The Ultimate Guide to Wine Tasting in Napa


The ultimate destination for wine lovers is Napa Valley, and that’s how you can plan a comprehensive tour of all that this magnificent destination has to offer.

Napa Valley is the place to go for a gourmet feast. This is the place where people go if they want to drink wine and dine amidst the romantic landscape of vineyards. It is home to hundreds of wineries and a wide selection of restaurants that offer high-end tasting menus to casual dining.

The entire county stretches for about 30 miles of land. Due to its mild climate, it is the best place to plant and harvest grapes for winemaking. Napa Valley is a popular weekend destination for Californians and foreign tourists.


There are many ways to enjoy and explore Napa Valley. It all depends on the time you have and your appetite for good food and good wine. Past visitors agree that a day is not enough to get the most out of Napa Valley. Getting around between wineries using public transportation is quite difficult (but not impossible). Likewise, Uber and Lyft prices add up. You might as well take your car or hire one for the trip.

DIY trick

Planning a visit can be quite overwhelming due to the number of wineries, restaurants, and local attractions. So it’s best to plan ahead and be prepared. It’s best to get to Napa Valley by private car, as many wineries and restaurants are not within walking distance of each other. This is a great option for wine lovers who want to visit particular wineries that group tours may not offer. Here are some guidelines:

  • Upon arrival in Napa Valley, visit the Napa Valley Visitor Center for the latest information and announcements
  • Visit 4-5 wineries in one day
  • Budget $ 25 to $ 40 for wine tasting fees per winery
  • Wine Pass – get 2 for 1 offers and gifts from partner wineries
  • Make reservations before you go, as some places have limited capacity for wine tasting and / or meals
  • Keep the group around 5-6 people
  • Show up on time as some of the more popular restaurants and wineries have long wait times



Visiting groups

Wine tours are ideal for those who wish to get a taste of this wine community. Tour groups shortlist the best restaurants, attractions, and wineries. These tour groups change the all-inclusive fees that come with a set itinerary, including hotel pickup and drop-off.

  • Napa Valley Wine Train with Gourmet Lunch / Cost: from $ 145
  • Napa Valley Open Air Wine Trolley Tour with Lunch / Cost: from $ 115
  • Small-Group Wine Tasting Tour in Napa Valley / Cost: from $ 129

RELATED: Napa Valley Harvest Time: Best Time to Visit Isn’t Just During Summer

Vineyards to visit absolutely

  • Robert Mondavi Winery: One of the best wineries in the United States.
  • Cakebread Cellars: Known for their Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
  • Beringer Vineyards: One of the oldest wineries in Napa Valley, and is also one of the most recognizable names in the wine world. Beringer offers a wide range of wines, from standard to premium.
  • Charles Krug: The oldest winery in Napa Valley and the first winery in Napa to offer a tasting menu.

  • Castello di Amorosa: Known as the ‘Castle of Napa’, this winery produces some of the finest Italian-style wines.
  • Domaine Chandon: Refresh yourself with sparkling wine on a hot summer day at Domaine Chandon.
  • Napa Valley Distillery: Technically not a wine estate, as it focuses more on spirits, the Napa Valley Distillery is a great place to go to learn more about spirits making, while also tasting a few.

When to visit

The Napa Valley enjoys a mild climate all year round. It shows a different type of charm regardless of the month of the year. In spring, wild flowers abound in the fields. It makes a nice background while having a picnic outside. Summer has the best time for hiking and biking. There are trails throughout the valley, where visitors can get a view of endless vineyards. During the winter months, visitors can enjoy an indoor meal consisting of well-prepared dishes prepared with local, seasonal ingredients.

Nothing beats going to Napa during the fall season, which is the harvest season. Napa Valley comes alive during this time of year. Visitors can enjoy special events such as themed dinners, exhibitions and wine festivities during their visit.

Where to eat

Napa Valley has more than a handful of upscale Michelin-starred restaurants within the community.

  • French laundry / Cost: $ 350 per person for the tasting menu
  • Morimoto Napa / Cost: from $ 50
  • Toque / Cost: from $ 75
  • Farm at Long Meadow Ranch Café / Cost: from $ 20
  • Hog Island Oyster Co. / Cost: from $ 28 for a bucket of oysters
  • Model bakery / Cost: from $ 3 for pastries

RELATED: This is what it’s like to spend a day on the Napa Valley wine train

Where to stay

It is difficult to put everything in place in one day. If possible, try to stay at least one night. This way, visitors can rest after a full day of eating and drinking. Napa Valley offers a variety of accommodations, from 5-star hotels to quaint bed and breakfasts.

  • Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham Napa ValleyCost: from $ 143.65
  • Napa Winery InnCost: from $ 189
  • Archer Napa HotelCost: from $ 449
  • Napa Valley Hotel, Ascend Hotel CollectionCost: from $ 179

Other attractions

Napa Valley Museum. Get to know the history; growth and development of Napa Valley. The museum includes photos, artifacts and memorabilia from the various restaurants and wineries.

  • Oxbow Public Market: a favorite spot for locals and tourists. It is a market that sells fresh produce, local crafts and is surrounded by local restaurants.
  • First Street Napa: A place to shop, eat and taste wines.
  • Napa Valley Art Walk
  • BottleRock Festival: an annual music festival featuring some of the best artists

FOLLOWING: San Francisco to Napa Valley: How to Plan the Perfect Day Trip Itinerary

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