The Napa Valley in California is best known for one thing; wine. Red, white, pink or sparkling, the area produces some of the finest wines in the world and is internationally recognised as a wine-lovers paradise.
The Napa region has the perfect climate and landscape for vines to grow, and the people here have been making the most of the growing conditions for years.
The towns of Napa, Yountville, St. Helena, Calistoga, and others up and down Highway 29 attract visitors from all over the world, but where’s the best place to visit?
There’s almost too much choice when it comes to wine tours in Napa Valley, so that’s where we come in.
To save you some time, in this article we break down 10 of the Napa Valley best wineries and 5 amazing tours to do from San Francisco and the surrounding area.
The 10 Best Wineries & Vineyards in Napa Valley, CA
There are a lot of wineries to choose from when visiting Napa Valley. Depending on your personal tastes, budget, and tour style, find the perfect one with this ultimate list of Napa wineries.
- Opening Times: Daily from 10:30 am – 5:00 pm.
- Location: 4240 Silverado Trail, Napa, California 94558
On top of Mount Veeder, Darioush Winery boasts some of the best views in Napa.
The winery’s founder, Darioush Khaledi, chased the American dream by immigrating to the US from Iran following the Islamic revolution.
From humble beginnings, he founded Darioush Winery in 1997. The estate has a Mediterranean vibe, with beautiful architecture, and high culture and art around every corner.
Taste the produce in the interior wine-tasting rooms or out on the decks with panoramic views over the valley.
Inside the authentic wine caves, complete with huge aging barrels, makes it feel like an intimate and unique experience.
- Opening Times: Daily from 10 am – 5 pm
- Location: 1240 Duhig Road, Napa, CA 94559
For an opulent French-style winery, you can’t beat Domaine Carneros in Napa, with offerings of tasty wine and sublime hors d’oeuvres.
Modeled after the Château de la Marquetterie in France’s Champagne region, the grand winery is a local landmark and one of the most beautiful wineries in Napa.
Feel like royalty as you stroll around the stately grounds, sipping on wine from the finest vines, and taking in the magnificent views overlooking the rolling California hills.
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- Opening Times: 9 am until 5 pm in the winter, and 9 am until 6 pm in the summer, 7 days a week
- Location: 1111 White Lane, St. Helena, CA 94574
There’s no reservation required at this old-world winery. It’s a more laid-back affair with a welcoming atmosphere and you can hang around as long as you like.
V. Sattui oozes Italian charm, the grounds behind Vittorio Tower are reminiscent of the olive-tree-lined lavender fields in Italy.
There are more than 60 different wines on offer here. Choose your favorite tipple, they have everything from light sparkling wines to heavy Port-style wines.
Enjoy a picnic on the grounds, with some wine of course! Plus it’s children and dog friendly, so it’s a great place to visit for the whole family.
- Opening Times: Daily from 9:30 am – 4 pm
- Location: 1429 Tubbs Lane, Calistoga, CA 94515
Chateau Montelena is one of the oldest Napa Valley wineries, open since 1882 it has had decades of honing the delicate craft.
Try the cabernet sauvignon and sauvignon blanc, and discover for yourself why this winery is one of the best around.
Spend the afternoon enjoying a stroll through the European garden, stopping for a rest (and a small tipple) under a magnificent oak tree.
Easily one of the most beautiful wineries in Napa, like many others, bookings are by reservation only and all visitors must be over 21.
- Opening Times: Open 7 days a week, 10 am until 3 pm.
- Location: 1620 S Whitehall Ln, St Helena, CA 94574
This is the place to visit in Napa to learn the craft of winemaking, named by Lonely Planet as the “Top Choice Winery in Napa Valley”. Tres Sabores is dedicated to the natural environment and takes great care in its wine production.
Family-owned and female-led, by owner and winemaker Julie Johnson, Tres Sabores believes wine should have three flavors “The Terroir, the Vine & the Spirit”.
They promise; “no fancy tasting room, no snobbery, just great wine in a spectacular setting”!
The 35-acre California Certified Organic Farm (CCOF) has a menagerie of crops and wildlife including; grapevines, olives, lemons, pomegranates, bluebirds, red-tail hawks, a herd of sheep, a flock of Guinea fowls, and more.
This type of wildlife-friendly farming gives the wine more diversity, reducing the effects of mono-culture crops, as the abundant bees and other pollinators can thrive in the vineyard.
- Opening Times: Daily from 10 am until 3 pm
- Location: 4029 Hagen Rd, Napa, CA 94558
Unlike more traditional vineyards, Palmaz Vineyards uses technology to assure its taste, giving accurate weather data for every bottle (as well as comprehensive blending, production, and tasting notes).
Take a guided tour of the grand multilevel wine cave. Built into the rock of Mount George, it serves as an impressive home to their gravity-flow winemaking process.
This process, along with other techniques used at the site, results in a smooth, and subtly nuanced cabernet sauvignon – especially tasty when paired with their homemade Argentinian empanadas!
