11 Spots to Sip Wine and Soak Up Fall Views
Few moments punctuate autumn quite like that first glimpse of colorful leaves. From small, family-run vineyards in New York’s Finger Lakes, dotted with crimson and gold foliage, to ritzy resorts in California wine country, there are many cozy spots to sip wine and soak up some postcard-perfect surroundings. Put on a sweater and crack open a bottle—these are the best places to enjoy fall views with your favorite glass of wine.
Otesaga Resort Hotel, Cooperstown, NY
Those with literary ambitions—or who just like reading with a gorgeous view and a glass of wine in hand—should consider a visit. The property faces picturesque Lake Otsego in upstate New York, which made an appearance as “Glimmerglass” in James Fenimore Cooper’s novel series, Leatherstocking Tales. The 105-year-old hotel boasts 700 feet of lakefront property, which means guests can grab a rocking chair on the veranda and take in sweeping fall foliage views reflected on the water. In Glimmerglass, the hotel’s main dining room, oversized windows offer terrific vistas, too, as well as a 100-bottle wine list curated by sommelier Chad Douglass.
Hotel Milo, Santa Barbara, CA
This month, oenophiles can admire autumnal landscapes on Milo’s spacious property, particularly near Ambassador Park, where fall foliage mixes with California palm trees. Set against the oceanfront, it’s a selfie-worthy scene. Guests can participate in a wine-fueled pop-up dinner series designed by award-winning sommeliers Brian McClintic and Eric Railsback of Les Marchands Wine Bar (a Wine Enthusiast 100 Best Wine Restaurants pick). The intimate, 20-seat experience features local ingredients, including area mussels, pickled vegetables and risotto porchetta along with five fine-wine pairings.
Christopher Bridge Wines, Oregon City, OR
This cozy, timber-framed tasting room is less than 30 miles from downtown Portland. Formerly a farm filled with old-growth trees, visitors can snuggle up to a cozy fire and savor breathtaking wine country views while sipping on the vineyard’s Pinot Noir or Pinot Gris. Thinking of making a trip to the Willamette Valley? Call ahead, as the winery is only open by appointment and on weekends.
Parducci Wine Cellars, Ukiah, CA
Take in the colors of fall—along with sips of Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay and Grenache—from Parducci’s spacious tasting room and patio, which overlooks the winery’s vineyards planted with Petite Sirah. Several events make the fall the perfect time to visit, including the Parducci Crush Rush on Oct. 12 (a 5K run/walk through the estate, benefiting the Ukiah Unified School District Gardens Program). Parducci is also family and dog friendly, making it a favorite of visitors year-round.
St. Francis Winery & Vineyards, Santa Rosa, CA
California Mission-style architecture, complete with a formidable bell tower blessed in Assisi, Italy, complement scenic Sonoma vineyard vistas at this striking winery. An outdoor patio overlooking the lush, landscaped grounds and walking paths offer opportunities to glimpse changing leaves. But you came for the wine, right? Don’t miss the Sonoma Tastemakers fall lineup. The winery invites local Sonoma artisans into its tasting room to sample products alongside its pours, like sweet and savory pies from Petaluma Pie Company and confections from Sonoma Chocolatiers.
Árdíri Winery & Vineyards, Cornelius, OR
Set in the Chehalem Mountains AVA within Oregon’s fertile Willamette Valley, Árdíri specializes in Pinot Noir and diverse white wine varieties, like Picpoul de Pinet and Pinot Gris/Pinot Blanc blends. The indoor/outdoor tasting room encourages visitors to relax and absorb beautiful valley views from their choice of prime property nooks (there are fire pits and fireplaces for guests to enjoy). Insider tip: Don’t miss a photo opportunity with striking Mount Hood in the background.
Restaurant Kelly Liken, Vail, CO
While many come to Colorado to ski the Rockies in the winter, fall offers beautiful mountain scenery and local, produce-driven cuisine minus the trendy ski crowds. Located in the heart of Vail, the restaurant serves up an incredible view of the Rocky Mountains’ changing colors from its wood-accented dining room. Guests can sip on 60 wines by the glass from locales as diverse as Macedonia and Argentina.
Porter House New York, New York City
For a quintessential New York meal this autumn, don’t miss lunch or dinner here. Perched on the fourth floor of the Time Warner Center in Columbus Circle, the restaurant’s oversized windows frame one of the best views in Midtown—the colorful trees in Central Park. Enjoy meaty main courses (you guessed it, burgers and steaks), while an extensive, Italian-leaning wine list of some 400 bottle selections completes the fortifying fall dining experience.
Palaia Vineyards, Highland Mills, NY
Situated on a working farm inside a renovated 200-year-old barn, Palaia offers a rustic spot for fall wine tasting in the Hudson Valley. The winery building, complete with a casual outdoor seating area, overlooks the Schunemunk Mountain Ridge, a spot known for its stunning red, gold and yellow leaves. In addition to tasting the vineyard’s Merlot and Cabernet Franc, live music is offered each weekend, as well as fun, fall-themed events for the whole family, including pumpkin chucking (just don’t do your wine tasting first).
Wagner Vineyards, Lodi, NY
New York’s Finger Lakes region is famous for its Riesling, artisanal foods and beautiful autumn scenery. Wagner can claim all three, plus an on-site brewery. (Try the Sugar House Maple Porter. It’s crafted once a year with pure New York maple syrup.) Located on the east side of Seneca Lake, the family-run winery beckons with an expansive deck where guests can meditate on a magnificent landscape with rolling vineyards, all enhanced with a glass of wine in hand.
The Lodge at Gendorn, Bradford, PA
Adjacent to Allegheny National Forest, this luxurious property is set on 1,500 acres replete with ancient trees and inviting piles of red and orange leaves. Autumnal activities abound (think wagon rides, bonfires and apple-cider making), though wine aficionados ought to splurge on the wine lovers body treatment. At the spa, wine from Tuscany is incorporated with crushed grape seeds, on-property blackberries and honey for a relaxing massage and hydrating wrap. Now that’s what we call wine therapy.