Napa Valley is known for its wineries, many people visit this region exclusively for that reason. However, since there are more than 400 of these, almost magical winemaking places in Napa Valley, squeezing them all into ONE outing would be a tremendous challenge. Even if you book a highly specialized car service for your wine tour and manage to visit each and every one (and get to taste all the alcoholic beverages those vineries can offer!), it’ll all still be in vain. Don’t get us wrong, your contributions to wine-world would be greatly appreciated, for sure – but you do want to arrange things in a more logical way, and have several tours in order to see the most of it.
Although we do understand wine-tasting is a very subjective matter, take a look at our top 5 favorite wineries – we have a feeling you may like them:
If you are just at the beginning of your love story with wine, this is a wonderful place to start. California’s oldest still operating winery was founded in 1875 by Jacob Berninger and his brother Frederic. They built the Rhine house, in such a way that it resembles their home at Mainz-on-the-Rhine. Their aging tunnels are dug into the hillside of Spring Mountain, and they keep the barrels of our favorite drink at optimal 58-60 degrees Fahrenheit all year round.
If you happen to drop by on Saturdays from July until October, you’re in for a live musical treat as well.
This vineyard was founded by Gustave Niebaum, a sea captain from Finland with a fiery passion for making wines. Francis Coppola (Godfather, anybody?) purchased the estate back in ’75 with a vision to restore it to its former glory. The Coppolas have been working on this winery for the last forty years and nowadays Inglenook is a must-see when on a wine tour.
Depending on the amount you’re willing to spend and how up and close to the winemaking process you want to get, there are a few possibilities to choose from as far as your wine-tasting experience goes. Don’t forget to stop by the museum upstairs if you want to learn more about the history of this lovely place.
CASTELLO DI ARMOSA
When you want to feel like you’re in Tuscany, but you found yourself stranded in Napa Valley, Castello Di Armosa is the place to visit. This 13th-century style inspired castle will take your breath away and give you that distinct European feel, without the pricey ticket. Two levels of a castle are yours to explore for a 30-dollar price tag. If you want the guided tour with lovely perks, it’ll cost you 15 dollars more.
On this property, there was an actual commercial frog farm at the end of 19th century! In 1981 John William with his friend Larry Turley started making wines on this ex-frog-farm. Together they came up with the name “Frog’s Leap” and the wineries official motto „Time’s fun when you’re having flies”. To learn more about this quirky, eco-friendly little winery visit their website, arrange a tasting and/or join their “The Fellowship of the Frog”.
We saved the most popular and the most visited winery in all of Napa for last. They offer 80 different wines, champagnes and ports, combined plenty of picnic grounds for their guests to enjoy. Italian deli and an ensemble of well-trained staff ready to answer all of your wine-related questions are something you can always count on when visiting. It’s family and dog-friendly, simply put- a beautiful place to spend your afternoon sipping on some vino.
No matter which places you choose to visit, keep the following things in mind:
* Have a hearty breakfast before you go on your wine tasting adventure
* Make sure that wine is not only fluid you’re drinking
* Arrange a reliable ride to and from your chosen wineries
* Call ahead and make a reservation at every place you plan to visit
With that being said, drink away dear friends, and don’t forget to share your favorites with us!