We’re basically next door to wine country. So who doesn’t enjoy a fun weekend trip to Napa? But with over 400 accomplished wineries with tasting rooms in the region, picking the best winery tours in Napa Valley can be difficult. Luckily, we’ve compiled the top of the top from online reviews and insider scoops so you can focus on what matters most—the wine.
One of the oldest producers in the valley, BV offers tours of the original winery building, which dates back to 1885. These are followed by barrel samples of Cabernet and a stop in the new Heritage Room, which chronicles the history of wine in Napa.
CADE majestically rules over Napa from atop Howell Mountain where it boasts the distinction of being Napa Valley’s first LEED Gold-certified organic winery. The state-of-the-art, sustainable facility offers several by-appointment-only tours for visitors.
Founded in 1970 and sporting a distinguished reputation as a Napa Valley first-growth estate, Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars is also the proud owner of a brand new $7 million visitors’ center. Guests can wander in and enjoy the renowned winery’s estate Cabernets set against the gorgeous backdrop of their historic vineyards. More formal cave tours and tasting flights are available by reservation if guests wish to partake of this winery’s highly collected estate-grown Cabernet Sauvignons.
The estate’s massive castle is an unforgettable sight to behold for experienced wine lovers and wine newbies alike. It took fourth-generation Italian winemaker Dario Sattui 15 years to construct his replica of a 12th century Tuscan castle, inspired by the medieval architecture of northern Italy. Beyond the high stone walls, drawbridge and moat, Satturi’s vineyards are planted with Cabernet, Merlot, Primitivo and Sangiovese grapes. The wines are served in subterranean tasting areas beneath the castle.
This winery is a bit off the beaten path but well worth every moment of the long and winding road drive, thanks to Chappellet’s sweeping views from atop St. Helena’s Pritchard Hill. Chappellet’s extensive 90-minute Vineyard Tour and Tasting includes a walk through the organic vineyards and a seated tasting of new releases.
One of the few Napa wineries that allow you to bring your own food and picnic on their beautiful grounds, William Hill Estate also offers a self-guided winery tour with peaceful views of the southern Napa Valley’s rolling hills. So grab some deli and a blanket and head to the Hill!
Fairly priced, warm, relaxed, and intimate, Failla’s Silverado Trail restored farmhouse hosts a 45-minute tasting. The wine educators are passionate, patient, and very knowledgeable.
Wine geeks will want to show up at the 10am tour when winery owner George Hendry shares his passion during an extensive in-depth educational tour and tasting. After discussing his property’s history, his farming philosophy, “and the science and economics of grape growing and winemaking,” Hendry walks guest through a sensory evaluation and tasting seminar of at least seven current release wines.
Robert Craig’s Tasting Salon, in downtown Napa on the Napa River, is centrally located, but for a more thrilling experience, sign up for it’s Howell Mountain Experience.
Splurge on Hall’s 90-minute Appellation Exploration- it will be worth every penny. After a tour of the gorgeous vineyard and some gawking at the impressive modern art collection, take your seat under a chandelier with hundreds of Swarovski crystals hanging in the shape of grapevine roots. While seated at the massive mahogany table, you’ll taste from the stellar portfolio of this prolific producer that boasts over 140 wines rated 90 points and above.
Robert Mondavi was a visionary pioneer in a multitude of ways, including one of the first Napa winemakers to offer tours and tastings. To visit Napa without a stop at Robert Mondavi’s mission-style winery in Oakville is to miss a significant piece of wine history. To celebrate Robert Mondavi’s 100th birthday, the winery just installed a tasting bar in its Vineyard Room, which also acts as a gallery for guest artists.
Deep in the caves of Calistoga, these expert winemakers make it their mission to craft some of Napa Valley’s best sparkling wine. Book your cave tour at Calistoga’s Schramsberg far in advance, and be prepared for a once in a lifetime experience. At any given time, as many as 2.7 million bottles are fermenting away in the 34,000-square-foot Schramsberg caves
Whetstone’s new tasting room is situated in a real live Napa Valley château built in 1885. Sit around a big stone fireplace and taste its current-release Chardonnays and Syrah while snacking on rosemary almonds.
Have you imbibed at any of these Napa Valley winery tours? Tell us about it in the comments below!