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Larson Family Winery
Carneros AVA Winery in Sonoma Valley, California
Napa Valley & Sonoma Wine Tasting Tours
The land where the Larson Family Winery now stands is truly a slice of Wild West history.
Back in 1899, owner Tom Larson’s great-grandfather bought 101 acres here that included a Civil War-era farmhouse. For decades, from 1929 to mid-century, the wildly popular Sonoma Rodeo was held in a big arena that is long gone; as many as 8,000 people crowded into the stands for the yearly event, which featured world-champion competitors, beef charcoal-roasted in pits, and lots of bucking horses.
Grapes were first planted in 1977 by Tom and his father, Bob, and in 1984 the Larson Family Winery was officially founded.
One of the unique aspects to a visit here is that children are welcome. The tasting room, in a large redwood barn, contains a kid-sized table and chairs covered with coloring books and crayons. For tykes who prefer the outdoors, a fenced area outside the barn contains hula hoops, a swing, and more. Petable animals wander around, and children are offered juice and healthy snacks.
As for adults, the experience is fun, friendly, and quite casual. Behind the bar, a big colorful mural displays the history of the events and people who have graced the property.
And if you’re looking for a place to stay, that old farmhouse—now offering a flat-screen TV and other modern amenities—is available for vacation rental.
Special events at this family-oriented winery include both Mother’s Day and Father’s Day Barbecues and December’s Gingerbread Contest.
Amenities: Bocce Ball court, Horseshoe toss, Picnic Tables, Wine Club, Child-friendly.