Toast your wedding in wine country. Plus, news from the struggle for marriage equality.
Love on the Vine
There’s something romantic about a wine-country wedding, where rustic landscapes meet relaxed elegance. In the U.S., we’ve been making wine for over three centuries; today the country has over 3,000 vineyards — at least one operating in each of the 50 states. That means you can choose from more conveniently-located vintners or destination wineries that grow the grooms’ all-time-favorite grapes.
California hosts the most wineries of any state. Napa Valley (visitnapavalley.com) has long been an international draw for wine enthusiasts — a phenomenon that increased with the popularity of oenophilic film Sideways in the mid-2000s. However, only a handful of vineyards in the Napa area host weddings on winery property. Among them is Charles Krug Winery (charleskrug.com); founded in 1861, it’s the oldest commercial winery in Napa Valley. Happy couples can exchange vows outdoors with up to 700 guests on the Great Lawn, or in a more intimate location near their cherub fountain. Indoors, their restored 1881 Carriage House Room (pictured, opposite) features a soaring cathedral ceiling, redwood floors and hand-forged chandeliers. The property’s 850 acres offer an ideal backdrop for photos.
The volcanic soil of Washington state’s Yakima Valley (visityakima.com) helps produce extraordinary riesling, cabernet, merlot, chardonnay and sauvignon blanc, and its 300 annual days of sunshine can help you produce a beautiful wedding. Founded in 1987, Silver Lake Winery (silverlakewinery.com) is Washington’s largest consumer-owned winery and has played host to many gay weddings since same-sex marriages became legal locally in 2012. Their 68,500-acre Roza Hill Vineyards sits in the southern slope of the Rattlesnake Hills, providing lush views of the Yakima Valley. In nearby Prosser, Desert Wind Winery (desertwindwinery.com) welcomes couples seeking a beautiful Southwest-inspired wedding. Though they’re also known for chardonnay, sémillon, vignier, cabernet, malbec and barbera red wines, it may be the late-harvest gewürtztraminer that is their sweetest signature sip for up to 150 loved ones to toast the happy couple. For added convenience, the wedding party may reserve rooms at the Inn at Desert Wind to stay on the property (pictured opposite).
The Finger Lakes Region (fingerlakes.org) is known as New York’s largest wine-producing region, with over 100 vineyards. Americana Vineyards Winery (americanavineyards.com) is part of the charming Cayuga Wine Trail and can provide an intimate, rustic ambiance in their beautiful 1820 swing beam barn. Just beside nearby Seneca Lake, Zugibe Vineyards (zugibevineyards.com) can accommodate about 250 guests outdoors on 40 acres, or more intimate ceremonies in their wood-lined Tasting Room.
Closer to NYC, Long Island Wine Country (liwines.com) has options on both North and South Forks. The Wölffer Estate Vineyard (wolffer.com) offers the distinct Hamptons mix of casual and chic across 55 acres in Sagaponack. The vineyard is celebrated for its sandy-soil grapes and ciders (perfect for fall weddings), and is equidistant to the cute downtowns of Bridgehampton and East Hampton. Wölffer offers wedding packages, but also allows for securing the venue to plan your own affair. On the North Fork, Bedell Cellars (bedellcellars.com), a pioneering, family-owned winery has received expansive critical acclaim since their wines were served at the 2013 U.S. Presidential Inauguration. Picture rolling vineyards behind a cathedral-roofed pavilion and a 4,000–square foot mahogany deck. Guests may stroll by the apple orchard, then enjoy plenty of extraordinary vino beside the very vines from which it came.
By Jeffrey James Keyes
Last modified: July 27, 2017