Tales from the Vineyard: 5 Haunted Wineries That Will Keep You Up at Night

Haunted houses are predictable, but haunted wineries are a bit more mysterious. What happened at these wineries that makes the dead still roam them?

Want to discover your wine taste profile?

Take our quick 7-question quiz to find wines that fit your taste profile and get them delivered to your door.

Free Wine Quiz Arrow

Did you know that some wineries have a few, shall we say, uninvited guests? These 5 haunted wineries are sure give you the creeps. We love ghost stories, and one of our favorite things to do as Halloween approaches is to pour a glass of wine and tell tales of things that go bump in the night. Oftentimes, the very places where wine is made are the settings of these stories. Many vineyards are, of course, out in the woods…where no one can hear you scream… Before the spooky season is up, treat yourself to some bone-chilling tales from these 5 haunted wineries. Then, on All Hollow’s Eve, turn the lights down low, put a flashlight under your chin, and scare the pants off of your friends.

haunted wineries

But First, a Ghostly Note

Below, you’ll find tales from haunted wineries – not to be confused with “ghost wineries.” Ghost wineries refer to wineries that were built in the late 19th century and closed because of Prohibition, the dreaded phylloxera louse, or the Great Depression…or some combination of the three. These wineries are not necessarily home to any paranormal activity. Feel free to use this tidbit to impress your friends with your in-depth knowledge of wine history. Now, onto the ghost stories.

#1 Mansfield Winery, Napa Valley

Before the Mansfield Winery was restored, it was known as the Franco-Swiss winery. Built in 1876, this winery made boatloads of wine each year and won national and international awards for the excellent wine made there. Everything was going well until 1882, when an employee by the name of Louis Murback was fired for theft. Murback left town and went to San Francisco, but he carried with him a gnawing rage that grew and grew. Muback got drunk, bought a gun, and returned to the winery. There, he killed Jules Millet, the nephew of the winery’s owner. Jules continued to inhabit the winery as a ghost. While the new owners weren’t necessarily believers in the supernatural, they couldn’t easily explain several odd and frightening events. For instance, when a group of skeptical visitors tried to disprove the existence of a ghost, their flashlights exploded. So, consider yourself warned.

#2 Miles Wine Cellars, Himrod, NY

Miles Wine Cellars is also home to a couple of permanent “guests.” When a young couple attempted to make improvements on the mansion on the property, both the man and woman died in the house before the renovation was complete. According to the current proprietors, the couple has never left. Ghostly encounters with a man and woman have been reported since their death. Clearly, the couple was not ready to let go of their beloved property, as people have witnessed doors slam shut, blankets get thrown off of beds, and a foreboding layer of mist rise from the kitchen floor. You can experience a supernatural encounter at Miles Wine Cellars without leaving your house. Get a bottle of their Chardonnay blend, lovingly titled Ghost, and shine a flashlight on the label to get a glimpse of the ghostly woman who roams the halls.

haunted wineries

Image Courtesy of Howell’s Mainstreet Winery

#3 Howell’s Mainstreet Winery, Howell, Michigan

Another historic winery built in the 19th century, Howell’s Mainstreet Winery is home to many unexplained occurrences. Visitors may see objects move on their own and hear noises coming from empty rooms. The owners didn’t have to wonder what might account for these strange happenings.

Before they bought the building, a local pulled them aside and said, “You know, a child haunts this place.” However, the owners weren’t convinced of the presence of a ghost until strange things creaking footsteps, furniture moving – started happening. Sadly, the 7-year-old son of a store clerk who worked on the property died in the 1800s. His ghost remains there to this day. Non-believers, beware: One vocally skeptical guest was in the tasting room, when their wine bottle mysteriously cracked, causing the wine to drain out and encircle their table. Coincidence? We think not.

#4 Valerie Hill Vineyard & Winery, Stephens City, Virginia

Deep in northern Virginia, Valerie Hill Vineyard & Winery is home to a large selection of wines and at least four spirits – the most common of which being the boy who lives in the attic. In life, he was Benedict Rust, the son of the man who built the house on the estate. Rust was declared insane and spent most of his time sequestered in the attic. Visitors may also encounter a cantankerous old man, a soldier, or a woman in the basement screaming for help. If you’re in the area, you can visit this historic winery for their History & Hauntings event, complete with food, wine – including their famed port – and some chilling tales.
haunted wineries - forest Mendocino, CA

#5 Murder Ridge, Mendocino, California

Finally, beware the ominously named Murder Ridge Winery. Located deep in the California wilderness, you may not be alone should you hazard a visit. Bears are known to do some light-night grape harvesting. Murder Ridge, as you may have guessed, was also the site of a brutal murder in the early 20th century. In 1911, Joseph Cooper was slain. Police found their suspect – a man named Pete Gianoli – with Cooper’s jacket and his jug of wine. The motive remains unknown. The spot of the murder is now a vineyard named for Gianoli. Today, Pinot Noir is grown there, which feels appropriate as it’s home to a noir-style detective story.

