Top 10 Napa Valley Wineries to Visit. Helena, Napa · Darioush Oak Knoll Winery, Napa · Amorosa Calistoga Castle, Napa · Spottswoode. No other wine region on the planet attracts as much attention as the Napa Valley. Its unparalleled beauty blends seamlessly with generations of passionate winemakers behind some of the world's truly exquisite wines.
There are more than 500 wineries in Napa. So what are the best wineries in Napa Valley to visit? Quickly identify wine flavors using the printed version of the aroma chart. This isn't an easy question to answer, simply because there really are a lot of amazing Napa wineries. In addition, “the best thing is a subjective experience.
This list is an excellent starting point for your exploratory journey through this world-revered wine region. Of the ten wineries, Artesa offers the best in terms of Napa landscapes. The family-owned winery is located on the highest hill of the 350-acre estate. A terrace offers beautiful expansive views of the surrounding countryside and, on clear days, a view of the San Francisco skyline.
This winery began as a joint venture between Robert Mondavi and Baron Philippe Rothschild. The two wine giants came together to create a magnificent winery focused on producing a single Bordeaux blend, based on Cabernet Sauvignon from the napa valley floor. In 2004, Constellation Brands acquired the Robert Mondavi winery and entered into a management agreement with Baron Rothschild to manage Opus One. Opus One Winery Offers a Luxurious, Albeit Somewhat Formal Winery Experience.
The farm is impressive, especially when you drive through the center to the entrance of the winery. Looking out over the Opus One vineyards from the upstairs terrace, you can immediately see the beauty of the Napa Valley. This is a winery in which you can let yourself be absorbed by a wonderful drink while you are in the company of sophistication. There's nothing more luxurious than this, so take lots of pictures while you're there.
Smaller wineries often welcome guests by appointment only, so always call ahead or check websites for availability. Also, keep in mind that Napa zoning restrictions exclude (as in, they don't allow) picnic eating on most Napa farms, so don't pack that picnic basket. Virtually every winery will charge a fee for the tour or tasting, but given the amount of information gathered from the hospitality staff and the quality of the wines served, along with the beautiful and elegant surroundings, these tours continue to be of exceptional value. Cabernet Sauvignon is the most important variety in the Napa Valley.
Find out how to test quality in the Napa Valley. Of course, this list only scratches the surface. Napa has dozens of other incredible wineries worth mentioning, such as Beaulieu, Beringer, Cakebread, Château Montelena, Ehlers, Far Niente, Mondavi, Pine Ridge, Shafer and Silver Oak, to name a few. I'm living my dream growing a Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard on the hillside of St.
Helena and a mountain vineyard at Atlas Peak. Find me pursuing my passion for perfection as a winemaker at Sill Family Vineyards. Romantic atmosphere, historic architecture, lush landscapes and golden light. Wine Tasting in Napa Valley, California, Is Much More Than Just Tasting Wine.
Therefore, when it comes to choosing which Napa Valley wineries to visit, the environment is almost as important a factor to consider as the grapes themselves. In the face of stiff competition and considerable opportunities, Napa Valley wineries are increasing their offer beyond typical tastings, with luxury experiences ranging from sensory garden tours to private dining with Michelin-starred chefs. We sought reputable sommeliers to give us their picks of the best wineries in Napa, along with some staff recommendations to select the must-see destinations for every type of visitor to the California wine region. Visitors to this famous winery can enjoy a Cabernet Collector tasting that highlights five iconic wines that are of the highest caliber in the Napa Valley; the Georges de Latour Legacy Experience for an up-close look at the history of wine and winemaking; and a Cabernet tasting at Hewitt Vineyard that includes flight from the exclusive vineyard of the same name.
Plus, there are plenty of lush valley views to savor. Cakebread Cellars has been producing stellar wines since the early 70s and has been family owned since the beginning. Not only is it a quintessential California wine destination, but it's also an excellent choice for culinary enthusiasts. Foodies will love the opportunity to enjoy the farm-to-table cuisine that the region is so famous for as part of tastings, wine dinners, private events and cooking classes.
