Napa Valley, California
Napa Valley, California is known around the world because of the many vineyards and wineries. It’s the perfect adult escape when you want to enjoy California wine.
Top Wineries Perhaps one of the best things to do in Napa Valley is to explore the wineries. There are approximately 400 wineries throughout this area, ensuring that you’re able to find a wine to fall in love with. If you decide to venture over to Sonoma Valley, the total number of wineries goes up to around 600.
There are value-priced and high-end wines alike in Napa. This allows you to find wine that will fit your budget. Something to consider, too, is that there are small “boutique” wineries that have limited numbers of bottles, which may also affect the price.
A few of the best wineries to visit are listed below:
- Luna Vineyards
- Opus One
- Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars
- Inglenook Winery
- Monticello Vineyards
You can do a lot of research online prior to visiting Napa Valley so that you know what wineries you want to visit. A winery map will make it easier for you to decide where you want to go, too. Many of the wineries are quite spread out along the coast, making it difficult to hit more than a handful each day.
Many of the wineries are family-owned and operated. They are warm and welcoming, inviting you in to taste their wines. Additionally, you will have the opportunity to buy the bottles on site. Some of the wineries don’t sell to stores, which means that buying them at the winery is the only opportunity to get a bottle of anything that you have sampled.
Taking advantage of the different wine tours will also make it easier for you to see the area and taste wine. Various connoisseurs will teach you how to sample the wine in order to maximize the tasting. An added benefit of going on a tour is that you won’t have to worry about a designated driver.
There are some interesting tours that you can take advantage of in order to learn more about the area.
The Cave Tour & Barrel Tasting At Rutherford Hill, for example, will allow you to explore the caves that are on site.
HALL Wines will allow you to taste wine throughout the property while also exploring modern art from a variety of artists.
Depending on when you visit, you may also get to participate in grape stomping. This is typically offered at various vineyards throughout the months of August, September, and October. Grgich Hills Estate is one of the vineyards that invite people to step into a barrel of grapes.
The drinking age in the United States is 21 and that does not change in this area of California. IDs are checked at all of the wineries, regardless of whether you are paying for a sample or getting one for free.
Some of the smaller wineries will offer free samples. You can then choose to upgrade your sampling in order to taste more wines or receive larger samples.
Most of the larger wineries will charge anywhere between $5 and $20 for a sampling. You may be able to customize your sampling as well, allowing you to choose mostly whites or mostly red’s. Some of the wineries will also offer fruit and cheese platter’s to go along with the wine for an added experience.
If you don’t have a designated driver, it may be beneficial to join one of the wine tours.
The Napa Valley Train Napa Valley offers a train ride that allows you to not only see the area but also taste wines from several wineries.
The Day Tripper is a day-long train ride that includes a multi-course meal as well as a tour of one of a few different wineries that you can choose from. The cost is approximately $269 per person. You can book and find more details here.
Special events may also occur throughout the year, providing you with murder mysteries, holiday celebrations, and even live music.
Other Thing to Do
Don’t assume that the only thing you can do in Napa Valley is drink wine. There are a variety of spas, allowing you to engage in massages, mud baths, and mineral baths. You may also want to take a culinary class, allowing you to learn how to cook some cuisinesdelicious cuisine of the area.
You can find plenty of other activities, too, depending on when you visit:
- Hot air ballooning
- Shows at theatres
- Golf at one of the many courses
- Boutique shopping
Where to Eat
Many wineries have restaurants on site. You will also find that there are quite a few renowned chefs who have chosen to call wine country their home.
Bottega Napa Valley Located at 6525 Washington Street in Yountville, the restaurant is a high-end, farm-to-table Italian restaurant. TV celebrity chef Michael Chiarello owns the restaurant.
The Grill at Silverado Resort & Spa The al fresco dining provides the view of one of the top golf courses in the world. It can be found at 1600 Atlas Peak Road in Napa.
The Restaurant at CIA Copia Seasonally-inspired dishes are served here alongside handcrafted cocktails. You can find it at 500 First Street in Napa.
Napkins Bar & Grill Located in the heart of downtown Napa at 1001 2nd Street, the restaurant is known for American cuisine as well as a weekend brunch.
You can explore various restaurants by type here.
Where to Stay
You will find that there are a lot of accommodations throughout Napa Valley.
You may want to consider some of the different bed-and-breakfast in the area as a more intimate option. Guest houses often provide exquisite views and you can dine with the other guests each morning. Discover some of the top bed and breakfast inns here.
There are a few hotels to consider as well.
Napa Valley Marriott Hotel & Spa, (averages $199 per night) 3425 Solano Avenue Napa, CA 94558
The Westin Versasa Napa, (averages $239 per night) 1314 McKinstry Street Napa, CA 94559
Bardessano, a 5-star hotel, (averages $650 per night) 6526 Yount Street Yountville, CA 94599