Napa Valley is synonymous with great wine. More than 400 wineries call it home. One of the hardest parts about visiting is deciding where to go once you’re there. In Napa Valley there are distinct microclimates and terrains that define the grapes that grow within their boundaries. These regions or appellations are called American Viticultural Areas, or AVAs. The Napa Valley was California’s first recognized AVA, but within it exists 16 additional AVAs, including well-known spots like Calistoga, Oakville, Yountville, Rutherford and St. Helena.
Hundreds of wineries are open to the public in Napa Valley. Some are historic, while others like Raymond Vineyards have a modern feel. Some wineries offer one-of-a-kind views or off-road adventures, while others like Whitehall Lane Winery, offer cooking classes and distinctive food. And since 95% of Napa Valley wineries are family owned, there’s a good chance you’ll hear some good stories along the way.
Large or small, wineries want you to enjoy yourself while you are there. While wine tasting is the primary reason you’re visiting, often times it’s just one of many things you’ll experience at a winery. Every wine tasting is uniquely different, so plan on visiting several wineries during your time in the area. If you need some help deciding where to begin, the list below with get you started.
And be sure to save room in your suitcase for the new favorite bottles that will inevitably be making the trip home with you.