Napa Valley, California is known as one of the best wine-producing regions in the world. Hundreds of vineyards dot the hillsides here, and in downtown Napa, you’ll find Oxbow Public Market – a haven for foodies featuring regional produce and gourmet eats.
The Napa Valley Wine Train is another popular attraction – it’s a vintage locomotive that doubles as a restaurant, traveling through the picturesque valley.
Northwest of Napa you’ll find Yountville – a town known for its high-end restaurants and excellent sparkling wines. If you’re looking to explore some world-class wines, there’s no better place than Napa Valley!
Best Napa Valley Wineries
Whether you drink wine or not, a visit to Napa Valley is sure to be a memorable experience. With its stunning scenery and delicious wines, it’s no wonder this region is one of the most popular tourist destinations in California.
Why Is Napa Valley So Good For Wine?
The climate of the Napa Valley is unique—summertime is warm, wintertime is mild, and it only rains for a few months out of the year. This provides the vines with a long growth period. The warmth of the days helps the grape to mature and develop rich flavor and sugar, which turns into alcohol as a result of fermentation.
In addition, the valley’s soils are rich in minerals and nutrients, with over 100 types of soil—about half of the earth’s known soil kinds. The region contains half of the world’s 12 recognized soil orders and 33 distinct soil series. Volcanic materials also contribute to some of the planet’s most productive soils.
Napa Valley Wineries For Wine Lovers
If you’re a wine lover, a visit to Napa Valley is a must. But with so many wineries to choose from, it can be hard to know where to start. To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of the best Napa Valley wineries for wine lovers. So whether you’re looking for a romantic spot for a date night or a family-friendly winery for a day trip, we’ve got you covered.
We have curated the 10 best Napa Valley wineries for you to visit on your next trip!
1. V. Sattui Winery
Location: 1111 White Lane, St. Helena, CA – (707) 963-7774
V.Sattui is one of the most popular wineries in Napa Valley and for good reason. The picturesque grounds, friendly staff, and delicious wines make it a must-visit for anyone in the area.
It’s a popular choice since it has traditional Italian charm, more than 60 varietals, including sparkling wine and Port-style wines, vast picnic grounds with personalized winery and barrel tasting tours, food pairings, and a legendary deli with fresh foods and cheese, and courteous, knowledgeable staff. It is also one of the few wineries that consistently receives top accolades for Brooks Painter’s creations at V. Sattui since he joined in 2005 from Robert Mondavi Winery.
2. Darioush Winery
Location: 4240 Silverado Trail, Napa, CA – (707) 257-2345
Darioush Winery is a bit of an enigma since it’s not quite like any other winery in the Napa Valley. The Persian-inspired architecture, stunning grounds, and impressive wines make it a draw for visitors from all over. The wines are some of the most age-worthy and collectible in all of Napa Valley. The estate vineyards are located on some of the best terroirs in all of Napa Valley. The team at Darioush is committed to making world-class wines that reflect the unique terroir of each vineyard site.
The winery and hospitality structures are situated on 33 acres, which include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah vines. Chardonnay and Sangiovese vines were planted when Darioush acquired the property. Three other vineyards owned by Darioush include the adjacent Ashley Vineyard in Oak Knoll (named for Darioush and Shahpar’s granddaughter), a 22-acre Sage Vineyard located high on Mt. Veeder’s slopes, and a Coombsville vineyard (near Napa).
3. Chateau Montelena Winery
Location: 1429 Tubbs Lane, Calistoga, CA – (707) 942-5105
Chateau Montelena Winery is a family-owned winery, known for its cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay, which features towering trees, a beautiful Chinese garden, and a peaceful lake in addition to its ivy-covered English Gothic-style stone castle carved into the hillside. CellarMaster wine club members may try limited production wines as well as the use of Jade Lake for private picnics with access.
Chateau Montelena is a well-known winery that won the white wine category of the legendary “Judgment of Paris” wine contest. Chateau Montelena’s Chardonnay competed against nine other French and California wines under blind evaluation.
4. Domaine Carneros
Location: 1240 Duhig Rd., Napa, CA – (707) 257-0101
This magnificent château, situated in the Carneros Appellation of Napa, is a lovely way to sample the region’s wines. This beautiful fairy-tale castle was designed after an 18th-century French mansion owned by Taittinger. The château is perched on a slight hill, offering guests a picturesque view of the estate’s endless vineyards extending all the way to San Pablo Bay.
Domaine Carneros is known for its award-winning sparkling wines, but their Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays are also worth a try. The estate offers a variety of tastings, from the traditional to the Reserve Tasting, which includes a horizontal tasting of older vintages.
5. Opus One Winery
Location: 7900 St. Helena Hwy., Oakville, CA – (707) 944-9442
Opus One Winery is a magnificent winery centered on producing a single Bordeaux blend based on the Napa Valley floor Cabernet Sauvignon was created as a joint venture between Robert Mondavi and Baron Philippe Rothschild.
