Nearly every winery has a story of children climbing on tractors or running into off-limits vineyards. One boss tells of being chewed out for “having such a large vineyard” by a father whose child had gotten lost in the vines.
Which is why some people feel kids have no place at wineries. They rail against some parents’ lack of wild-child supervision, drinking and driving with kids in the car, and bringing noisy children to an otherwise peaceful setting. On the other side, work-stressed parents argue for the chance to spend family time outdoors, with an adult beverage, after a long week.
A handful of wineries draw a hard line. Chateau O’Brien, Delaplane Cellars, and RdV Vineyards don’t allow anyone under 21 on their properties. Others, including Chrysalis Vineyards, Fabbioli Cellars, and Paradise Springs Winery deem certain areas—such as the tasting room or a patio—off-limits to anyone under 21.
Even if they don’t actively court kids, many wineries allow them. Maybe the ultimate compromise is when wineries welcome families but also offer adults-only sections to keep everyone happy. Count Cana Vineyards and Winery and Stone Tower Winery in that camp.
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This article appears in the May 2017 issue of Washingtonian.