Wine country is calling...
Napa Valley is home to some of the biggest wine brands in the world. While you can certainly take the road more traveled, we are happy to share a few of our favorite less well-known stops in the valley, plus a few gems you've surely heard of!
We've listed our favorite vineyards and tasting rooms, great restaurants, and a few exceptional brands to keep an eye out for when shopping for Napa at home. Get ready to taste and enjoy and don't forget to #NormalizeSpitting or you may not make it to dinner! Be sure to check with each producer on reservations and visit protocol as regulations are constantly changing due to COVID.
From North to South
Your route through Napa Valley should be dependent on where you are staying. We recommend starting your own Google map for your trip and dropping pins on the wineries, restaurants, and other stops you plan to make. If possible, start your day by visiting the winery furthest away from where your day ends. Whether that's your hotel or your dinner reservation, you'll be glad you did! Our list is organized from north to south in the valley to help keep the map easy to follow. Note: dates, times, and pricing is accurate as of the date of this post. Check with each location for changes!
Golden Haven Hot Springs
If you're not ready to start your day with a 10:00 am tasting, consider a stop here. You can enjoy the gorgeous natural hot springs, book a spa treatment, or check out their mud bath experience. They open at 8:00 am and operate on a first come, first served basis so show up early and get invigorated for your day!
Tank Garage Winery
Calistoga is one of our favorite segments of the valley. The vibe is more relaxed than the rest of Napa and there are some very hip, young producers setting down roots up here. Tank focuses on small-production red, white, rosé, Pet Nat, and natural wines in a very cool reimagined gas station. They are open almost every day of the year. Reservations required.
Frank Family Vineyards
We believe this might just be the best place to kick off a day in Napa! This iconic producer's home is nestled on Larkmead Lane in Calistoga. The patio and tasting room are gorgeous but the energy is relaxed and no frills. The sparkling wines...actually all the Frank Family wines, are some of our absolute favorites in Napa. Reservations open at 10:00 am.
It has been a few years since we visited Amulet Estate but this gorgeous property left a lasting impression. You can see a view of the incredible wine cave at the estate in the gallery below. You'll need to request an appointment to visit and you won't find your traditional tasting room experience. Instead, they offer winemaker-guided tours for an elevated experience.
Stony Hill Vineyard
An icon of Napa Valley, getting here is like a trip through a storybook. Situated on Spring Mountain in northern St Helena, you can taste some of the finest domestic Chardonnay there is here. They also produce Cabernet Sauvignon and Riesling. You can reserve a 90-minute tasting experience for $95.00 per person. A worthy investment in Napa.
Another mountainside vineyard and winery, Keenan is a very special stop. Like all wineries in the Spring Mountain District, the estate is family-owned and operated. Mostly a red wine house, you'll find an unforgettable lineup of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Zinfandel, and other gems. Tastings are held on the hour between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm and range from $50 to $75 per person.
While we have not had the chance to visit Snowden yet, it deserves a spot on this list! The winery's grape growing history dates back to 1878. Located just east of Rutherford and St. Helena, the vineyards sit at a confluence of several different natural influences on the gentle slopes of the Vaca Mountains. Winemaker Diana Snowden Seysses, is the property's third generation of Snowdens handling the production. They offer private tastings for groups of up to four people by appointment.
Revana Family Vineyards
We're still up in the northern part of the valley with this remarkable Cabernet Sauvignon producer. Dr. Madaiah Revana came to Napa over 20 years ago where he fell in love with the valley and the outstanding Cabernet being produced in the area. He purchased the property in 1997 and poured his efforts into the vineyards and state-of-the-art winemaking facility. The tasting room is open every day from 10:00 am to 3:30 pm and appointments are available for $100 per person. Dr. Revana also owns the incredible Alexana Winery in Willamette Valley, Oregon. A must-see if you get up there!
Let's eat! Dining in St. Helena
The town of St. Helena is a fabulous place for a midday meal or dinner reservation. Scroll down to our Google map to see pins on our favorite dining spots up and down the valley!
Market: Open for lunch and dinner, you'll find American favorites like organic fried chicken, baby back ribs, and Champagne-battered fish and chips.
Himalayan Sherpa Kitchen: If you're looking for a departure from the typical French, Italian, and New American menus throughout the valley, give this awesome Nepalese place a try! Delicious curry, Tandoori, and Tika Masala dishes pair with a pretty extensive wine list. Open for lunch and dinner.
Goose & Gander: We are huge fans of this restaurant! Excellent atmosphere and elevated service. Highly recommended for dinner.
The Charter Oak: Excellent ambiance farm-to-table dining experience. Open for lunch and dinner Wednesday through Sunday!
Finding your way
Bookmark this Google map we created to help you plan your trip! On it, you'll find pins dropped for each winery mentioned, plus some of our favorite spots to eat along the way!
Leaving St. Helena
As you continue south through the valley past the town of St Helena, we've got a few very different winery stops for you to consider.
Since 1932 this winery has been writing their story across generations. This is a beautiful example of a hidden gem nestled among the vines. Tastings start at $45.00, which in Napa is a steal! Recently voted one of Napa Valley's Top 10 Small Undiscovered Wineries by Legendary Napa Valley.
Owned by the one and only Jean-Charles Boisset, this is a Napa stop you will not forget. Raymond offers experiences for every one of your senses. Tastings start at $35.00 per person at the most basic level but you'll want to be sure to check out their calendar of events and list of creative wine experiences that are always changing. If you've eveer wanted to explore the art of blending wine, the Winemaker for a Day experience is so much fun!
Mumm Napa Valley
We haven't been here yet, but if you're stopping at Raymond and you're a fan of sparkling wine, you might want to add this stop to the schedule. Tastings start at $28.00 per person and you can make reservations for their patio with views of Rutherford vineyards, the oak terrace, or vineyard green.
Easy bites along the way
La Luna Market & Taqueria
Simple and tasty menu with plenty of options for a quick refuel
Also owned by Jean-Charles Boisset, this is a great spot to grab a delicious sandwich or salad for lunch. They also have a very cool tasting room offering over 200 wines from all over Napa and Sonoma with some great historical content and a lovely atmosphere.
The table is set
Yountville is a fabulous place to have happy hour or dinner. Walking around the quaint shops and tasting rooms is so much fun!
The town of Napa
Ian Devereux is one of the best hosts in all of Napa Valley!
Oxbow Public Market
Jax White Mule Diner
Boon Fly Café
Must-see stops in the South
This tour from North to South ends with two of the best stops of all.
NAPA VALLEY GALLERY
A peek at a few of our favorite Napa spots!
More notable Napa wines to try -- but sorry, no tasting room
Peter Franus Wines