Guests can also stroll through the estate's culinary garden, where Cakebread chefs get. Faust Haus offers two types of tastings, one indoors and one outdoors, offering immersive experiences with the winery's limited-production wines. While you'll enjoy panoramic views of the Napa Valley and Hollow Mountain from both tastings, it's worth spending time indoors to explore the works of art that fill the estate, from a charcoal mural by Roberto Ruspoli to photographs by Lindsay Ross. Darioush is the passionate project of Iranian wine collector Darioush Khaledi and is a place where the traditions and heritage of the rich history of wine are energized by modern winemaking techniques.
The brand's Bordeaux style of winemaking produces unique, collectible reds and whites worth exploring through the impressive Darioush winery. Darioush offers seven different tasting experiences on the property, ranging from an exclusive Mezze tasting of the iconic Cabernet Sauvignon, along with some small plates, to the Culture of Wine Experience, which artistically combines lessons in the history of wine along with tastings combined with dishes prepared by the chef. The architecture and interiors of the estate reflect the aging of Khaledi and the early beginnings of wine in ancient Persia and have become a true destination winery for visitors from all over the world. Alpha Omega's founders are husband-wife duo Robin and Michelle Baggett, who have become world-renowned winemakers known for blending old-world traditions with modern technology and techniques.
Their wines reflect this ingenious balance between old and new, producing bottles that can be enjoyed early, but are designed to last for decades. Sustainability and philanthropy are at the forefront of the business, making it worthwhile to invest in Alpha Omega wines for numerous reasons. A visit to the Alpha Omega estate is a must for those visiting the Napa Valley to fully experience the depth and accessibility of its offerings. The farm houses a modern farmhouse-style structure that pays homage to the Napa Valley farming community.
Indoor and outdoor tasting experiences are offered, from private single-vineyard tastings with cheese accompaniment to outdoor tastings for larger groups. Stag's Leap Wine Cellars achieved iconic status after winning the famous blind tasting at the 1976 Paris Trial, just six years after buying the eponymous vineyard. The winery is known for its Cabernet Sauvignon and produces a variety of reds and whites. The flagship tasting experience of Stag Leap Wine Cellars is the Cellarius Kitchen Experience, which offers a tasting of four world-renowned wines along with local dishes created by the winery's chef.
There is also a 45th anniversary of the Judgment of Paris S, L, V. Tasting to be held this year and which includes a tasting of four vintages from the winery's Legacy collection. To make the most of your visit to Ehlers Estate, consider booking a private winemaker dinner, which offers a three-course chef-made meal with five of the winery's top picks. Taurean Philpott, of Sommelier Bacchanalia Star Provisions, says you should make sure to try their Cabernet Sauvignon and Franc, as the latter is one of Napa's greats.
This charming winery is a collection of classic barns that honor its roots as a 19th century farmhouse. Today, it focuses on wines from a single vineyard, and offers both public and private tasting options. Don't miss the private terroir tasting, which includes eight 100% varietal Cabernet Sauvignons from a single vineyard paired with artisanal cheese and charcuterie. Tastings at the Cardinale Winery estate are available by appointment only, and your private library tasting offers a rare glimpse of the estate's winery, with limited-production vintages served with accessories.
This iconic winery first planted grapes in 1948, and its tours will guide you through those original plantations and share the history of these immaculate vineyards before a tasting at the family home overlooking the Napa Valley. Stamp says there's something for everyone to enjoy and learn at Larkmead, and tastings are open to the public and private groups. Each vintage of Cabernet Sauvignon Mayacamas spends at least two years in barrels inside the 19th century winery. Visits to the farm, including tastings and a tour, are offered from Tuesday to Saturday with reservation.
Tastings are available in downtown Napa de Mayacamas Wednesday through Sunday. Matthaisson Wines is one of the youngest producers on this list, and production began in 2003 by husband and wife team Steve and Jill Klein Matthaisson. They produce a balanced mix of popular varieties, along with some rarer grapes, such as Ribolla gialla and Refosco. Being at the forefront has its rewards.
