Napa Valley Wine Country Tour

Intro to Napa Valley – Private Wine Tours

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Chardonnay & Cabernet Sauvignon are the most widely produced varieties in Napa Valley.

We can help! Design a Custom Itinerary.

Planning a trip to Wine Country can be a bit daunting, especially if you’re headed to the world renowned Napa Valley, and you’ve never been wine tasting before.  This Intro to Wine Country page is here to help you create a tour just for you.

So many questions come to mind.  How do you select the wineries?  What order do you visit them in? How much time do you allow?  Do you opt for a winery tour, a wine and food pairing, or just a tasting at each winery?  What do you do about lunch? Do you join a group or head out on your own? Fortunately, there’s no set answer to each question.  For most people, a private tour is typically the most memorable because it can be tailored to your personal preferences.  Helping guests design the ideal itinerary and planning the day according to their interests. 

If the itinerary is your major challenge, here are two options to consider: 
a tour for those who prefer white winesa tour for those who prefer reds or a two day tour one day white, one day red

WINE TOUR SUGGESTIONS FOR THOSE WHO PREFER WHITE WINES

Like White Wines? Day One Tasting Day

The best way to start your tour is by visiting a winery that has an excellent vineyard/production tour.  Like its founder, Robert Mondavi Winery has long been known to impart a thorough understanding of the wine making process.   Renowned for some of the finest cabs in the world as well as for Sauvignon Blanc grapes, Robert Mondavi crafted his signature wine, fume blanc.  With a little knowledge under your belt early in the day, you’ll appreciate so much more the wines that you taste later on.

From south to north (and back again) here are some wineries I would recommend for their white wines.  All are in the Valley itself to make best use of your time.

Peju  Features a wide selection of white wines including chardonnay, carnival (French colombard), riesling, viognier, sauvignon blanc, roses and sparkling wine.

Grgich Hills  Mike Grgich  was the winemaker who produced the 1973 chardonnay proclaimed the finest white wine in the world.  The legend continues with Grgich Hills Estate chardonnay and fume blanc.

Frog’s Leap   Sauvignon blanc and chardonnay as well as cabernet sauvignon, zinfandel, merlot and petite sirah.  Take their guided tour, enjoy a garden/cellar tasting or a signature seated tasting.

Some other great options for your wine day include the following wineries…

Elizabeth Spencer  Try their blind tasting to learn to distinguish flavors and aromas, or sip Sauvignon Blanc and chardonnay on their lovely terrace.

Franciscan  Producer of 3 chardonnays and a white blend.

Rombauer  Taste renowned chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc as well as 3 red wines, and on the way back to Napa, visit.

ZD  Producers of chardonnay and a reserve chardonnay as well as Pinot Noir and multi vintage Cabernet Sauvignon.  Before you go, take their virtual tour online.

WINE TOUR SUGGESTIONS FOR THOSE WHO PREFER RED WINES

Like Red Wines? Day Two Tasting Day

Once again, a good wine vineyard/production tour is recommended to start.  Bell Wine Cellars offers an excellent Grape to Glass tour.  Bell is the place to visit to sample a variety of cabs, including the legendary Clone 6.  They also produce chardonnay, merlot and syrah.  After that, I’d recommend heading north up the Silverado Trail to

Darioush  Persian-inspired architecture and hospitality.  Producer of 5 reds and 3 whites.

Charles Krug  Oldest winery in the Napa Valley.  Known for cabernet sauvignon, merlot and pinot noir.  Offers handcrafted cured meats and artisan cheeses or wood-fired pizzas. One of top 10 California Tasting Experiences – Food & Wine  

Duckhorn  Producer of several single-vineyard merlots and cabernet sauvignons, as well as a highly regarded sauvignon blanc.

Some other great options for your wine day include the following wineries…

Goosecross Cellars  Taste 4-5 wines from among their many whites and reds while enjoying the spectacular views of their estate vineyards and the Mayacamas Mountain Range.  

Turnbull  Small production cabs and a world-class photography collection.

St. Supery  100% estate grown.  Cabernet sauvignon, merlot, cabernet franc, malbec , petit verdot, as well as several whites.

Cliff Lede Great place to sample a variety of cabs. Interesting rotating art exhibits.

SPARKLING WINE TOUR DAY

Like Sparkling Wines? Throw in one Sparkling Wine.

sparkling wine tour is also an option, visiting such sparkling wine houses as Domaine Carneros, Artesa, Domaine Chandon, Hagafen, Mumm, Frank Family and Schramsberg.

Although, the temptation is great to visit more, we recommend visiting no more than 4 wineries in a single day.  Many wineries require an appointment.  Expect to spend 45-60 minutes at each winery – longer if a tour is involved. Most tasting fees start at a minimum of $25 per person.

CAVE WINE TOURS

Cave Wine Tours intrigued you? Throw in a Cave Tour.

Many wineries in the Napa Valley have a cave.  I highly recommend visiting a winery with a wine cave.  It is the ultimate sensory experience.  Six wineries in the Napa Valley have a cave that was hand-dug in the 1870s.  Visiting one of these 3 original caves that are open to the public:  Beringer, Del Dotto (the original winery) or Inglenook, will make your day in Wine Country especially memorable.