In Vino Finitio

Haunted wineries are located all across the country. If you’re feeling brave, now might be a good time to look up a winery near you. Just make sure you call ahead to make sure your local winery is open before heading on a spooky road trip.
Arrow Previous Article
October 26, 2020
8 Amazing Stories from Blac...
Next Article Arrow
November 03, 2020
Where Do Your Favorite US W...
Featured Articles
Follow Bright Cellars

Articles you might like...

Ready to learn more about wine? Dive right in.

This is a carousel. You can use the slide dots to navigate to a specific slide.

Tips + Tricks
December 01, 2023

7 Wine Gift Ideas for Everyone On Your List

When in doubt, gift wine. Here are some helpful ideas for gifting to the wine lovers on your list this...

Pairing Tips
October 08, 2022

Wine and Pierogi Pairings For National Pierogi Day!

Happy National Pierogi Day! This Polish dumplings can be savory or sweet. Here are 7 wine and pierogi pairings to...

Tips + Tricks
July 12, 2022

10 Ways to Get Out of a Wine Rut

Looking to rediscover your love for wine? Here are 10 fun, foolproof ways to get out of that wine rut...

Wine Spotlights
July 07, 2022

Wine Spotlight: Paper Tiger Wines

We're introducing our new wine brand, Paper Tiger wines. These varieties are rare, enticing, and, above all, worth trying.

Tips + How To
June 12, 2022

Wine Wisdom: How to Learn About Wine

Introducing Wine Wisdom — a series of bite-size, sommelier-approved lessons that allow you to learn about wine on your own...

June 01, 2022

All for Wine & Wine for All: Raising a Glass to our Differences

Happy June, fellow wine drinkers! This month, we’re celebrating with a reminder: There’s enough room at the table for all...

May 26, 2022

Wine Spotlight: Dreamlet Wines

These California wines are exploding with flavor, but we’ve also added a new bottling technique with a little bit of...

May 13, 2022

New Wine Alert: Unsinkable Wines

Bright Cellars is excited to announce the launch of a captivating new brand ready to hit boxes – Unsinkable wines.

Wine 101
May 11, 2022

From the Judge's Corner: Wine Competitions Explained

Our own Julie Albin recently judged two wine competitions in London – the International Wine Challenge and Decanter World Wine...

Wine 101
May 02, 2022

What’s the Deal with Chilling Red Wine?

Should red wines be chilled? The short answer: yes, but don’t go tossing any red wine in your fridge. Here...

April 20, 2022

Best Cellars Spotlight: Folk & Fable Wines

Of all our Bright Cellars wines, there’s one that never fails to impress, time and time again. From its bold,...

Wine 101
April 14, 2022

7 Things to Know About Malbec Wine

You know about the ever-popular Cabernet Sauvignon, and you probably know a thing or two about Merlot. It’s time we...

Wine 101
Wine Facts
April 07, 2022

What Is a Red Blend Wine?

What is a red blend wine and why do winemakers blend wines? We're explaining the magical process that is blending...

Tips + Tricks
March 29, 2022

Spring Cleaning: Wine Bar Cart Essentials

As the weather warms, use this handy checklist of wine bar cart essentials to prepare yourself for spring sipping.

March 25, 2022

NEW! Colorfast Wine Label Spring Cleaning

In the true spirit of spring cleaning, we’re excited to unveil something we’ve been working on behind the scenes. Introducing...

Wine Inspiration
March 22, 2022

Sipping Through Spring: Wine Playlist

Imagine: You're sitting on a blanket at the park with sunshine on your face, a good read in one hand,...

Wine 101
March 16, 2022

A Beginner’s Guide to Different Types of White Wine

Not sure where to start with white wine? Here are the most common types of white wines you'll see at...

February 28, 2022

How to Be the Main Character of Your Wine Experience

Some call it main character energy. We call it good wine vibes. Everyone’s story is different – whether you’re just...

Wine 101
Wine Facts
February 09, 2022

How to Talk About Wine: Wine Terms to Know

From tannin to terroir, here's how to talk about wine and the top wine terms to know for your next...

Wine 101
January 27, 2022

What Are Wine Sulfites & Which Wines Are Low Sulfite Wines?

Sulfites get a bad rap in the wine world, but the truth is, they’re essential to the winemaking process. So,...

Wine Inspiration
January 21, 2022

37 Wine Quotes to Keep You Inspired

Wine quotes are like a good glass of wine - they can truly take your day from good to great....

Wine 101
January 21, 2022

What is Wine Sediment and How Does It Get In My Glass?

In your wine lifetime, you may have experienced wine sediment - traces of the winemaking process left in wine that...

Wine 101
January 14, 2022

Can Wine Freeze? 3 Hacks for Frozen Wine

We know hard alcohol can’t freeze, but can wine freeze? Here's the explanation you've been waiting for and a few...

Wine 101
January 12, 2022

Red Wine vs White Wine: What’s The Difference?

We're sharing the fundamental differences of red wine vs. white wine, plus how you should serve both types of wine.

Tips + How To
January 07, 2022

7 Ways to Embrace Try January, Instead of a Dry January

New Year’s resolutions don’t always have to involve giving something up. Here are 7 ways to make this month a...

