Wine Country Goes Kid-Friendly

Wine and… whine?

Wineries are beginning to figure out the value of opening their doors to children. Believe it or not, dotted throughout the valley are dozens of wineries that cater to the kiddie set. Of the 408 wineries listed by the Napa Valley Vintners Association, a whopping 72 are classified as "family friendly," with everything from petting zoos to train and hay rides.

Castello di Amorosa, a colossal castle rising dramatically from the valley floor, boasts a working drawbridge and just-for-fun torture chamber. The 107-room Tuscan-style castle also features a family tasting room with kids’ coloring table and a chance for the younger set to "taste" grape juice while the adults imbibe the more potent stuff. The 90-minute tour is for those 5 and up and includes a visit to the underground caves and the torture chamber (castellodiamorosa.com).

At Sterling Vineyards, an aerial tram takes you and your family to the hilltop vineyard, which was modeled after the Greek island of Mykonos. Once you reach the top, you can stroll through art galleries or take a self-guided tour (sterlingvineyards.com).

For more vineyards, visit napavintners.com. And before you go, call ahead since fall is grape picking and crushing time. 

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