Where can you find the best road tripping wine routes around the world that the whole family can enjoy?
We won’t deny we love a wine-tasting road trip. But don’t go thinking these are only the domain of young hipsters and retired couples. There are plenty of wine routes around the world that are ideal for family travellers too.
Winery routes can be great for multi-generation trips as well as travelling in larger groups. You can combine multiple activities in one day with a stunning countryside backdrop, amazing farm-fresh cuisine and, of course, a drop of your favourite tipple.
We share a great selection of our favourite regions from around the world, as well as our top tips for making a wine-tasting road trip a pleasant experience for everyone.
Jump straight to your favourite region, or read on!
This post is part of our Best family destinations series – see all our inspiring worldwide travel ideas here
Top tips for wine tasting road trip with kids
Before we head into the details, it’s really important to touch on a couple of safety and comfort tips to make sure everyone can get the most out a wine-tasting road trip with kids.
- It should absolutely go without saying, pick your designated driver, or
- Take an organised tour with a driver/guide.
- Know your quantities. GENERALLY SPEAKING 5 samples = 1 standard drink, but it will hugely vary by winery how much they pour!
- Pick your wineries or cellar doors carefully. Not all are as welcoming of children nor set up with the younger guests in mind.
- Bring the kids a busy bag. We never expect everywhere to want to cater to our kids but it doesn’t mean every stop has to have a playground, so pack a little activity kit that can keep kids busy on the grown-up orientated stops.
- Ask if there is non-alcoholic grape juice or a “water tasting” the kids could do alongside you.
- Involve the children in what you’re doing; how you talk about the wine, the growing of the grapes, the harvesting and bottling process – seek out places that may offer behind-the-scenes tours.
- Do plan in a proper meal stop to your day. Nibbling on cheese as you go will certain help but get everyone’s stomach properly lined to fit in a big day.
- Try build in at least one stop per day that’s exclusively about kids – look out for ice creameries, candy stores or playgrounds that can punctuate your winery stops.
- Never let your kids touch the vines uninvited! Even if staff say it’s OK to wander in the vineyards (always check first), teach children good etiquette at an early age.
- It is essential to note that on most active wineries, you will find they have a dam or large body of water for irrigation that is unlikely to be fenced, keep an eye on children at ALL TIMES.
- Know when to call it a day. Just because you want “one more”, tired cranky kids help no one. You are better spreading things out over a few days so there is no rush to get through everything (this can also let you alternate the driver in your group each day).
Now let’s get stuck into it and find the perfect road trip route for your next family vacation!!
Australian winery road trip ideas
There are more than 60 incredible wine-growing districts in Australia, largely in the temperate southern half of the country, so it’s no wonder we have a lot of suggestions to share from Downunder!
Hunter Valley, New South Wales
Suggested by Kirsty from Travel with Meraki
Around 3.5 hours north of Sydney, The Hunter Valley is Australia’s oldest wine-growing region with a history stretching as far back as the early 1800’s.
If you are looking for good food ( with smelly cheese, gelato and chocolate being some of their most well-known produce), good wine and lots of activities to do this makes a great weekend getaway from Sydney, Newcastle or the Central Coast.
With over 150 cellar doors it can be hard to choose where to go ( but that means you have to visit more than once, right?). Some of the best family-friendly vineyards are Briar Ridge Vineyard and Winery, Drayton Family Wines and Scarborough Wine Co. You will often find these places not only have wide open spaces for the kids to enjoy, but you can order yummy platters that all age groups will enjoy.
Places like The Hunter Valley Gardens are a fun way to get close to nature while enjoying themed gardens like Storybook land and yearly events such as the magical Christmas Lights display.
You can also enjoy lots of family activities like horse riding, go-carting, or exploring the local produce factories. Live music events are regularly held in the vineyards with both big international stars and local acts. Kids can often get into these free of charge which makes it an affordable and fun family date
Mornington Peninsula, Victoria
Suggested by Marianne from Mum on the Move
The Mornington Peninsula is around a one-hour drive from Melbourne in Australia and is not only a popular weekend getaway for Melbourne residents, it is also one of Australia’s best wine regions.
