The Napa Valley wine region is so full of great wineries that visitors oftentimes don’t know where to start on their wine-tasting journeys! If you’re in need of someone to point you in the right direction, you’re in luck. From Rutherford Hill to Round Pond Estate, join us to find the best wineries in Napa. Join us as we explore the best wineries in Napa Valley.
One of the big reasons why visiting wineries in Napa is so much fun is because of the awesome scenery. The natural landscape of Napa Valley is something to behold, and there is no better place to do it than Rutherford Hill. Of all the wineries in Napa Valley, Rutherford Hill is often considered to have the absolute best views. Guests visiting Rutherford Hill for lunch have to bring their own food, but nothing beats having a picnic while soaking in the beautiful sights.
If you aren’t interested in bringing your own picnic lunch, you may be more interested in having one of Rutherford Hill’s memorable dinners. The food is included this time around, and the hors d’oeuvres are incredible. While the scenery is fantastic during picnic hours, it’s something else entirely once the sunset kicks in. Dining begins in the caves after sunset, providing an all-around memorable experience.
Louis M. Martini Winery
The Louis M. Martini Winery has been recently restored, and the contemporary setting can’t be beat! Visitors looking for a generalized, yet highly curated, food and wine experience need look no further than this stunning location. The most fun thing to do at the Louis M. Martini Winery is to sit in the open space of its Martini Park and play lawn games. While doing so, you’ll get to experience the winery’s al fresco wine service.
Large groups may want to rent out one of the cabanas, which can fit up to 10 guests. These cabanas can be rented for a period of up to two hours. If you’re looking for an experience that perfectly encapsulates the overall Napa Valley lifestyle, you’ll find it at the Louis M. Martini Winery.
When it comes to Napa Valley wine experiences, you can’t get much more tried and true than the aforementioned Louis M. Martini Winery. On the complete other end of the spectrum is Raymond Vineyards, which offers guests an experience that is far from the norm. Raymond Vineyards goes out of its way to be different, and this can be a good or a bad thing depending on what you’re after.
Those that have already seen their fair share of the classically styled wine-tasting experiences that Napa Valley typically offers may find that the one-of-a-kind journey provided by Raymond Vineyards is just the kick in the pants they’re looking for.
Things seem pretty normal when you’re enjoying wine outside in the grove at Raymond Vineyards, but things get a little bit freakier once you venture into the winery itself. Inside, you can find tastings being held within the vineyard’s crystal cellar. This crystal cellar is decorated in a way that Andy Warhol would have approved of, with mannequins lined up around the room and Cirque du Soleil performances airing on a projector.
There are other fun things to do at Raymond Vineyards, including a sensory experience where guests are given the chance to smell old French perfumes. Those that are interested in getting a hands-on feel for Napa Valley winemaking may want to try out the Winemaker for a Day course, which allows them to make their very own wine!
Those looking for a truly exclusive Napa Valley experience may want to try their hand at getting a reservation at Fantesca. There are only six tastings held at this winery per day, which means that getting your hand on a reservation can be quite the feat. However, it’s certainly worth it! The experience that Fantesca offers isn’t just exclusive, but it’s also uniquely personalized.
Groups that manage to secure a reservation will have to fill out a short questionnaire in advance, and the experience that they get when they journey to the winery is going to change depending on their answers.
The wine itself isn’t the only thing that makes Fantesca one of the best wineries in the Napa Valley region. There’s also the fact that the winery happens to be located in a particularly beautiful area. The winery has some of the best views around, and guests will get the chance to experience them via a walking tour. They’ll also get the chance to check out the winery’s in-mountain cave system. For those that don’t know, wine caves are integral to the overall winemaking process. Wine caves are where barrels of wine are aged, and Fantesca has some beautiful ones.
Those looking for a winery that has been functioning in the Napa Valley region for a long time will be anxious to hear about Far Niente. Far Niente is known for its lush gardens and historic wine caves, with the winery having been founded all the way back in 1885. The name of the winery translates to “without a care”. The winery is best known for its chardonnay and cabernet, and it’s a piece of history!
Pine Ridge Vineyards
Pine Ridge Vineyards was founded nearly 100 years after Far Niente. However, that doesn’t mean that the winery doesn’t have anything to offer! Founded in 1978, Pine Ridge Vineyards has built up a reputation as being one of the preeminent wineries in Napa Valley’s Stags Leap District. The winery has a quaint atmosphere, with a nice, shaded patio and some scenic picnic grounds. Tastings are held in the wine caves, and the wine is some of the best around.
One of the things that make Pine Ridge Vineyards stand out from the competition the most is the fact that the winery’s vineyards are uniquely sustainable. The namesake vineyards at Pine Ridge Vineyards use compost diverted from local landfills. This means that visitors to the eco-friendly winery are helping the Earth!
Robert Mondavi Winery
Robert Mondavi is named after winemaker Robert Mondavi, and he was quite the interesting man! The winemaker had an affinity for art, and you’ll be able to tell this once you come to the location. The winery certainly has a unique flair, replete with a seven-foot-tall statue of the aforementioned winemaker himself! Once you taste the wine, you’ll be able to see why Robert Mondavi thought so highly of himself. There’s also the fact of the matter that the winery offers some truly great food!
Stags’ Leap Winery
We’ve already mentioned one winery that can be found within Napa Valley’s Stags Leap District, but Stags’ Leap Winery is even more iconic! As far as wineries in the Stags Leap District go, Stags’ Leap Winery has quite the significance. The winery was built in the late 1800s, and visitors will grow to adore the 19th-century stonework.
Opus One has made a name for itself as one of the most popular wineries in the Napa Valley region, and this fact means that visiting the winery has some pros and cons. The winery has both French and American heritage, and it’s known for its red wine. The atmosphere is neoclassical, and reservations can be made monthly.
Mayacamas Vineyards & Winery
Located on a mountainside at the highest point of Napa Valley, Mayacamas Vineyards & Winery is a winery that’s imbued with deep tradition. Mayacamas Vineyards & Winery was founded in 1889, and visitors love tasting the traditionally made wine on the historic grounds.
Grgich Hills Estate
If you don’t know the name Mike Grgich, you might want to! Mike is one of the men that helped put the Napa Valley region on the map. Many decades ago, there was a notable event called the Judgment of Paris. The event was essentially the Pepsi challenge, but with wine instead of soda. During the event, it was deemed by way of a blind taste test that wine from the Napa Valley region was better than wine from France. Grgich Hills Estate continues to keep up Mike’s tradition of great Napa Valley wine!
Round Pond Estate
Finally, let’s take a look at Round Pond Estate. Round Pond Estate is a Napa Valley winery that harkens back to the old world of Italy. You’ll feel like you’ve died and gone to the Italian countryside when you visit Round Pond Estate, and the magic is in the details. It goes without saying that the wine is made on site, but so is the olive oil! If you’re into oil and vinegar, you’ll love the wine and food pairings offered to guests at this awesome winery, which features one of only two working olive mills in the region.
There’s an insurmountable amount of wineries in the Napa Valley region, but the aforementioned picks represent what we believe to be the very best. Whether you’re interested in visiting an old-fashioned winery that has been around for ages or are interested in something more modern, there’s a great winery in Napa waiting for you!