As one of the world’s top wine growing regions, Napa Valley in Northern California attracts more than three million visitors each year. If you are planning to join them, you might need some help deciding which of the 400 plus wineries to visit. This short guide introduces you to five Napa Valley towns – and the wineries that call them home.
Napa: Domaine Carneros
Image via Flickr by thomasgfarrelljr
Located at 1240 Duhig Road and convenient to hotels near Napa County Airport, the Domaine Carneros Chateau is a California wine country landmark. Wine tastings are available daily, but you need to reserve your place by 5 p.m. on the day of your visit. Enjoy handcrafted wines while taking in the spectacular views of the lake and vineyard, then take a behind-the-scenes tour. If it is a special occasion, book the Sparkling Suite to enjoy a private balcony and keepsakes.
St. Helena: V Sattui Winery
The V Sattui Winery at 1111 White Lane is the home of Brooks Painter, Winemaker of the Year 2013. Stop by to sample six vintage and estate wines. The main tasting room is open daily between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. As long as your group is less than 10, no reservation is required. On weekends, the winery offers a barbecue, wood-fired pizzas, and mozzarella bar – all paired with a lovely wine of course.
Calistoga: Bennett Lane Winery
Conveniently located along Highway 128, the Bennett Lane Winery is close to several popular hotels in Calistoga. Join staff for a tour of the vineyard and cellar, culminating in a visit to the tasting room where you can sample four wines. If you would like a more hands-on experience, book the Varietals Fruit Flavor Custom Blend experience to blend, bottle, cork, and label a personalized red wine.
Rutherford: Peju Winery
The Peju Winery lies along St Helena Highway, about a 25-minute drive from many of the Napa hotels. The tasting room here is probably the only one in the Napa Valley where you can reasonably expect your wine guide to treat you to a rap. Let Alan Arnopole, aka the Yodelmeister, entertain you in his role as wine ambassador. Specialty tours include reserve tasting, barrel tasting, and wine tasting with artisan cheeses.
Angwin: CADE Estate Winery
Located just five minutes south of Angwin-Parrett Field, the CADE Estate Winery boasts a stunning setting high up on Howell Mountain. Various experiences are available ranging from current release tasting at $40 per person to a private lunch and tour experience at $165 per person. This state of the art winery produces five Cabernet Sauvignon wines, including the signature Howell Mountain Estate Cabernet Sauvignon.
Still hungry – or thirsty – for more? Why not book a Napa wine tour? The underground wine experience and organic wine adventure tours come highly recommended. Do you have your own ideas about a must-visit winery? Share your travel tips with like-minded travelers in the comments below.
Author’s Bio: Linda Forshaw likes to write about local haunts and far-flung places. She lives in Liverpool, England, and spends her free time exploring new places, going to live gigs, and planning her next adventure. She is currently writing for the #HipmunkCityLove project.