Nestled in the heart of the 400 acre Bartholomew Memorial Park, Bartholomew Park Winery is a treasure trove of a historic estate vineyard. The 27 acre winery is surrounded by vineyards teeming with grapes of many varietals, situated at the base of the Mayacamas Mountain range in Sonoma Valley, which is a short and pleasant drive from Sacramento. The park is complete with picnic benches and lots of trees, as well as open, grassy meadows to throw a Frisbee or play catch with the kids. As noted on the park’s website, the park boasts “a replica of Agoston Haraszthy’s Palladian Villa which was destroyed by fire around the turn of the century,” which is located just as you reach the driveway that leads to the first parking area.
Bartholomew Park Winery has a lovely tasting room and as you enter you’ll be greeted with park mementos including Bartholomew Park Winery hats, t-shirts, magnets and even the park’s own signature picnic blanket. There is a large tasting bar off to one side of the large room and on the farthest side of the room is the Bartholomew Park Winery Museum, complete with vintage vintner tools and supplies, soil samples and photos with text describing the winery and its rich and distinct history. The winery’s current releases include Chardonnay, Zinfandel, Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and the varietal that Bartholomew Park Winery is most noted for, its Sauvignon Blanc. Most, if not all of these wines are available to taste for a tasting fee of $15. If you find the wines to your liking, and wish to purchase some to bring home, you might consider joining their wine club.
The real draw for many are the park’s hiking trails, complete with beautiful views of the surrounding valley and park wildlife. The three mile hike is a moderate challenge, complete with a creek-crossing and three sets of wooden stairs that will quickly get the blood flowing and the heart rate up. On the day I hiked the trail, I was fortunate enough to witness three light-footed does crossing the trail’s open meadow area, a welcome bonus to the hike. The views on the hike are a feast for the eyes and it has been said that on a clear day, the view from the peak of the trail can extend as far as San Francisco. Once your hike is complete, there are well-kept bathrooms on the grounds to freshen up, change clothes, and head on over for a taste of the winery’s signature varietal; a glass of their crisp, fruity and delicious Sauvignon Blanc. There is plenty of free parking on the grounds and all of the park’s amenities are easy to get to with just a short walk.
Bartholomew Park Winery is a great place to go when you want a great hike with beautiful Sonoma Valley views. But why stop there? Pack a picnic, grab a bottle of their signature Sauvignon Blanc (they will open and provide glassware) and head out for a picnic bench, throw a blanket on the lawn or sit on the steps of the Palladian Villa and enjoy the sights and sounds of the Bartholomew Park Winery.
Bartholomew Park Winery tasting room, museum, and winery are daily from 11:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Public tours are offered Fridays and Saturdays at 11:30 a.m., reservations are required.
The Palladian Villa is open Saturday and Sundays from 12:00 to 3 p.m.
For more information about Bartholomew Park Winery, directions, and current opening times, visit www.bartpark.com.