Renowned for its fabulous Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, there are more than 200 wineries and around 45 cellar doors to check out here. Some of the most renowned wineries include Paringa Estate, Ten Minutes by Tractor, Foxey’s Hangout and Port Phillip Estate & Kooyong.
Mornington Peninsula can be visited as a day trip from Melbourne, but I would definitely recommend spending a few days to enjoy everything the area has to offer.
Beyond the wineries, there are loads of attractions to keep you entertained, including relaxing in the hot springs, playing on the fabulous beaches, the ropes course at the Enchanted Adventure Garden and enjoying the views from the cable car, the Arthur’s Seat Eagle.
Coonawarra South Australia
Suggested by Erin from Love to Travel, Stay-Eat-Do
Coonawarra is in South Australia, just over the Victorian border; and, is the leading Cabernet Sauvignon region in Australia. Coonawarra is a four-hour drive from Adelaide and 5 hours from Melbourne.
There are 36 wineries and vineyards in the area, many with cellar doors open to the public for sales and tastings. If you are looking for a fabulous family-friendly tour company, contact Kerry and Simon at Coonawarra Experiences; they will tailor a tour to suit your needs, preferences and group size – they are friendly and are passionate about wine and providing their customers with the best local experience.
There are a growing number of wineries and cellar doors going out of their way to cater to families with young children, where space and activities are provided for little people to run and play. Our top picks include: Raidis Estate, Brands Laira, Bellwether, The Blok Estate and Balnaves of Coonawarra.
Penola, a lovely small country town full of history and exploration opportunities, is the best place to stay to really experience the region. Accommodation options range and there are choices for all budgets, from the caravan park to hotels/motels to several bed and breakfasts in the area.
Two or three days to explore the wineries and Penola should be sufficient with children. However, from Penola, you can head west for an hour to Robe on the Limestone Coast, there are some beautiful beaches and coastlines to discover; or, head North for half an hour and adventure through the Naracoorte Caves.
Barossa South Australia
Suggested by Melissa from Thrifty Family Travel
The Barossa Valley just north of Adelaide is not just for romantic getaways – its also a great spot for a family trip. The Barossa is not only a stunning area in South Adelaide but also one of the best wine-producing regions in Australia.
To reach the Barossa, you’ll need to fly into Adelaide. From there I recommend you hire a car as the Barossa is an hours drive away from the CBD. You can also take a day tour from the city on a bus – but believe me, there is plenty to do in the Barossa making it well worth staying a day or two.
There is lots of lovely accommodation in the Barossa which is perfect for families. We stayed at Seppelts View Cabins which is a lovely property set on 8 acres. For kids, there is a playground, trampoline and even a rock-climbing wall as well as a few cute farm animals to pat and cuddle.
When it comes to the wineries, you will be surprised at just how many of them are family-friendly. Most of the ones we visited had out play equipment for the kids, or even a just a quiet corner with books and toys for the kids to play with. Some of the favourites that we visited were Whistler Wines, Pindarie Wines and Artisans of Barossa.
Some other great places to visit with the family include Maggie’s Farm Shop, the Barossa Valley Cheese Company and the Whispering Wall
Margaret River, Western Australia
Suggested by Marianne & Keri from Little City Trips
Margaret River is one of Australia’s best wine growing districts. With over 200 wineries, you will never be short of a family-friendly option.
Situated 3 hours south of Perth, you need two days minimum to do the region any sort of justice, but ideally, a full week to enjoy all the family-friendly attractions that are on offer, interspersed between the vineyards and cellar doors.
Some favourites for families include Will’s Domain with its award-winning wine, delicious cuisine, and a playground to keep the kids busy while the grown-ups enjoy a leisurely lunch, kids meals are also on offer. Xanadu offers a great playground and lawn area to keep the kids entertained and Swings & Roundabouts, renowned for its woodfire pizzas and giant board games.
