four wineries with facilities and activities that are ripe for retreats and offsite receptions in one of the most beautiful regions on Earth that also boasts a climate reliable for outdoor gatherings nearly year-round.
Located minutes from quaint downtown Yountville, Chandon is a sparkling wine producer that offers a variety of dining and group gathering options.
Venue options include seven meeting rooms, with the winery currently undergoing a major renovation of its meetings and events space. Venue options include four unique outdoor venues and a total of 40,000 square feet of space accommodating up to 900 guests for a full property buyout.
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The winery also features an events specialist that can arrange for teambuilding and activity options such as yoga, crafts, vineyards excursions and group mixology classes and tastings.
Chandon can also tap the local farms for a memorable dining experience produced by its chefs, who are happy to work with meeting planners to design custom menus.
Venues include the following:
- Oak Grove: Outdoor dining under a canopy of 100-year-old oaks with vineyard views for groups of 100-250. Set up a long table to create a magical vineyard dinner.
- Chandon Garden: Groups from 100-350 can congregate amongst California grasses and native oak trees in the winery’s largest venue.
- Yountville Terrace: This partially covered patio is set on the edge of the Chandon Garden Lawn and can handle groups from 50-100.
- The Courtyard: Groups from 80 to 150 guests can gather on the flowing hillside.
- Inside Our Home: These indoor spaces are highlighted by their timeless architecture and great for welcome receptions, intimate dinners or late-night dancing. Seated dining: 50 guests; standing reception or dancing: 50-100.
Merryvale’s Historic Cask Room is a spectacular setting for special events, with century-old, 2,000-gallon wine casks lining its stone walls. Groups of up to 112 can enjoy Napa Valley cuisine during an Old-World-style, candlelit banquet event that typically begins with an hors d’oeuvres reception paired with Merryvale’s award-winning wines.
Groups often opt for a behind-the-scenes tour of the winery before the festivities begin, and Merryvale also offers a 3,200-square-foot meeting room.
One Sonoma County winery that excels in corporate and meeting retreats is Bricoleur Vineyards, which also offers a variety of multicourse wine and dinner experiences for groups and even features accommodations for small- to medium-sized groups.
The winery’s main venues options include the following:
- Executive Tasting Room/Conference Room: Equipped with video and teleconferencing capabilities, this venue can accommodate up to 50 participants. Recent corporate clients have included Pfizer, Federal Express, Redwood Credit Union, Genstar Capital and more.
- Tasting Barn: Larger groups of up to 250 can scratch their fine food and wine itch in this 10,000-square-foot barn, with options that include a wine reception with passed hors d’oeuvres, large sit-down dinners and galas, and auctions. The winery hosts the Project Zin auction every August.
- Pavilion: Groups of up to 100 can enjoy dining and cocktail hours, as well as group yoga and meditation programs, in this option that also features a lawn area.
- Bocce Courts: Dual bocce courts can accommodate up to 40 for a picnic, wine tasting or pizza party.
This family-run Santa Rosa winery originated from a five-acre farm, which owner John Balletto expanded through purchasing adjacent land, making the 700-acre expanse the largest vegetable farm in Northern California. The family, which already owned 35 acres of wine-producing land in nearby Sebastopol, eventually converted all of the land to primarily Pinot Noir and Chardonnay production.
Balletto completed a new two-story Reserve Room event center in March 2020 that offers a capacity of 175. The center also has a garden/patio area that can accommodate up to 175 both for elegant affairs or more-casual events such as corn hole tournaments.
For something completely different, Balletto also features a baseball field that backs up to a vineyard, which the owner built for his baseball-loving staff. Think Field of Dreams, Wine Country-style, according to the winery.