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Best Winery Tour: Cline Cellars wins reader vote

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Sonoma winner specializes in Zinfandels and French Rhône-styles

Whether you're a newbie or connoisseur, there's nothing like getting a behind-the-scenes look at the wine-making process (while tasting along the way) to hone your appreciation and your palate.

  • Cline Cellars
    Sonoma, Calif.

    Visitors to Cline Cellars can choose between a private tour and tasting through the historic estate or the Syrah Hill Experience, which includes a trip to the top of Syrah Hill for views over the surrounding scenery.
    Photo courtesy of Megan Cline / Cline Cellars

  • Alexander Valley Vineyards
    Healdsburg, Calif.

    Visitors to the historic Alexander Valley Vineyards property have a couple tour options to choose from. The Cave Tour and Barrel Tasting takes guests down into the 25,000-square-foot wine cave to learn more about the barrel aging program, while Vineyard Hikes offer a closer look at the vines.
    Photo courtesy of Alexander Valley Vineyards

  • Benziger Family Winery
    Glen Ellen, Calif.

    Visitors to Benziger Family Winery in Sonoma have five tour and tasting options to choose from. The exclusive Tribute Estate Tour takes visitors behind the scenes for a close-up look at the biodynamic vineyards and winemaking facilities, with a barrel tasting along the way. Visitors can also take a tram tour of the vineyards to learn more about biodynamic farming.
    Photo courtesy of Benziger Family Winery

  • Doffo Wines
    Temecula, Calif.

    When the tasting room is open, guests at Doffo Wines are welcome to explore the grounds on a self-guided walking tour or a guided Cork ’n Torque Tour aboard the eco-friendly Malbec Express bus. Visitors are welcome to bring their own food to enjoy on the patio after the tour.
    Photo courtesy of Doffo Wines

  • Jordan Vineyard & Winery
    Healdsburg, Calif.

    Two different tours are available by appointment at Jordan Winery in Healdsburg. The Winery Tour and Library Tasting guides visitors through the winery estate's oak tank room before finishing with a guided tasting with food pairings in the private library. The Estate Tour and Tasting takes guest out of the chateau and into the scenic vineyards for a tasting with food pairings in the countryside.
    Photo courtesy of Jordan Vineyard & Winery

  • Palmaz Vineyards
    Napa, Calif.

    Tours of Palmaz Vineyards (by appointment only) take visitors through several levels of the wine cave to see how wines are made using gravity-flow methods. Tours include a tasting of five Palmaz wines paired with small hors d’ oeuvres.
    Photo courtesy of Palmaz Vineyards

  • Harney Lane Winery & Vineyards
    Lodi, Calif.

    The Grape to Glass tour at Harney Lane Winery and Vineyards takes visitors through the grounds of a working winery that’s been in the same family for five generations. The tour ends with a tasting from the winery’s diverse portfolio.
    Photo courtesy of Harney Lane Winery & Vineyards

  • King Family Vineyards
    Crozet, Va.

    Vineyard and Winery Tours at Virginia's King Family Vineyards include a history of the family and farm, a visit to one of the estate vineyards to learn about viticulture in Virginia, a walk through the tank and barrel rooms and a guided tasting of six different wines.
    Photo courtesy of Aaron Watson Photography / King Family Vineyards

  • Dry Creek Vineyard
    Healdsburg, Calif.

    Visitors to Dry Creek Vineyard in Healdsburg enjoy a behind-the-scenes look at the winemaking process during guided tours of the estate. Tours highlight the family winery’s history, sustainable winery practices and winemaking techniques. Visitors can also reserve a bocce court for an afternoon of playing and tasting.
    Photo courtesy of Dry Creek Vineyard

  • Baker-Bird Winery
    Augusta, Ky.

    On a tour of Baker-Bird Winery in Kentucky, visitors learn about how wine was made in 1850s America. The winery building itself is on the National Registry of Historic Places and is the only winery in the country to have survived a Civil War battle. It’s the home of bourbon barrel aged wine and the largest, oldest wine cellar in the country.
    Photo courtesy of Baker-Bird Winery

The top 10 winners in the category Best Winery Tours are as follows:

  1. Cline Cellars - Sonoma, Calif.
  2. Alexander Valley Vineyards - Healdsburg, Calif.
  3. Benziger Family Winery - Glen Ellen, Calif.
  4. Doffo Wines - Temecula, Calif.
  5. Jordan Vineyard & Winery - Healdsburg, Calif.
  6. Palmaz Vineyards - Napa, Calif.
  7. Harney Lane Winery & Vineyards - Lodi, Calif.
  8. King Family Vineyards - Crozet, Va.
  9. Dry Creek Vineyard - Healdsburg, Calif.
  10. Baker-Bird Winery - Augusta, Ky.

A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to pick the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote.

Congratulations to all these winning wineries!

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Jill Barth

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