There is also a growing number of microbreweries which make superb family-friendly stops with large alfresco dining and playground areas including Cheeky Monkey Brewery (Paired with Killerby Wine), Bootleg Brewery & Colonial Brewing Co to name just a few.
There are plenty of non-drinking stops to work into your days too with the Margaret River Chocolate Factory, Simmos Ice Creamery, the Candy Cow in Cowaramup, the A Maze’n Margaret River and the limestone caves to explore, as well as the world-famous surf beaches.
Great Southern, Western Australia
Suggested by Ariana from World of Travel with Kids
Not especially well known, the Great Southern Wine region is also Australia’s largest, covering over 200 square kilometres of spectacular natural landscapes. Growing cold climate wines, Rieslings and Cab Savs are especially good.
As the Great Southern Wine region is such a big area, there is scope for several day trips from a base in Albany, or travelling through the region from point A to point B. If heading south from Perth, we’ve made a stop at Plantagenet Wines for a late lunch. They have a simple practical menu including some good kids options and have a playground and big grassed area.
Then onto Albany which is an attractive coastal town with plenty of things to see, including the stunning coastal attractions at Tondirrup National Park.
From Albany, a great day trip is to Walpole to visit the super fun Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk. The Boston Brewery, which is also home to Willoughby Wines, provides an awesome place for the kids to play and the folks to sample a wine or craft beer.
The Lake House is another popular Denmark winery with grassed areas to play. Rockcliffe Winery often has afternoon bands during summer and is a popular place for local families to meet and enjoy a drop (while the kids play!)
Swan Valley, Western Australia
Suggested by Sally-Ann from Tips 4 Trips
The oldest wine region in Western Australia is the Swan Valley a 20-minute drive east of Perth. If you don’t access to a car you can catch the local train to Guildford Station and then the Swan Valley Explorer bus for $20 or hire a push bike from the Swan Valley Visitor Centre near the Guildford Station.
The Swan Valley makes a popular family day trip destination from Perth. The kids can play mini-golf or supa golf and older kids will enjoy paintball.
But what I really love is the Swan Valley food options. You’ll find honey, cheese and olive farms, gourmet nuts, nougat, and preserve producers, and then there’s the chocolate and ice-cream. To whet your taste buds even further there are breweries such as Feral’s or wineries like Houghtons and Oakover that have large grounds for the kids to play whilst you sip your beverages and enjoy local bands playing in the fields.
If you want to taste and do everything in the area you could spend a couple of days here. Fortunately, there are lots of accommodation options should you wish to stay. Choices include small farm cottages, two caravan parks and upmarket options Mandoon Estate, the Swan Valley Resort or Novotel Swan Valley Vines Resort.
New Zealand winery road trip ideas
Marlborough, South Island
Suggested by Catherine from Travelling with the Littles
My love of white wine was born on a road trip taken through the Marlborough region of New Zealand. Before this trip, I was a solid beer drinker; after this trip, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc was my new obsession.
The Wairau Valley is located in the Marlborough region of New Zealand, in the northeastern section of New Zealand’s south island. It is known for its Sauvignon Blanc, and to a lesser extent, it’s Pinot Noir.
Fly into and stay in Blenheim. Blenheim is a cute little town with a good selection of restaurants and accommodations; I’d recommend staying at the Chateau Marlborough.
I would arrive in Blenheim in the afternoon and do a bike tour, of the valley, the following day. Biking through the valley is the best way to visit the vineyards and cellar doors. I recommend Wine Tours by Bike; you can book a tour here. Included with the adult rental is a child seat, child trailer, or a tow-along.
The Highfield TerraVin would be good for families as there is a lovely patio and room for kids to stretch their legs. Brancott would also be family-friendly; however, it’s up a hill and may be difficult on a bike, towing a kid. The bike tour company mentioned above was excellent and should be able to recommend family-friendly vineyards based on your family size and children’s ages.