Matthaisson has been awarded Winemaker of the Year by the San Francisco Chronicle and Food %26 Wine, a James Beard Foundation Award (plus six nominations) and countless other awards from respected individuals in the industry. The vineyard offers in-person and virtual tastings. On 171 acres near one of California's oldest vineyards, fourth-generation winemaker Dario Sattui opened Castello di Amoroso in an authentically styled 13th-century Tuscan castle. Completion of the 121,000 square foot structure, which contains 107 rooms and four levels above and four levels below ground, required more than 8,000 tons of local hand-chiseled stone, nearly one million antique bricks imported from Europe and more than 200 containers of antique furniture shipped from overseas.
Self-guided tours and tastings are offered, as well as premium guided tours and tastings. Reservations are required for groups of more than 14 people. Built on a hillside in 1888, the castle of the Château Montelena winery is worth a visit, even without tasting a single drop of wine. Not only is the setting spectacular, but it overlooks a Chinese garden, a lake and a vineyard that extends to the base of Mount St.
Helena, but its stone construction and the English Gothic style of the castle house are unique to the region and atypical of the time and place in which it was built. Bookings suggested for groups of eight or more. Family-Owned Del Dotto Vineyards Have Three Napa Area Locations. However, perhaps the most spectacular thing is its Venetian-style estate, which pays homage to both the owners' Italian heritage and the region's wine history.
It has Italian marble walls, frescoes depicting the winemaking process, mosaic floors, crystal chandeliers and a historic cave that was excavated by hand in the 19th century. Tastings and tourist experiences are offered, including a visit to the historic cave. Founded by the family behind Champagne Taittinger, Domaine Carneros Winery is best known for its traditional method sparkling wine, Pinot Noir and castle, which has become a landmark in California's wine region. Inspired by Taittinger's 18th century Château de la Marquetterie in Champagne, France, the castle has large gardens, a living room with fireplace with marble floors and beautiful views of the vine-covered hill from its spacious terraces.
Tours and tastings are available by reservation. Nestled at the base of the Mayacama Mountains, Hall Wine's St. Helena Winery offers a unique opportunity to experience outstanding contemporary works of art and excellent wines in one of California's most beautiful settings. Reservations required for the wine and art exploration experience.
Since 1975, when he bought part of the Inglenook estate, director Francis Ford Coppola has been restoring this historic winery and its 19th century buildings. One such building is the castle, built in 1881 by William Mooser, an architect from San Francisco, and Hamden W. McIntyre, who oversaw the design of the winery and would become one of the region's most sought-after winery designers. Inglenook offers several tastings and tours and is a prominent stop on the Napa Valley Wine Train Estate Tour.
For many San Francisco Bay Area tourists, the opportunity to taste exceptional quality wines is an absolute must. Napa's land, mild climate and growing conditions (terroir) make grapes ideal, coveted by wine enthusiasts around the world. There is no need to fear wine, although it may seem daunting at first. A knowledgeable wine merchant can erase those fears while guiding your pallet to an enjoyable and memorable experience on your first visit.
If this is your first time visiting, you may want to consider choosing the right time of year to visit it. The best times to visit Napa are during the spring and fall seasons, that is, from April to early June and then from September to October. The beginning of autumn is our crushing period, when wineries harvest their grapes. If you want to experience a winery in action, come in autumn.
The other optimal time is in early spring (late February to March), when the valley mustard plants are in full bright yellow bloom. Napa has dozens of other wineries worth noting, such as Beaulieu, Cakebread, Clos Pegase, Ehlers, Mondavi, Pine Ridge, Shrader, Silver Oak, to name a few. Smaller wineries often welcome guests by appointment only, so always call ahead or visit their website for availability. Also, keep in mind that Napa zoning restrictions prohibit eating at a picnic except at a couple of Napa estates, so wait for that picnic basket.
Most wineries charge a fee for the tour or tasting, but given the amount of information gathered and the quality of the wines served, along with the beautiful and elegant surroundings, these tours are an incredible bargain. Save money at some of the best wineries in Napa Valley with the PRIORITY WINE PASS. LEARN MORE HERE Nearly every winery in Napa already requires advance reservations before the start of this public health emergency, so don't arrive in Napa without having booked your tastings online. If you don't have great wine glasses yet, choose one from our list of the best wine glasses and take it with you.
