Wine has always played a role in civilization, with some of the earliest evidence of its consumption dating back to 6,000 B.C. And surprisingly little has changed about how much we enjoy this libation today; after all, nothing stimulates the flow of conversation and ideas like a glass of wine.
Perhaps that’s what makes wineries shine as event venues. These five wineries around the country come with views of lush vineyards, elegant meeting spaces, tasty wine and food pairings, and sometimes, resort amenities.
South Coast Winery Resort and Spa
California is known for its wine, especially in Napa Valley, but the state is home to plenty of other excellent wine regions. In Temecula, a small town south of Los Angeles, South Coast Winery Resort and Spa is situated on 63 acres. Visitors to the resort can enjoy views of the vineyards and mountains, the temperate weather of Southern California, and the spa and other resort amenities at the winery. More than 130 guest suites and villas on the property come equipped with soaking tubs and gas fireplaces.
“All villas are steps from the vineyards, which provides a picturesque and tranquil setting for learning, collaborating and creating with colleagues,” said Marguarite Clark, a spokesperson for South Coast Winery Resort and Spa.
The winery has 30,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space. The 7,025-square-foot Grand Ballroom can seat up to 480 banquet-style, while the Barrel Room has nearly 3,000 square feet and can seat up to 300 for a banquet. Outdoor spaces include the Vintner’s Garden, a partially shaded garden space that can accommodate up to 250 banquet-style, and a lawn that can hold up to 2,000 for a reception.
South Coast Winery Resort and Spa provides tables, chairs, flatware, linens and a service team. Catering is in-house, and the winery works with a production company for AV and technological needs. Meeting planning services are also available.
Middletown, Rhode Island
Middletown, Rhode Island’s proximity to major cities like Boston and New York without the higher price points makes it an appealing option for meetings. Newport Vineyards, set on 66 acres, is the largest winery in Rhode Island and was established in 1995. It’s family owned and operated and has an on-site brewery and farm-to-table cuisine in addition to award-winning wines and beautiful views of its lush vineyards.
The winery has three event spaces. The Tank Room takes guests to the heart of the winery, where they can dine among barrels and tanks in an industrial chic setting. It can accommodate up to 70 guests banquet-style or 100 for a reception. The Overlook Dining Room overlooks the Tank Room and has a working stone fireplace, perfect for a more intimate setting. It can accommodate 80 for a reception or 60 for a banquet. The Meadow Room, the winery’s largest space, has reclaimed barnwood on the walls and polished concrete floors. It can be combined with the connecting Vineyard Porch and Taproom for a larger event, and for a seate0d dinner with a dance floor, it can hold up to 150 guests.
“In addition to event spaces, Newport Vineyards offers experiences for guests such as private tours and tastings and wine and cheese classes for groups of 15 to 40 people,” said Kendra Carlisle, director of marketing at Newport Vineyards and Taproot Brewing Company.
Rentals are included with the venue, and on-site event managers, in-house catering and even party favors can be included to make Newport Vineyards a one-stop shop for event planning.
Sapphire Creek Winery and Gardens
Chagrin Falls, Ohio
On a serene property surrounded by tall trees and overlooking Sapphire Creek, Sapphire Creek Winery and Gardens opened in 2018. This winery in northern Ohio seamlessly merges the indoors and outdoors with a contemporary 11,000-square-foot building surrounded by flower gardens.
“It’s very relaxing and it feels very isolated,” said Kathleen Dangelo, president and owner of Sapphire Creek Winery and Gardens. “Corporate events get to focus on the subject matter.”
With stunning features like vaulted ceilings encased in reclaimed barn wood, modern chandeliers indoors and string lights outdoors, and entire walls of glass overlooking the woodland beyond, Sapphire Creek’s event spaces are equal parts rustic, sophisticated and enchanting. The Oak Room, with 28-foot vaulted ceilings, overlooks the creek and can accommodate up to 100 guests. The Wine Cellar, a cozier setting for events, exits onto the cellar patio. The Brix Tasting Room has a long white marble bar and plenty of natural light; it opens onto the main terrace, an elegant, white porcelain terrace featuring a 28-foot reflective pool bordered by fire bowls. Adjacent is the Great Lawn, another outdoor space suitable for larger events.
Sapphire Creek Winery and Gardens’ wines are created in Napa Valley, but all food is made in-house in their full, scratch kitchen. The winery can also handle AV for a meeting or event in addition to catering.
Eastwood Farm and Winery
Located five minutes from downtown Charlottesville, Virginia, Eastwood Farm and Winery is a family operation owned by three generations of women. Set on 77 acres, the property has apple and pear orchards set before a breathtaking backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains. This young winery, which won two gold medals from the Virginia Wineries Association in 2023, opened in 2020 and is one of 40 wineries on one of the most renowned wine trails on the East Coast.
“We are part of the Monticello Wine Trail, located right along the ridge line with Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, so we’re bridging that gap between old and new,” said Mary Ragan, private events manager at Eastwood Farm and Winery.
Tent and Terrace Bar, the winery’s primary event location, is an outdoor space with a tent covering a hardwood floor and beautiful views of the mountains. It has a capacity of 200. The second event space on the property is the Barn and Veranda Tasting Room, a refinished horse barn with the original wood, a stage and an attached, covered veranda. This space can accommodate 150.
The winery has an attractive catering menu of farm-to-table meals, perfectly paired with wine, beer and cider. The Barn and Veranda space has a full catering kitchen, and the winery welcomes outside caterers. AV equipment includes a microphone, speakers, a projector and projector screen, as well as sound systems in both spaces.
The Willamette Valley is one of the most famous wine regions on the West Coast. Argyle Winery, founded in 1987, has been producing wine in Willamette Valley city Dundee for more than 35 years. It began by producing sparkling wine and today also produces wines like pinot noir, chardonnay and Riesling. Though it eventually moved wine production to nearby Newburg, Argyle Winery still uses its original space in downtown Dundee to meet all of its hospitality needs.
“Being part of the history of the town, we really are a core location in downtown Dundee,” said Cathy Martin, community development manager at Argyle Winery. “Being in the same spot we’ve been in for 35 years, we can walk people through the evolution of the Oregon wine industry.”
The winery’s Tasting House, which once was used to produce wine and still houses the Reserve Cellar, is a stylish, modern space with warm wood tones and a bar. With floor-to-ceiling windows, the space can accommodate up to 100 for an event. The Riddling Room, also located in the Tasting House, is a smaller meeting room that can seat up to 16 and includes audiovisual equipment. Another room, the Library, is decorated with the winery’s collection and can seat 12. Just outside, the Tasting House Annex is an indoor-outdoor space that can accommodate up to 150.
The Spirit House, the property’s Victorian house and original tasting room, has a dining space, high-top tables and a bar for up to 35 guests. Argyle Winery has a list of preferred caterers and is happy to work with clients to curate guest experiences such as tastings.