European winery road trips
The home to “Old World” wines and the oldest vineyards in the world, but just how family-friendly is it to road trip European wine routes?
French winery road trip ideas
Suggested by Jennifer from Luxe Adventure Traveler
Known as the World Capital of Wine, Bordeaux, France is one of the world’s best wine regions. And while some of the world’s most expensive wines might come to mind when thinking about Bordeaux, this wine region has bloomed with exciting wine tourism experiences over the last few years.
Even the little ones will appreciate a wine tasting trip through Bordeaux with a number of châteaux offering family-friendly experiences to engage kids and adults alike. Jennifer and Tim, the American expat couple behind Luxe Adventure Traveler and who call Bordeaux home, say kids will love fun experiences like scavenger hunts and nature discoveries before finishing up their visit with a glass of grape juice while the adults taste wine.
The city of Bordeaux is the perfect place to base a family trip to Bordeaux. In between visits to châteaux, kids will love Bordeaux’s interactive museums like the CAP Sciences and the Natural History Museum.
Then head out of the city to family-friendly châteaux offering special kids tours like Château de Reignac with their nature discovery and kids play area inside a tee-pee or to Château Saint Ahon with their playground and nature trail alongside the château’s resident animals.
Older kids will also love experiences like a horseback ride through the vineyards at Château de Rayne Vigneau or trying out their detective skills in an escape game at Château Pas de la Ane.
Suggested by Jacquie from Flashpacking Family
A French road trip would not be complete without visiting a vineyard (or two). Whilst not on a par with other countries like South Africa who welcome family visitors by offering playgrounds and sumptuous South African wine estate picnics, French vineyards are becoming more family-friendly.
Until they catch up (and unless you are a wine buff), we recommend choosing your destination based on other things you want to see and do in France. The chances are, you will be near a wine region wherever you choose.
When we visited the Champagne region in the summer of 2018, we chose that area because we wanted to stay at Le Lac d’Aillette close to Reims. Being less than 100 miles east of Paris, it’s ideally situated for a day trip to Paris, Eurodisney or Parc Asterix. The nearby medieval hilltop town of Laon with Notre Dame’s little sister and great restaurants like Le Brasserie du Parvis or Le Péché Mignon is also worth a visit.
When you’re in the champagne region though, you should really visit a champagne house. You may immediately think of Moët but we skipped them as they didn’t sound family-friendly. We opted instead for Mercier who offered an audio tour of their wine cellars by train.
We booked the Founder’s Tour (book online in advance) which costs €18 per adult and lasts an hour. It includes a glass of champagne at the end which, although not in the same league as Moët, was pleasantly enjoyable as we didn’t have to deal with bored kids!
Suggested by Ting from My Travel Monkey
Okay so you may not think that a pregnant lady with a toddler can go wine tasting and still enjoy it but that’s exactly what I did when we took a tour of the vineyards of Burgundy in France.
From Chablis to Crus, some of the finest and most expensive wines are produced in Burgundy – and we were delighted to learn more about them after being picked up in a classic French number a Citroen 2CV. While our tour of the vineyards wasn’t so exciting for my son, he loved the car journey and being able to run about.
It was when we went to the wine cellars of Domaine Bersan at Saint-Bris-le-Vienux that really fascinated him. The vaults are brimming with history, and going below ground, finding the nooks, crannies, twisted tunnels and hidden shelters was a lot of fun, as well as seeing the huge barrels. We even got to touch fossils embedded within the cellar walls that have been there for hundreds of millions of years. While we got to do the wine tasting, he got to explore. So it was a win-win!
Suggested by Skylar Arias Adventures
One of the best wine country road trips to take with the kids is the Alsace wine region in France. Known as the inspiration to the Beauty and the Beast movies, this Alsatian road trip takes you to some of the most charming fairytale towns, through some of the most beautiful vineyards in France.