Are you going to visit Sonoma during your trip? Consider stopping by Meadowcroft for a tasting. While their Chardonnay remains one of the most ageable Chardonnays produced in California, their Burdeaux-style Cabernet Sauvignon now takes center stage in the winery these days. We know, you're thinking that famous wineries can't offer good wine. Quite simply, that is not the case here.
The winery they created is a reflection of their twin passions. On a visit to Andretti winery, you will enjoy the best Italian varietal wine from this side of Tuscany, along with wonderful French varieties. Combine that with the relaxed hospitality of the Andretti staff and you have one of the best wineries for first-time visitors to the Napa Valley. The winery offers an incredible variety of wine tasting experiences.
Be sure to make a reservation in advance. We recommend that you enjoy a tasting with a pairing, but you will surely like any of their experiences. You can select a few different tasting options here. Private property tasting is an incredible experience.
You can sample reserve wines in the comfort of the Turnbull living room with a wine educator. Or you can opt for the more traditional Gallery Tasting. Taste current Turnbull releases in a stylish bar with beautiful views of the valley around you. Opus One Winery Offers a Luxury Wine Experience.
The farm is impressive, especially when you drive along the central road to the entrance of the winery. This is a winery to sit, relax and have a wonderful glass of wine in the company of good friends. There's nothing more luxuriously sophisticated than this, so take lots of photos while you're there. Constellation Brands acquired Robert Mondavi winery in 2004 and entered into a management agreement with Baron Rothschild to manage Opus One.
Winery tours are by appointment only, so be sure to call ahead to secure your reservation. Do you prefer boutique-style wineries when you visit Napa Valley? See Our Winery List for Napa Experts For a full list of Napa Valley wineries, visit our Napa Regional Page. We have links to wineries, accommodation and tours. Author Igor Sill cultivates a terraced cabernet sauvignon vineyard in Santa Elena, Napa, California.
Passionate about wine; writer; certified by the Court of Master Sommeliers; attended the UC Davis winemaking program; member of the Napa Valley Wine Technical Group; Judge, International Wine Challenge, London, UK, and holds his master's degree from Oxford University. MAKE SURE TO ENTER THE CODE CWA15 TO RECEIVE OUR SPECIAL DISCOUNT ON THE PRIORITY WINE PASS. Duckhorn Vineyards is the ideal place to visit and break the Napa routine a little. It's not monstrous in size, nor is it boutique, so you'll feel right at home if you're looking for something in between.
They were founded in 1973 and were the first American winery to promote merlot as a luxury wine (through Duckhorn Vineyards). Today, you'll find a relaxed atmosphere with fantastic wine. Although you won't be able to walk through its vineyards, you'll have plenty of space to enjoy Caín's wines. Its winery offers a pleasant alternative to the corporate-run vineyards and wineries found throughout the region.
Visit Napa Valley for the perfect conference, incentive trip, social group event, corporate event or teamwork meeting. Founded in 1978, Pine Ridge Vineyards is a picturesque winery in the heart of the Stags Leap district, where tastings and intimate tours offer stunning views of its sustainable vineyards and surrounding hills. This historic Oakville winery has long attracted visitors with its quality Chardonnay and Cabernet wines, but don't discount the lasting impression the quaint property has. The tour culminates with a wine tasting paired with a variety of artisanal cheeses, gourmet caviar, smoked salmon and charcuterie, while sitting in the Louis XV-inspired lounge or on the terrace overlooking the vineyards.
The tasting room, which is located inside a Victorian-style house with a wrap-around terrace overlooking lush gardens and vineyards, offers portfolio tastings and superior wine experiences to guests by appointment only. Private tasting experiences begin with a guided walk around the estate, to learn about the winery's commitment to organic farming practices, followed by a seated tasting from the panoramic outdoor viewpoint, where your tasting is enhanced by panoramic views of the surrounding vineyards. Visiting Opus One is for those looking for a more serious and formal tasting and, as Know Wines points out, there are a few things to consider before booking. .