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October 11, 2017

9 Wineries With Fabulous Food

Because great wine deserves more than cheese & crackers

There’s no better way to pass an autumn afternoon than sitting back with a glass of great wine, gazing into the sunset surrounded by perfectly manicured rows of grapevines heavy with fruit, and feasting on an exquisitely prepared meal as you take it all in. And while many vineyards offer picnic areas for those clever enough to pack ahead, a few standouts have gone so far as to establish their own on-site eateries. So if you’re in search of a boozy vacation destination with all the trappings of a grand epicurean excursion, check out these nine outstanding winery restaurants.

The Bistro at Flat Creek Estate in Marble Falls, TX

Wood-fired pizzas topped with prosciutto, walnuts and fresh peaches, pan-seared redfish and sandwiches layered with bacon, Swiss cheese and raspberry-jalapeño jam line the menu inside this picturesque Hill Country outpost, where guests can sip on some of the up-and-coming region’s top vino while overlooking the rolling 80-acre estate. The decor is pure Texas charm, with smooth floor tiles the color of warm desert sand, arched brick-laden windows, dangling iron chandeliers and a stately brick fireplace. And if you’re looking to burn off some of that three-course lunch, all you have to do is amble over to the championship-level disc golf course running throughout the property.

24912 Singleton Bend E., Marble Falls, TX; 512-267-6310

Brooklyn Winery in Brooklyn, NY

This urban oasis has been introducing city-dwellers to the pleasures of fresh vino from inside its swaggy Williamsburg digs since 2010. Tastings and tours are standard fare, but pop into the 1,200-square-foot wine bar for a bite and you’ll find neighborhood hipsters and curious out-of-towners perched atop vintage classroom-style stools around the palatial reclaimed wood bar, bending elbows over duck liver pâté, crispy Brussels sprouts, buttermilk fried chicken and glasses of unoaked Chardonnay and old vine Zinfandel. Festooned with hanging succulents under a glass atrium ceiling, the effortlessly cool haunt also offers a full bar menu to keep the party raging all night.

213 N. 8th St., Brooklyn, NY; 347-763-1506

Fiction at J. Bookwalter in Richland, WA

This stylish Pacific Northwest gem shows off its grapefruit-scented Chenin Blancs, bright Rieslings and richly floral Cabernet Francs alongside a lineup of elevated, chef-driven pub favorites like savory avocado fries, tender Wagyu short ribs and duck confit hash. The menu changes with the seasons, drawing inspiration from Washington State’s abundant natural resources, and the vibe is perpetually coffeehouse-cool, an earthy interior palette of browns, blacks and burnt orange giving way to a relaxing patio, complete with a roster of live bands to bring a little Downtown flavor to this rural hideaway. A full bar, including specialty cocktails and curated whiskey flights, is also on hand should you be looking to wind down the evening with something a little stronger.

894 Tulip Lane, Richland, WA; 509-627-5000

The Restaurant at Russian River Vineyards in Forestville, CA

The Russian River Valley’s only winery-based restaurant, this culinary stunner pairs award-winning Pinot Noirs and Merlots with skillfully executed farm-to-table cuisine for lunch, brunch and dinner. Diners dig into garden-fresh delicacies like burrata smothered in oven-baked local peaches, crispy fried chicken and poached halibut tartine while tasting their way through flights upon flights of the good stuff and soaking up the epic Northern California scenery. At its core, it’s more family-farm than chi-chi vineyard, a sentiment that seeps into every design touch, from the 19th-century on-site farmhouse to the exposed interior beams, corrugated tin finishes and picnic table–strewn patio surrounded by lush greenery.

5700 Hwy. 116 N., Forestville, CA; 707-887-3344

Ravinous Kitchen at Ravines Wine Cellar in Geneva, NY

Food-friendly wine meets wine-friendly food inside this Seneca Lake tasting room, where a midday assortment of local cheeses and charcuterie, pressed pork belly sandwiches and oven-fresh bread pudding provide the ideal backdrop for the winery’s highly rated Rieslings, Gewürztraminers, Pinots and Cabernet Francs. Lunch is a major draw, of course, but the real fun happens during The Ravinous Table, a Saturday-only series of lavish multicourse lunches and dinners from seasoned New York chef Scott Riesenberger accompanied by guided wine pairings. Airy and friendly with a simple chalkboard menu and handsome untreated wood furnishings, the low-key barnlike setting — along with its stellar, locally driven cuisine — embodies the Finger Lakes’ enchanting country-chic mode.

