Men and Wine, devoted to a rolling feed of men—with wine—continues to trend unabated on Instagram with over 60,000 followers. They’re posed in baths, on balconies, at beaches and at wineries.
But not all men love wine enough that they’ll photograph themselves nude with it so… maybe wineries aren’t quite your thing.
Nonetheless, it’s fall. And wineries are sort of an unspoken obligatory trip you have to make at least once this season. Fear not, we’ve rounded up the five best wineries for guys who know as much about wine as Thomas Hayden Church does in Sideways.
It was along the vineyard’s acres where Thomas Jefferson and his bride, Martha, are said to have ‘rested and warmed themselves’ after their coach stalled nearby amid a snowstorm. In other words, distinguished gents have been visiting Blenheim for centuries.
Wine Enthusiast’s and Food & Wine’s Wine Maker of the Year is a former rock band tour manager and a Harley aficionado—the all-around man’s man. Smith debuted his first wine in 2001 and recently rolled out Seattle’s Jet City, the largest urban winery on the west coast and what’s been referred to as the Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory of wine. Visitors can enjoy a view of the main runways of Boeing Field along with the iconic profile of Washington’s Mount Rainier, in a tasting room (pictured above) with a nod to the aviation industry. With 44 wines distributed in 22 countries, Smith’s motto is simple, free of pretense and open to all: “It’s just wine, drink it.”
Banshee’s Tasting Room
This Sonoma, California-based spot speaks to a younger audience with soulful, accessible blends—perfect for newbies who don’t want to break the bank on something they’re not sure they’ll totally love. Plus, it’s a gentleman’s hub boasting vintage armchairs and sofas and Oktoberfest-style tables and stools. The three founders from the Midwest and East Coast started by hosting wine tastings out of their dorm rooms in 2009, and after careers in importing, making and distributing wine, they decided to launch the initial vintage of Banshee Wines Pinot Noir. It sold out in three months, and these unpretentious fellows haven’t looked back since.
This Charlottesville, Virginia outpost boasts a winery house designed by Dave Matthews himself alongside master craftsman William Johnson. Even cooler is the Blenheim Vineyards winery building—it’s split into the tasting room above, from which you can peer through the paneled glass floors into the wine production facility below. And even if you don’t love wine, you can go for the historical ambience. Flashback: It was along the vineyard’s acres where Thomas Jefferson and his bride, Martha, are said to have “rested and warmed themselves” after their coach stalled nearby amid a snowstorm. In other words, distinguished gents have been visiting Blenheim for centuries.
Warwick Valley Winery & Distillery
Located in the foothills of the Hudson Valley and nestled between Mt. Eve and Mt. Adam, the Warwick Valley Winery & Distillery has much more to offer than wine—we’re talking baked goods, over 60 varieties of apples to pick, live music, sangria, gin and some of the most renowned cider around. In 2001, the winery imported a steam-fired German copper still and in 2002 it became the first licensed distillery in the Hudson Valley since prohibition; they now produce a line of fruit brandies and liqueurs as well. Also, the Warwick Valley Winery & Distillery throws evening concerts bimonthly and hosts weekend-long music festivals five times a year in tribute to renowned gentlemen like Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash. What’s not to love?
Macari Vineyards, which doubles as a wedding venue, is located on the North Fork of Long Island in Mattituck, New York. The 500-acre waterfront estate has been family-owned and -operated for more than 50 years. The Macari’s self-proclaimed careful stewards of the land have turned what were once potato fields into 200 acres of vinegardens chock full of Pinots, Cabernets, Syrahs and more. Accompanying the vines are fields of compost and fallow farmland that boast some serious biodiversity—Texas longhorns, Spanish goats, Sicilian donkeys, horses…and frequent visits from red tail hawks, vultures, ospreys and eagles for the bird-watching crowd.
City Winery is exactly what it sounds like—a 32,000 square foot urban space in the heart of Chicago. It’s both a culinary and cultural experience, boasting a fully functioning winery with intimate concerts, food and wine classes, fine dining and private events. The winery caters to guys who identify as foodies and active cultural patrons who don’t want to leave their comfortable city lifestyle to decamp to a vineyard. So even if you don’t love wine, you can still learn to make it for your girl… or take that cooking class you’ve been meaning to sign up for since moving to a city.
The Les Bourgeois Vineyards and Winery
Renowned for its spectacular blufftop view of the Missouri River Valley, family-owned Les Bourgeois is one of Mid-Missouri’s premiere cultural and recreational attractions. Les Bourgeois is a statewide attraction, and if you’re a guy who doesn’t love wine, you can make this an easy day trip—it’s just one mile north of I-70, midway between Kansas City and St. Louis. It’s also near the University of Missouri-Columbia, the “Athens of Midwest,” some good hiking at the Katy Trail and a number of fine B&Bs if you want to go for a weekend.