Vinos & Vehicles: 11 Wineries That Automotive Enthusiasts Must Visit
Car-themed vineyards and cellars owned by gearheads or race car drivers
Many fans of automobiles and racing love beer, which is why there are so many breweries that offer car-themed beers. However, some gearheads prefer wine–and they’re in good company. A handful of professional drivers and vehicle collectors have actually established their own wineries and vineyards, many of them open to the public. If you’re looking for a place that pairs your love of cars with your passion for wine, these are the 11 wineries you need to visit.
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11 Vineyards and Cellars Owned by Gearheads or Race Car Drivers
Driven Cellars (Plymouth, California): This small, family-owned Shenandoah Valley winery has been in business since 2005 and produces wines in bottles that feature tire tread artwork. The theme of the winery is inspired by the owner’s father’s stunning collection of vintage vehicles, from a 1922 Dodge Brothers Truck to a 1931 REO Speed Wagon.
Andretti Winery (Napa, California): The result of a partnership between Joe Antonini and legendary driver Mario Andretti and their passion for Italian winemaking, the 42-acre estate vineyard sells a variety of wines and hold many events on its grounds throughout the year.
Childress Vineyards (Lexington, North Carolina): NASCAR team owner Richard Childress established this estate in the heart of NASCAR territory in 2004. The winery, which produces over 30 different wines, has become a popular name among the state’s growing wine-making community.
Deer Park Winery (Escondido, California): A producer of award-winning estate wines and home to a world-famous collection of vintage cars, this winery and auto museum is the perfect destination for enthusiasts of both. It holds an annual car show on its grounds and other car club meet-ups.
Jeff Gordon Cellars (California): Renowned NASCAR personality Gordon worked with winemaker Joe Briggs to open this small boutique winery that curates its grapes from a range of Napa Valley sources. It’s not open to visit but its wines are primarily available in North Carolina stores and restaurants.
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Anthonij Rupert Wine Estate (Franschhoek, South Africa): This sprawling private estate allows a select few to visit its grounds by appointment to take a trolley around to the different tasting rooms and gardens, as well as the Franschhoek Motor Museum that boasts a 220-vehicle collection across 80 exhibits.
Lewis Cellars (Napa, California): Five-time starter of the Indy 500, Randy Lewis and wife established this winery back in 1992. The private estate is available for tours and tastings by appointment only, but its many wines (like Alec’s blend, inspired by his Honda XR500) are available to purchase online.
Adobe Road Winery (Petaluma, California): Utilizing grapes from Napa and Sonoma counties, this boutique winery was established in 2002 by race car driver and team owner Kevin Buckler. The current selection of wines include a 2016 Redline red blend bearing a speedometer design on its bottle.
Podere Castorani (Alanno, Italy): Former Formula 1 driver Jarno Trulli grew up in a family of wine enthusiasts, so it’s no surprise that he and his manager Lucio Cavuto purchased an estate that they’ve developed into a vineyard that sells 1 million bottles of wine a year.
Somnium Vineyard (St. Helena, California): Danica Patrick fulfilled her dream in 2009 when she helped establish Somnium Vineyard (Latin for “dream”) with gearhead and winemaker Aaron Pott. The vineyard produces a small amount of bottles, most of which sell out immediately.
Coppola Winery (Geyersville, California): Renowned film director Francis Ford Coppola established this multi-award-winning estate that utilizes state-of-the-art winemaking techniques to produce over 40 different wines, many of which are available in stores across the country. What makes this winery a destination for car-lovers? As director of the Preston Tucker biopic Tucker: The Man and His Dream, Coppola has the red “car of tomorrow” from the film on display in the lobby.