400 Barracks Rd., Geneva, NY; 315-781-7007

The Restaurant at Justin in Paso Robles, CA

At once a vineyard, eatery and hotel, this Central Coast estate is a one-stop-shop for anyone in the market for a luxurious weekend getaway. Lunch, dinner and weekend brunch take place in the dazzlingly modern dining room, where executive chef Will Torres whips up daytime options like spicy tomato bisque and tostadas stuffed with housemade carnitas as well as sophisticated dinnertime tasting menus featuring seasonal picks like olive oil–poached California halibut and za'atar-spiced chicken from nearby Rinconada Dairy Farm, each matched with a selection from the winery’s lauded collection. The decor — grass-green leather chairs contrasting with cream-colored tablecloths beneath delicate, cloudlike light fixtures and large sliding doors opening onto a sun-kissed patio — mirrors the cuisine’s contemporary elegance.

11680 Chimney Rock Rd., Paso Robles, CA; 805-238-6932
The Restaurant King Estate in Eugene, OR

This certified biodynamic winery’s seasonal New American menu showcases the many riches of the Willamette Valley, from artful presentations of cauliflower tagine, hand-cut tagliatelle and seared salmon with summer risotto to housemade pastrami on fresh baked rye bread and warm Oregon-grown hazelnuts, complemented by a bevy of world-class Pinot Noirs and Pinot Gris, both in bottle and on tap. Alfresco dining is the way to go for lunch and brunch, the sprawling patio providing unparalleled views of the valley below, while chilly evenings call for retreating into the cozy, firelit interior where polished marble floors, sleek leather chairs, crisp white tablecloths and vibrant centerpieces set an upscale yet understated tone. And in true farm-to-fork fashion, much of the kitchen’s bounty comes from the property’s 30-acre organic garden and orchards, creating an undoubtedly authentic Pacific Northwest experience.

80854 Territorial Hwy., Eugene, OR; 541-685-5189

Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch in St. Helena, CA

This celebrated Napa Valley winery is really made up of five different properties spread throughout the area, so while its crowd-pleasing St. Helena dining destination isn’t technically flanked by grapevines, the company’s unique setup keeps it in the running as one of the region’s best winery restaurants. Inside it’s farm-to-table everything, as the name would imply, with seasonal menus running the gamut from caramelized beets with local goat cheese crema to black garlic cavatelli with foraged mushrooms and grass-fed steak tartare. The wine is also on par, including both house vintages as well as select guest labels from around Northern California. Housed in an historic Gothic revival farmhouse, the warmly lit, open space also features a general store with estate olive oil and other sundries as well as a cheery outdoor cafe for light bites and coffee.

738 Main St., St. Helena, CA; 707-963-4555

The Gabriel Archer Tavern at Wessex Hundred, Williamsburg Winery in Williamsburg, VA

Far from just a vineyard, Williamsburg Winery is also home to an historic inn, a 300-acre farm and three different dining options: the sunlit, French-inspired Café Provençal, an oyster-focused open-air lounge called Wine & Brine and the Gabriel Archer, a full-service eatery specializing in approachable lunch and brunch options with hints of Southern flair. Dishes like chile-spiced Virginia rockfish tacos share menu space with housemade pimento cheese, shepherd’s pie made with local lamb and buttery shrimp and grits, along with cocktails and, as expected, plenty of reds, whites and dessert wines. Much like the town that surrounds it, the casual space sports a homey Colonial aesthetic, with quaint wooden tables, a red brick floor, wraparound windows overlooking the grounds and a breezy patio set under a romantic wisteria-covered trellis.

5800 Wessex Hundred, Williamsburg, VA; 757-229-099

Copyright 2017 Zagat Inc. All rights reserved. From By Meredith Heil.
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