Located close to the border of Germany, you can easily visit one of the villages in the region on a day trip, but I suggest staying for at least a weekend to explore all there is to see in one of the most gorgeous regions in France.
There are two major cities you can base yourself when exploring the Alsace Region. We stayed in Colmar at the Ibis Styles Colmar Centre, and it was the perfect stay close to all the main attractions in Colmar France.
I definitely recommend visiting Riqeuwihr on your visit to the Alsace Region. This charming town is the perfect place to sample some Alsatian wine on your visit to the area. Hanss Jean Marc is one of the wine cellars we visited, located in the town’s main square.
Sample some of their wines in one of the most beautiful towns in France, and feel like you’ve stepped into a fairytale!
Italian Winery Road Trips Ideas
Langhe region, Piedmont
Suggested by Annabel from Smudged Postcard
A road trip through Piedmont is a delight. If you have a week to spare, start your trip in the regional capital, Turin before heading south to visit Asti, the home of sparkling wine.
However, if you’re short of time, the wine you should be seeking is that made from the Nebiolo grape, chiefly Barolo. You’ll find these rich red wines in the vineyards of the Langhe hills south of Bra (where the slow food movement began) and Alba (home of Nutella and Ferrero Roche chocolates).
Our kids enjoyed the dramatic views as we toured the region and they loved the daily dose of gelato when we visited the pretty hilltop towns. Nieve was a particular highlight with a playground on the edge of the village. Italy is a family-friendly nation so our children were welcome to take vineyard tours with us.
There are countless vineyards to visit in the Langhe. We toured the Massolino cellars in Serralunga d’Alba. Run for several generations by the Massolino family, the winery produces some excellent Barolo wines. We also enjoyed the playful design of L’Astemia vineyard where each room is decorated according to a different season. The building itself was shaped like a giant case of wine, you can’t miss it!
We stayed at Cascina Papa Mora, an agriturismo near Alba: it’s perfect for families. Along with its own wine and brandy, the farm produces much of the food sold in its restaurant. There is plenty of outdoor space for the kids and a swimming pool. Our children loved the breakfasts: home-cooked cakes and fruit fresh from the orchard.
You can reach the Langhe in two hours from Milan or Genova and it’s under an hour from Turin.
German Winery Road Trips Ideas
Saxon Wine Route
Suggested by Kaylie from Happiness Travels Here
The Saxon wine route stretches 60km along the Elbe river between Dresden and Meissen with the town of Radebeul at its heart.
The Saxon wine region is Germany’s northernmost wine area and its compact size in one of Germany’s most fertile regions (Saxony has the highest birth-rate in Germany and probably the highest number of highchairs per restaurant in the country too) makes it perfect for visiting with kids.
White wines such as Muller Thurgau, Riesling, Pinot Blanc, and Pinot Gris are the most common varieties grown here.
This is a great place for transport mad kids, the wine region can be reached by tram, train or even steamboat from nearby Dresden. Active families can bike or hike between the wineries or explore the region with a tour on a vintage bus. Spend a full day visiting the region with the rest of your time spent visiting Dresden, Prague or Berlin.
My favourite winery is Schloss Wackerbarth, steeped in history from the days of Augustus the Strong, the manicured grapevines and pastel-colored palace are regal and romantic while also being kid-friendly. Schloss Wackerbarth like many of the wineries in the region has a playground and welcomes children. Nearby Hofloessnitz has the best organic wines and Winzerhof Golk has a restaurant with beautiful views from its hillside location both have fantastic playgrounds that the kids will enjoy.
North American winery road trips
USA winery routes
Suggested by Marta from Learning Escapes
When we visited California, I knew I wanted to include a stop in the State’s famous wine country, but I had some doubts: would a road trip in Napa and Sonoma be fun or even doable with two kids in tow?
I put a lot of research before we set off and wine lovers will be happy to hear the trip was a resounding success!
