It is home to some of the most famous Wineries in the world and a must-go if you’re in California! Here are some of my favourite wineries to taste in, I also highly recommend touring Napa in a limo at some point-it’s the only way to go!
NAPA VALLEY WINE TRAIN www.winetrain.com
The Napa Valley Wine Train is rich in history the carriages were built by the Pullman Standard Company in 1915 to be used as premiere trains and a must do while in the Napa Valley. The Mckinstry Street Station where it all begins is conveniently located in Downtown Napa. It is a three hour, thirty-six mile round trip journey from Napa to St.Helena and back through the famous wine country. Along the way while sipping on wine from Raymond Vineyards you will pass the famous wineries that are rich in viniculture history, you will be able to enjoy Napa’s glorious weather from the observation deck. Although you are on a Wine train it is also a famous restaurant, the Napa Valley Wine train chefs cook every meal from scratch and it is nothing less than gourmet. There are different experiences you on the train from the Cabernet Sauvignon Lounge and the champagne, it is always best to book in advance.
Beringer is one of Napa’s oldest family run vineyards and California’s longest continually operating winery, it all began with two brothers Jacob and Frederick Beringer who dreamed of making wines that would rival Europe’s finest. In 1934, they were the first to begin doing pubic tours and wine tastings. They were also the first and only wineries to have both a red and a white wine named #1 Wine of the Year by Wine Spectator Magazine. The winery is now run by Jacob’s great great-grandson, Chief Winemaker Mark Beringer. The estate is one of the most beautiful and historic in all of Napa, it has recently been named a Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places. There are four different wine tasting experiences that the winery offers, walk ins are welcome at the beautiful historic Rhine house where you can choose three wines to taste from for a fee of $40 per person. Or you may choose to taste some of Beringer’s winery exclusive wines at The Old Winery Tasting Room for $25 per person. If you’re many of us who believe cheese is the perfect complement to wine the Reserve Pairing on the Porch is for you. You will taste Beringer’s three iconic wines along with artisan cheeses and something sweet! This is $50 per person and you must book ahead as it is only offered six times per day. Last but not least, is the Private Reserve Vertical Tasting. This is the crème de la crème experience where you will have your own personal host upon arrival and your own private salon in the Rhine House. You will be given a flight of four of Beringer’s finest Private Reserve wines. The price is $125 per person and you must make a reservation in advance. You can do so online or by telephone (707) 257-5771.
ARTESA WINERY www.artesawinery.com
Artesa was designed by renowned Barcelona architect Domingo Triay and built in the early 1990’s inspired by its Spanish heritage, it is set on the top of a hill surrounded by nature. Its terrace gives you a 360 view of the surrounding landscape and on clear days even the San Francisco Skyline. It is an extremely popular winery and they recommend you make a reservation for their daily tastings; they’re open daily 10-5PM and they offer a Visitor Center with many different tasting options that showcase their wines, culture and heritage. Their wine tastings are $60 per person. They also pair their wines with chocolate made by a local chocolatier for all you sweet tooth’s out there! To book you must call 707-254-2126 (M-F) 707-224-1668 (Sat & Sun).
V. SATTUI WINERY www.vsattui.com
V. Sattui Winery was founded by Vittorio Sattui in 1885 who had just recently emigrated from Genoa, Italy. The prohibition put a stop to the business and the winery did not go back into operation until 1976 when the Vittorio’s great-grandson, Dario found his calling in wine and family business and the winery was reopened in the town of St. Helena in Napa Valley Wine Country. There are three different ways you can taste their wine and it depends on which day of the week you choose to visit. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays there is the Terrace Tasting with weather permitting every hour from 11 am until 4 pm and this is $35 per person. There is also the Marketplace Tasting which is available Sunday through Saturday 9-6 for $20 per person! There is no reservation required for either of these tasting and you get to try five delicious wines! Thursday through Monday from 12-4 pm there is the tower tasting room which subject to availability. It is $25 per person and in an intimate tower tasting room, you taste five of their award-winning single-vineyard and limited-release wines. V Suttui is a perfect place to stop and have a picnic as they have a wonderful selection of picnic items.
STERLING VINEYARDS www.sterlingvineyards.com
Sterling Vineyards is ideal if you are also traveling with children as they will love the tram ride and views just as much as the adults! Their aerial tram is the only one in Napa Valley and perfect if you want to see everything from up top. The winery sits upon the hilltop where you will be transported top and you will then get a 360 of Napa Valley’s vineyards. There is a visitor fee of $32, $15 for under 21 and children 3 and under are free of charge, this cost includes the tram ride, self-guided tour of the winery and the wine tasting itself (for those of legal drinking age). They offer a Silver Experience which is a seated wine tasting featuring limited-release wine paired with artisan cheeses which is $49. They also offer a platinum experience which for foodies and wine lovers is a must, it is a one-hour tasting of three wines that are matched with amuse-bouches prepared by their culinary team, the cost is $75 per person and reservations are required.
DOMAINE CHANDON www.chandon.com
Domaine Chandon is a must for sparkling wine lovers. It is the perfect setting to enjoy the scenery at their vineyard while tasting by the glass, flight or bottle! Their wine tastings give you a better understanding on sparkling wine and what grapes are used to make them, and make them so good! There are lots of tasting location options from the Tasting Room, Terrace, Lounge, Patio or Lawn and also a light fare menu to pair with your Chandon! They also offer a Cocktail 101 Hosted Tasting, an interactive tasting where you’ll learn all about sparkling wine and make three Chandon cocktails! The price is $40 per person. They are open daily 10am -4.30 PM. Reservations are required for large parties of ten or more! To make a reservation, call 1+888 242 63661+888 242 6366, Opt. 2 Monday-Friday 10am-5pm.
CHAUTEAU MONTELENA WINERY www.montelena.com
Chautea Montelena Winery is a stone castle sitting on a hillside overlooking a Chinese garden. It was established by Alfred Tubbs and was originally intended to be a barrel-ageing facility. It now resembles an English Gothic Castel gatehouse, one of its kind in Napa Valley and a must for all wine lovers. Reservations are not required for their Current Release Tasting which is available daily from 9.30 am to 4pm for $30 per person. There is also winery and vineyard tours available, a San Francisco Tasting Room and a Cellar master Tasting. If you plan to visit with a group of eight or more they ask for you to get in touch with their hospitality team.