What to Pack for a Wine Country Picnic


Written by:

Joe Becerra

Last updated:

pack for a wine country picnic
Lambert Bridge winery in the Dry Creek Valley of Sonoma

How to plan and pack for a wine country picnic

If you’re planning a trip to wine country, there’s nothing better than a picnic to enjoy the beautiful scenery while sipping delicious wine. But the perfect picnic requires careful planning and preparation, especially when packing your basket. Here are some tips to help you fill the ultimate wine country picnic basket.

First, decide where you want to picnic in wine country. If you are traveling to the Napa Valley, picnicking is not that easy to do. Napa Valley has restrictions on picnic areas and faclities for guests. Other wine regions like Mendocino, Paso Robles, or Sonoma have many wineries that are able to offer their guests picnic tables.

When you do find a winery, call ahead to make sure tables are available. Wineries do not always keep their websites up-to-date.

The most important thing to do is follow this rule: You are a guest at the winery; purchase and drink wine only from that winery. Do not drink beer or another wine brand. Water and soft drinks are okay. And don’t forget to clean the table and leave it like you found it, spotless.

How to place and plan for a wine country picnic
Perhaps the winery will allow you to picnic in the vineyard

Wine Country picnic packing list

  1. Choose the right basket: The first step in packing the perfect wine country picnic basket is choosing the right basket. Look for one that’s sturdy, spacious, and has enough compartments to organize your items. You can also consider using a cooler or insulated bag to pack perishable items.
  2. Bring a cutting board and knife: These are essential for cutting cheese, bread, and other items. Choose a small cutting board that can fit in your basket and a sharp knife that can easily slice through cheese and bread.
  3. Most wineries will open the wine for you and let you borrow wine glasses. Just in case, pack wine glasses and a corkscrew.
  4. Choose the right foods. When packing your picnic basket, choose foods that pair well with wine. Cheese, crackers, bread, and charcuterie are all great options. Add some fruit, nuts, and chocolate for a sweet treat. Make sure to pack enough food for everyone and consider any dietary restrictions.
  5. Don’t forget the accessories. To make your picnic more comfortable, bring a blanket to sit on, napkins to clean up spills, and a trash bag to dispose of any waste. 
  6. Keep it simple. While packing everything but the kitchen sink is tempting, remember that you’ll have to carry your basket to your picnic spot. Stick to the essentials and pack light. You can always buy additional items at local markets or wineries if needed.

In summary, packing the perfect wine country picnic basket requires careful planning and preparation. Choose the right basket, bring a cutting board and knife, pack wine glasses and a corkscrew, choose the right foods, don’t forget the accessories, keep it simple, and chill your wine. With these tips, you’ll be able to enjoy a beautiful day in wine country with a delicious picnic and a great bottle of wine.

Each wine region on Wine Country Getaways will give information about the best wineries to visit and which ones have picnic areas. We also have a list of places to purchase your picnic foods and goodies.

Our favorite picnic wineries

  • Joe Becerra

    Joe Becerra has been traveling to wine country and enjoying wine since 1965. He is a retired educator, and now have the time the opportunity to share his wine travel experiences through this Website.