The area is full of wineries and they are reasonably close to each other, which means you don’t have to drag the kids on long car journeys – you can see several even in just a few days both in Sonoma and in Napa, each time with minimal driving required.
In terms of entertainment, several have attractions that are great for kids: the Amorosa Castle in Calistoga looks like a medieval fortress, Cline in Sonoma has a pond with fish you can feed and the Coppola winery even a family-friendly pool!
You can visit Napa and Sonoma as a day trip from San Francisco but the best way to enjoy the area is devoting a few days/nights to it: there are several family-friendly accommodation options in the area and the wineries are lovely at sunset.
Napa Valley, California
Suggested by Catherine from We Go With Kids
Napa Valley may not seem like a child-friendly vacation destination, but our family spent a lovely few days during a trip to Northern California when our boys were ages two and four.
Wine has been produced in this region, which is located about an hour from San Francisco since the nineteenth century and area gained international recognition after California wines won every category in the 1976 Judgment of Paris wine competition.
Napa Valley wineries specialize in the production of cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, pinot noir, merlot, zinfandel and many others.
While each winery in Napa is distinctive, most focus solely on wine production rather than offer full dining menus. Make sure to bring your own juice and snacks for the kids.
Our boys enjoyed the aerial tram ride at Sterling Vineyard, eating a picnic lunch at V. Sattui that we purchased from their deli, watching grape stomping at Grgich Hills Estate and playing near a fountain at Andretti Winery.
The Napa scenery is really picturesque, and the manicured wineries are the perfect backdrop for family photos. We loved our visit to Napa with kids and recommend it to other families.
Willamette Valley, Oregon
Suggested by Catherine from To & Fro Fam
Oregon’s Willamette Valley is the country’s premier spot for growing pinot noir—a fact deliciously evident in the Dundee Hills AVA. This wine-growing region, less than an hour away from Portland, Oregon, is full with more than 1,300 acres of vines—many of them pinot noir. And Oregon’s laid-back vibe makes wine tasting with kids here not only accessible but also encouraged.
To get to the Willamette Valley, fly into the Portland, Oregon airport (which, by the way, is also super kid-friendly! ). From Portland, you can either rent a car to explore the wine country or take a shuttle or wine tour.
The best way to fully appreciate this gorgeous wine region in Oregon is to spend 2 days, with an overnight in McMinnville, OR. In McMinnville, you’ll find winery tasting room outposts as well as breweries and even a mead tasting room.
While you’re there, let the kids play on the city’s great playgrounds. Discovery Meadows includes a climbing rock and a splash pad in the summer, and City Park’s enormous wooden structure begs to become a castle in kids’ imaginations.
My favorite kid-friendly winery in this region is Stoller. Their pinot noir rose hits the perfect notes of being balanced and affordable. And while you work your way through the tasting flight, kids can play on the tire swing or try out disc golf.
If you want something different from the light pinot noir of the region, head to nearby Cana’s Feast. It is unusual in this region in that it specializes in big Italian reds, and it also has a bocce court where families can play.
Canadian winery road trip ideas
Suggested by Yashy from Baby & Life
Located an hour and a half drive from Toronto (and 20 minutes from the famous Niagara Falls) is charming Niagara on the Lake.
For those who love wine, craft beer, culinary delights, theatre and nature, this Canadian wine region with over 20 wineries, is the perfect escape. The area is mostly frequented as a romantic escape but we have taken our kids to visit the wineries and breweries in the area since they were babies and have discovered that nearly all are kid-friendly.
While you may not want to do a full tour at each spot with little ones, you definitely can pop by for a tasting at Konzelmann Estate Winery (one of the oldest wineries in the area) where they will offer grape juice for kids, enjoy lunch and a glass of wine on the patio at Peller Estates Winery (as you watch your kids roll down the hills) and then pop by Queen Street for some famous Cows Ice Cream and a stint at the playground before ending the day at Two Sisters Vineyard for sunset and dinner.