Opus One Winery’s wine experience is opulent but somewhat formal. The property is breathtaking, especially when driving down the center road to the winery entrance. From the upstairs terrace of Opus One, you have a wonderful view of Napa Valley’s vineyards. This isn’t any more luxurious than this, so take plenty of photographs while you’re there.
6. Inglenook Winery
Location: 1991 St. Helena Highway, Rutherford, CA – (707) 968-1161
The elegant Inglenook, which was established in 1879 by a Finnish sea captain and wine expert named Gustave Niebaum, is one of the first Napa wineries. Gustave was a dedicated maker of exquisite wines in modest amounts. Francis Ford Coppola bought the notorious winery from the Niebaum family in 1975, spending considerable time, money, and effort to restore it to its former grandeur.
Inglenook Winery is best known for its Rubicon Estate Reserve, a Bordeaux-style red wine blend that is only produced in very small quantities. The grapes for this particular wine are grown on the historic Niebaum Ranch, which is now part of the Rubicon Estate vineyard.
7. Robert Mondavi Winery
Location: 7801 St. Helena Highway, St. Helena, CA – (707) 226-1395
Robert Mondavi’s life philosophy was infused with a taste for art, food, and wine, and his winery is an homage to all three. When you go through the seven-foot-tall Robert Mondavi sculpture that borders the half-moon entryway of this famous Mission-style winery, you’ll be able to sense Robert Mondavi’s devotion to the Napa Valley region.
Robert Mondavi Winery is best known for its Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Chardonnay wines. The To Kalon Vineyard, which means “the highest beauty” in Greek, is the primary source of grapes for their wines. The Mondavi family has been farming grapes in the To Kalon vineyard since 1968 and it currently covers over 400 acres of land.
While you’re visiting Robert Mondavi Winery, be sure to take a look at the paintings by local artists that are on display throughout the winery as well as grab a bite to eat at their on-site restaurant, Carriage House.
8. Far Niente
Location: 1350 Acacia Drive, Oakville, CA – (707) 944-2861
The history of this Oakville winery, which has long attracted tourists for its high-quality chardonnay and cabernet wines, should not be overlooked. The gorgeous environment provides a pleasant setting to sample, with lush gardens, extensive vineyards, and historic wine caves creating an idyllic backdrop. Even more so, since it was built in 1885, the name “Far Niente” – which is a phrase meaning “without a care” in Italian – has been etched into the structure’s front.
Far Niente Winery is best known for its chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon wines, but the beautiful property is also worth a visit. The winery building, which looks like it came straight out of a storybook, is carved with the Italian phrase “Far Niente” — meaning “without a care.” Lush gardens, sprawling vineyards, and historic wine caves create a picturesque setting from which to taste the estate-grown wines.
9. Castello di Amorosa
Location: 4045 St. Helena Hwy, Calistoga, CA 94515 (707) 967-6272
Castle of Amorosa Winery is well-known for making a big first impact. This authentically designed, 13th-century Tuscan castle winery stands out from the crowd. Dario Sattui (founder of V. Sattui Winery) spent 15 years building the castle, which incorporates all of the features you’d expect from an authentic Italian castle. It appears to have been transplanted from another era—before you even set foot inside—from the outside.
The castle features 107 rooms spread across eight levels and includes a torture chamber, great hall, wine library, and underground wine caves that age the estate’s wines. You can take a tour of the castle to learn more about its fascinating history and construction. Of course, no visit is complete without enjoying a tasting in one of the many indoor or outdoor spaces. The winery offers both seated and standing tastings, so you can choose what suits you best. If you want to enjoy your wine with a view (and who doesn’t?), opt for a spot on the terrace overlooking picturesque vineyards.
Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned wine lover, you’ll find plenty to love at Castello di Amorosa.
10. Artesa Vineyards & Winery
Location: 1345 Henry Rd., Napa, CA 94559 (707) 224-1668
Artesa Winery is the best in terms of Napa scenery, with nine out of ten wineries. The estate’s highest hill is home to the family-owned winery. A terrace provides panoramic views of the surrounding countryside, and on clear days, a view of San Francisco.
Artesa’s architecture is inspired by a variety of Spanish Mediterranean motifs. The name was altered to Artesa in 1997, which means “handmade” in Catalan.
Artesa Winery is well-known for its Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Planning Your Visit
There are hundreds of wineries in the area, ranging from small to huge, and appointments are usually necessary for many of them. Always call ahead or check websites for availability, since smaller wineries on average accept visitors on a conditional basis. Also, keep in mind that due to Napa zoning rules, picnic eating is not permitted (on the grounds that it is prohibited) at most Napa mansions.
As travel is back in full swing, Napa Valley should definitely be on your list of places to visit. Book your flight and vacation rental early and save yourself some stress later. Here are the 12 best vacation rental websites where you can find Napa Valley vacation rentals.
So, whether you drink wine or not, a visit to Napa Valley is a must. And, if you do drink wine, then these are the best wineries in Napa Valley that you need to check out!