Wine 101
December 31, 2021

Sparkling Wine VS Champagne: What’s the Difference?

As we ring in the New Year, it’s important to address this surprisingly common question - what is the difference...

Tips + How To
December 16, 2021

7 Wine Holiday Traditions to Start this Year

Some holiday traditions are just better with wine. Here are 7 creative ways to celebrate the season with vino, year...

Wine Inspiration
December 10, 2021

Last Minute Gifts That Will Arrive In Time

These last minute gifts are great for wine lovers and are guaranteed to arrive before the holidays. Check out these...

Wine Inspiration
December 03, 2021

25 Best Christmas Songs and Wine Pairings

From classic carols to modern hits, we’ve taken the liberty of rounding up the best Christmas songs and pairing them...

Tips + Tricks
Wine Inspiration
December 03, 2021

Holiday Hacks: How to Reuse Your Bright Cellars Box

Instead of tossing your box on the curb, here are a few holiday hacks and DIY wine bottle crafts to...

Pairing Tips
December 02, 2021

Top Wine Pairings for Your Holiday Dinner – No Matter What You Cele...

The holidays are all about enjoying good food! Here are the perfect holiday dinner and wine pairings – no matter...

Wine 101
November 29, 2021

Winter Wine: The Best Winter Reds

There’s nothing like cozying up next to a fire with a glass of winter wine in hand. Here are the...

Wine Inspiration
November 26, 2021

Gift Guide: Gifts for Wine Lovers

Wondering what to get someone who loves wine? From the Wine Newbie to the Cocktail Connoisseur, here are the perfect...

Wine Inspiration
November 24, 2021

7 Reasons to be Thankful for Wine

When you go around the table this Thanksgiving and share what you're thankful for, don't forget to be thankful for...

By The Numbers
November 23, 2021

Your Favorite Wine Cocktails, Ranked

There’s something special about the seasons changing. It’s the perfect time to try a new wine or get out of...

Pairing Tips
November 19, 2021

Thanksgiving Leftover Recipes & Wine Pairings

You can only eat turkey so many days in a row. Here are the best Thanksgiving leftover recipes and the...

Wine Inspiration
November 19, 2021

2021 Black Friday Wine Deals

Whether you're a wine beginner or seasoned sipper, here are the best Black Friday wine deals for wine lovers alike.

Wine Inspiration
November 12, 2021

The Best Holiday Wine Gift Subscription On The Internet

We found the perfect holiday wine gift to give your loved one all the warm and fuzzies this holiday season.

Wine 101
November 12, 2021

How to Open a Bottle of Wine

Grab your corkscrew and your favorite Bright Cellars wine - we're teaching you how to open a bottle of wine...

Wine 101
November 04, 2021

How to Read a Wine Label

Deciphering wine labels can be downright confusing. Today we're teaching you how to read a wine label in four easy...

Wine Inspiration
October 29, 2021

Have You Ever Visited a Vineyard?

There are some experiences that are simply irreplaceable when it comes to wine. We asked our Bright Cellars’ community, “Have...

Tips + Tricks
Wine 101
October 29, 2021

How to Taste Wine

How to Taste Wine in 3 Easy Steps https://youtu.be/yZiVhcLNCto Anyone can drink wine, but tastin’ wine ain’t easy. In order...

Hosting Tips
Wine Inspiration
October 28, 2021

Don’t Forget the Wine: A Holiday Hosting Checklist

Are you hosting for the holidays? Check out our holiday hosting checklist focused on, you guessed it, wine!

Pairing Tips
Wine Inspiration
October 21, 2021

How to Pair Wine With Your Fall Charcuterie Board

Get creative for your next fall get together! Here are our recommendations for pairing wine with your next fall charcuterie...

Pairing Tips
October 19, 2021

Thanksgiving Wines Based on Your Favorite Side Dish

In some situations, it’s okay to play favorites! Here’s which wine you should drink based on your favorite Thanksgiving side...

Pairing Tips
Wine Inspiration
October 19, 2021

5 Apple Dessert and Wine Pairings Perfect for Fall

Move over pumpkin, it's apple's time to shine! These 5 fall apple desserts and wine pairings are perfect for celebrating...

Hosting Tips
Tips + How To
October 15, 2021

How to Throw a Hallowine Party

If you think Halloween is just for kids, think again. Here are 5 foolproof ways to take your celebration from...

Wine Cocktails
Wine Inspiration
October 15, 2021

How to Make Mulled Wine (And Other Fall Cocktails)

There’s just something special about a homemade fall wine cocktail. Here's how to make mulled wine (and other fall cocktails!)

Pairing Tips
Wine Inspiration
October 14, 2021

Pairing Wine With Halloween Candy: The Ultimate Guide

Sometimes you have to treat yourself! These 12 Halloween candy and wine pairings are perfect for ending spooky season and...

Pairing Tips
October 11, 2021

9 Wines for Pumpkin Spice Lovers

Some call it fall, others call is pumpkin spice season! Here are 9 wines perfect for pumpkin spice lovers for...