A weekend in Niagara on the Lake is sufficient though you could spend a leisurely week and explore the nearby area filled with farms, attractions like the Butterfly Conservatory and Jetboat tours.
Bed and Breakfasts, like Blue Skies B&B, are the most popular accommodation options in Niagara on the Lake but most do not allow kids under 12 to stay unless you book all 3 rooms so options like Vine Ridge Resort with its kids club may be a better option.
Niagara on the Lake is an all-season destination and there are many festivals throughout the year so time your visit around Sip & Sizzle or the Icewine festival to elevate your experience!
Okanagan, British Columbia
Suggested by Nicole from Passport Kids
The Okanagan Valley in British Colombia, Canada has 200+ wineries all within a 2-3 hour drive. The wineries are scattered alongside the Okanagan Lake which makes your road trip extremely scenic to see the vineyards on both sides of the lake.
The drive itself to the vineyards is what I love best with the twist and turns to hug the valley and lines of vineyards that paint the landscape. There is every kind of winery here in the valley from sophisticated tasting rooms to boutique-style vineyards so you will be able to find something to fit your family.
The best place to give yourself a home base would be Kelowna, the unofficial capital of the region and has lots of things to do for kids in the small city. The wine region extends from Osoyoos to Lake Country, so my best advice is to go north from Kelowna for the day or two. Then head south and spend a couple of days in Penticton and explore that area with the vineyards.
We always look for things along the way to do with the kids to break up the day, like picking fruit in the orchards, going for hikes at the waterfalls, going to the beaches, kangaroo farm, ice cream stops, floating the river in tubes, a vintage train ride and so much more.
I also pack lots of snacks and playing card games for when we are wine tasting. It’s all about finding a balance in the day with some fun ki- focused activities with some wine tasting sprinkled in for the parents.
South American Winery Road Trip Ideas
Recommended by Erin from Sol Salute
Mendoza is Argentina’s most famous wine region and is only a short two-hour flight from Buenos Aires.
Mendoza is made up of three separate wine regions. Maipu and Lujan de Cuyo are closer to the city and can be toured by bike. This would be a fun way to explore the vineyards for families with older children.
Bodega La Rural in Maipu houses a museum filled with tools and relics to teach visitors about the history of winemaking in Mendoza. Also fun for families along the bike routes are places to taste olive oil and chocolate, so even the little ones can have a taste.
However, the absolute best wineries in Mendoza are in the Uco Valley. This region is the furthest from the city center and is ideal for a road trip (the views are epic!).
Family-run boutique winery Bodega La Azul offers the best winery lunch in all of Mendoza. The five-course meal with wine pairings is relaxed and unstructured, with tables set outside. There is room for kids to run and safely play while the parents enjoy their steaks and wine.
Central Asia winery road trip ideas
Kakheti Region, Georgia
Suggested by Yukti from Travel with me 24/7
The fertile land of Transcaucasus region of Georgia (country) is known to produce the world’s oldest wine which approximately dates 8000 years back. So let’s take an exciting day trip to wine tasting tour to Kakheti region from Tbilisi – the capital of Georgia.
This day trip starts early from Tbilisi as it takes around 8 to 9 hours because there are many beautiful stopovers in between which mostly families with children like a lot.
The first stop is at Bodbe Monastery which is located in the beautiful region. Spending some time we had taken our second stop at Alzani valley view from Signaghi fort walls. The red roofs and the green valley at Signaghi is the most photogenic location and also this city is called lovers city. Here we had a traditional lunch at Georgian family-owned restaurant where children and adults have chance to learn Georgian bread – Khachapuri in specialized old-style oven and then enjoy our own prepared Georgian authentic meals.
After this, we proceeded to Khareba winery which has 7.7 long tunnels carved in rocks and preserves best-aged wines in natural cooling temperature. Georgian wines are prepared in very special style as the naturally grown grape juices are preserved in Clay pots and then dumped inside the underground tunnel for years.
