Napa, CA, is home to some of the most beautiful and famous wineries in the world. Cascading countrysides, riverfront promenades, and 1800s architecture all add to the charm. Napa Valley is rolling with premier land for wine country, and with these gorgeous landscapes and luxurious vineyards come touring and tasting opportunities. Raise a glass, and we’ll tell you which wineries made our recommendation list for the some incredible Napa wine tours.
The owners of Judd’s Hill Winery started out as garage winemakers, eventually passing the business down to their son, Judd, and his wife, who are now in command. Judd’s Hill Winery continues to handcraft ultra-premium wines with the same signature style from 30 years ago. One modern update might be Judd’s Napa Valley Radio Show, which broadcasts every Tuesday morning and discusses drinking, eating, and gallivanting in Napa Valley wine country. Another expansion is the microcrush, an opportunity for grape growers and wine enthusiasts to have their own lots or even just a barrel. The Judd’s Hill annual springtime bonanza is another reason to explore this area of Napa Valley and experience one of the premier Napa wine tours.
Located in the city, the St. Clair Brown Winery includes a winery, garden eatery, micro-brewery, culinary garden, store, and wine club. Specializing in small lot, handcrafted wines, the downtown location hosts all aspects of wine production, with only 200 cases or less created of each wine. From Cabernet Sauvignon to sweet Muscat, each flavor is paired with fresh garden bites like roasted almonds and citrus-marinated olives. Tasting flights give a sample of four wines, while the cheese board or other small plates compliment.
The Castello di Amoroso in Napa Valley sits on over 170 acres of forest and hills. The 121,000-square-foot, 107-room castle includes four levels underground and four above, all a signature of the medieval architecture that fascinates owner Dario Sattui. The authentic castle is not only grand but functional, housing wine cellars and tasting rooms alike. Napa wine tours at Castello di Amoroso are offered in several packages, including a royal food and wine pairing tour, a cheese and wine pairing tour, a guided tour and tasting, and a Napa Valley Wine Train and tour package.
Tastings are offered on a walk-in basis at The Hess Collection, if you’re looking for something low-key but still high-class. The onsite Hess Collection Contemporary Art Museum is also open without charge, allowing you to stroll, sip, and ponder. After all, art and wine have been quite the pair throughout history. Tours are also available on an appointment basis and include museum gazing, wine tasting, cheese nibbling, and chocolate indulging. A 90-minute vineyard tour will explore a range of sustainable practices on the organic farm as well as a tasting of current releases. Be sure to try the Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, known as two of Hess’ best in the circuit of Napa wine tours.
100 percent of the grapes at the Madonna Estate are organically grown, with wines handcrafted by the Bartolucci family for the past 80 years. The Madonna Vineyard has over 79 acres of Chardonnay and 30 of Pinot Noir, while a Gewurztraminer and Dolcetto also make the list. For your personal experience, a tour and tasting will be friendly to your wallet as well as your palette. The duo will only cost $25 per person.
Cathy Corison has forged a life of wine, first winemaking for others such as Chappellet Vineyard, York Creek Vineyards, and Long Meadow Ranch. After honing her skills, she created the first vintage Corison Cabernet. Her winery went from a dream to a reality, and tours and tastings are available daily between 10 and 5. The Corison Library Experience is a specialty, featuring a guided tour of the winery as well as a formally seated tasting of older vintages and the opportunity to observe winemaking in the cellar.
While many prefer Napa wine tours en route from San Francisco, why not stay right in the midst of Napa itself? Churchill Manor boasts luxurious rooms and amenities fit for Napa Valley opulence. An extensive wine and cheese reception is held each evening for guests and packages include a “Stay, Sip, and Stroll” opportunity, which includes downtown Napa tasting passes and custom truffles from Anette’s Chocolate Factory.