With over 400 wineries in the Napa Valley area, choosing the best five is a near-impossible task. However, it can be said that the best wineries in the valley all share a high degree of hospitality, numerous on-site features, and great tasting wine. If you are planning a tour of Napa Valley wineries, then the following represents five of the best in the region.
One of the more expensive, but certainly worthwhile visits in the valley is the Hall Rutherford. The full 90-minute tour called the Appellation Exploration will set you back $125, but it is more than worth the price. From viewing a collection of modern art masterpieces to tasting the more than 140 wines available, the experience of being in this winery is arguably one of the best in all the valley. You will also learn quite a bit about how climate, elevation, and soil affect the taste of the grapes and how it all comes together in the winery itself.
If there is one winery with vineyards that harken back to a European setting, Failla is it. You can visit the famous Silverado Trail, the restored farmhouse which offers a 45-minute tasting session with four different wines for only $20. If you purchase two bottles, they waive the tasting fee. However, the highlight is a walking tour of the property which includes visiting a cave that measures 15,000-square feet. This is one of the most fascinating of all Napa Valley wineries and the Pinot selection is to die for.
An authentic reconstruction of a 13th century Tuscan castle, this wonder is located just to the south of Calistoga. Plus, you do not need reservations to tour this marvelous facility. You can combine the tour with a five-wine premium or six-wine reserve tasting session in the large tasting room. Plus, there are delicious Belgian chocolates you can add for a mere $5. If you desire a little more food, there is the charcuterie or cheese snack that costs an additional $15, but is quite wonderful and adds to the overall experience.
A pioneer in Napa Valley, he was one of the first to offer tours and taste sessions in his winery. The tour itself is family-friendly and offers a 90-minute experience that includes a basic course in wine tasting all for just $20. The name Mondavi has become legendary in the valley and the remarkable experience of being in the winery itself offers plenty of great history along with great-tasting wine.
This winery is a little more expensive with prices ranging up to $75 for a tour and taste session and it’s further away compared to many of the popular wineries. However, Chappellet is well worth the visit thanks in part to the incredible view from Pritchard Hill in St. Helena. You can sample the many wines produces at the vineyard while visiting this remarkable winery that offers some of the best wine tasting and touring experiences in all Napa Valley.