Here we had sample tastings of a few types of Georgian wines with Georgian cheese. The main feature of this winery is to see how wines are prepared in ancient times and till date they are preparing through that method. Not only tasting but the tour will take you to all parts of cellar while explaining how wine is produced from grapes and how grapes are cultivated in this region.
Khareba winery also has a big playground so that children can play around. Even the water fountains in the Khareba winery region are made through wine vessels which looks interesting at the entrance of the winery. You can also see big Georgian bread making oven here and also enroll for some Georgian bread making workshops too.
After this exciting and tasting Neolithic wine we proceed to our last stop – Lake Lopota. This lake is surrounded by hills and a very relaxing spot for doing a boat ride.
There are few lake resorts nearby Lake Lopota where you can do a staycation but I would prefer to stay in Tbilisi and do this wine tasting trip as a day trip from Tbilisi while having many beautiful spots in between. Tbilisi has many good family accommodations.
Many guided tours or personal taxis can be hired to reach here. Also, public transportation like Marshrutka can help you in reaching here. But I took private guided tour with Georgian local guide cum driver as these tours here are very affordable and in between, he had stopped us to many authentic Georgian family-owned restaurants and other spots which are not found on commercial travel sites.
African winery road trip ideas
Franschhoek, South Africa
Suggested by Priya from Outside Suburbia
As we got to the last part of our African Adventure, we were looking forward to a slower pace and some rest and relaxation in the winelands near Cape Town, South Africa.
We stayed in Mont Rochelle Franschhoek, which is part of Virgin Limited Edition, Sir Richard Branson’s premier collection of hotels and resorts. Located just about an hour from Cape Town, Franschhoek has more than a few grand wineries and tasting rooms that a weekend is not enough to explore it all. We picked just a couple to visit during our stay.
Our son D is not old enough to indulge in wine tasting but he didn’t mind having a little downtime. He wandered the gardens and vineyards with us, ordered some room service and wiped out all the cookies and chocolates in the complimentary minibar :). He did love playing chess in the huge chessboard on the property. You can ride the bike to the town of Franschhoek for coffee or dinner. For additional fees, they can also arrange horseback riding and hiking through the Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve.
Little kids might enjoy visiting the Babylonstoren while parents enjoy some wine. It is one of the oldest Cape Dutch farms in the area and has a working farm and gardens that are fun for children to explore while learning about different plants. There are some sweet donkeys that live opposite the Farm Shop that they can feed as well.
Stellenbosch, South Africa
Suggested by Keri from Our Globetrotters
Last but certainly not least, sharing our very own favourite winery road trip. Surprisingly, not our own beloved Australia but in the stunning Cape Winelands and the Stellenbosch region, just 50kms from Cape Town, South Africa.
Stealing our hearts at first sight with the dramatic mountainous backdrop and over 150 ‘wine farms’ you certainly won’t be short on choice, but you do need to research well to find the family-friendly options.
A few favourites include Vredenheim which offers the chance to tour their big cat rescue sanctuary before tucking into your grape tasting and sparkling grape for kids. Or nearby Spier which has Eagle Encounters, birds of prey rehabilitation program. Or why not try Middlevlei, known for its family braai (South African barbeque) and small petting farm.
Our absolute favourite part of exploring Stellenbosch was how much of a family inclusive event it was. Not just tastings at a bar and move in, but sit down with food as well and have staff personally explain the wines to you along with food matching. The two places that jumped to the top of our list for their wine and chocolate matching menus are Lanzerac and Spier.
An absolute gem to mix things up, and enjoy some of the most amazing views as zebra roam the fields is Remhoogte where you can also enjoy perfectly paired craft beer from Wild Beast Beer with one of the world’s most stunningly picturesque backdrops.
A huge thanks to all our family travel writers for pooling their world-wide knowledge to help us craft this extensive international guide for wine-loving families. We hope it will help inspire you to plan your next family vacation in some of the world’s most beautiful regions.
Do you have any more fabulous family-friendly wine routes you would like to suggest? Let us know in the comments!
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