- Opening Times: Daily from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm
- Location: 5901 Silverado Trail, Napa, CA 94558
If you are looking for a Napa Valley wine tasting in a peaceful country setting, Pine Ridge is a great choice.
Founded in 1978, the winery is in the heart of the Stags Leap District. This area was one of the first regions to make a name for itself on the international wine stage, even beating some traditional French regions for its fertile wine-producing soil.
The sustainable vineyards are surrounded by rolling hills that can be explored on foot, or on a short drive around the area.
After exploring the vineyards, head to the cave tasting rooms where you will find the winery’s vast European-inspired caves. Choose between a flight of classics, new releases, or rare vintages.
Whatever decision you come to, you’re sure to enjoy the refined flavors from Pine Ridge’s world-famous wines.
- Opening Times: Daily from 10 am to 4 pm.
- Location: 8815 Conn Creek Rd, Rutherford, CA 94573
It’s now more important than ever to know where our food and drink are coming from, with globalization muddying the waters of the wine world.
Frog’s Leap has earned accolades from aficionados and critics for its dry-farming practices and traditional winemaking techniques – so you can be sure it’s a good place to stop for a tasting session.
The vast organic gardens and fragrant fruit orchards are the perfect settings for a casual Napa Valley wine tasting.
Sit on the Vineyard House porch and enjoy the mouthwatering wine with a complimentary snack plate of local produce.
- Opening Times: Daily from 10 am to 4 pm.
- Location: 7801 St. Helena Highway, St. Helena, CA 94574
For a truly sustainable experience, try a ‘vineyard to table’ lunch at the Robert Mondavi Winery in St. Helena.
Robert Mondavi had a life philosophy that revolved around art, food, and wine – and his vineyard combines all three.
Since 1966, the winery has grown and perfected cabernet sauvignons and sauvignon blanc, as well as other crops and organic produce that’s served up by professional chefs.
Visiting this winery is an elegant affair, with booking limited to groups of six or fewer, make sure to plan your visit in advance as reservations fill up fast.
- Opening Times: Monday to Sunday, 10 am until 4 pm.
- Location: 1350 Acacia Drive, Oakville, CA 94562
Far Niente is well known for its quality chardonnay and cabernet wines. Open since 1885, the picture-book building and beautifully cultivated gardens make this winery a full day out.
The name “Far Niente” is an Italian phrase that translates to “without a care”, and you can see why as you explore the grounds on a sunny day.
It’s a place to relax, with no hard decisions to make – except maybe which wine to try next!
5 of the Best Wine Tours in Napa Valley
These are our absolute favorite Napa Valley wine tours to see the region in a fun, and sometimes novel, way and to taste some of the very best wines on offer.
- From $338.00
Float up to 2,000 feet in the air to get stunning views over the Californian horizon.
Setting off at sunrise, this tour gives you the perfect vantage point to see the rolling hills and sprawling vineyards of Sonoma and Napa.
Of course, it wouldn’t be right to wrap up the experience without a glass of the region’s finest sparkling wine!
- From $169.00
Take this eco-certified small group tour from San Francisco to the coastal redwoods in Muir Woods.
This full-day tour will see you hiking in a protected forest and tasting premium wines in Napa and Sonoma County’s wine country.
The eco-friendly bus will take you over the Golden Gate Bridge to Muir woods, and make a lunch stop at the historic Sonoma Plaza, before heading to the famous wine regions for samples as well as a bit of history.
- From $350.00
Take a guided trip to three of Sonoma or Napa’s top wineries on a motorbike and sidecar. Because, well, why not?!
Feel the fresh mountain breeze as you cruise around in comfort and style in your cozy sidecar.
Don a helmet and goggles, but don’t worry, you won’t have to drive!
Your professional driver guide will take care of all of the details, allowing you plenty of time to sip as much wine as you like and take in all of the countryside views.
- From $119
Learn about the rich history of the area on this classic Napa wine tour.
You will visit three top-notch wineries in Napa Valley and get the chance to try all of the different wines and, if you like, buy a bottle or two for souvenirs.
Your guide is more than just a driver on this tour. They will hand-pick the small wineries just for you, using their extensive knowledge of the area.
You will also get to enjoy a tasty picnic lunch served at an artisanal winery.
- From $799.00 per group (up to 8)
This 6-hour tour sees you hitting the vineyard slopes in style. Rock up in a luxurious chauffeured limousine to your chosen winery and be the envy of the hills.
Your experienced driver will help you to create the perfect itinerary on this private fully customizable tour.
As an added bonus you can help yourself to the limo’s complementary bar!
It’s the perfect experience for a special occasion or just for a great day out with friends while visiting the beautiful wine region.
FAQ about 10 Best Wineries & Vineyards in Napa Valley, CA
Whether it’s traditional European opulence, or sustainable wineries supporting the natural world, these Napa Valley best wineries have something to offer every visitor.
Visiting them on a traditional tasting tour is an absolute must but there’s no better way of experiencing the sheer scale and beauty of the area than by air in a hot air balloon ride.
So fill your glass, and shout sante, cin cin, salud, or cheers as you sip some of the finest wines in the world!
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