Napa Valley renown in the world of wine is sky-high. It’s no wonder then, that visitors to the San Francisco Bay Area leap at the chance to visit the scenic valley, and once here, wine tasting in Napa is undoubtedly one of the most popular things do.
Napa Valley wine tasting can be done all over the valley, so whether you're in Napa, St. Helena, Yountville, or Calistoga, you'll have no problem finding wineries to explore. Napa wine tasting tours can often include visits to the vineyards, cellar, or even wine caves. You'll learn about different varietals, the process of wine-making, and what to look for when tasting wine.
Nearly all of the wineries in Napa Valley are open to the public year-round, so you will have many choices. Of course, the warm Napa Valley weather in the spring and summer make those times of year popular for Napa Valley wine tastings, but the fall harvest is also a great time for tasting tours. Wineries often open for visitors in the late morning, and close in the late afternoon, so you can visit several and have time for a picnic lunch or some shopping in between.
Most Napa Valley wine tastings are around five to ten dollars apiece, making it easy to visit multiple wineries in one day. If you are visiting Napa on a budget, be sure to look for discounts on wine tastings. While free tastings aren't always easy to find, coupons can often be found at hotels, spas, and online. Coupons might offer two-for-one tastings, a percentage discount on tastings or products, or free tastings and tours—it all depends on the winery.
Napa wine tasting tours are a great way to try a variety of Napa wines. Guided or self-guided bike tours allow you to be active and outside in between tastings, and shuttle tours or the Napa Wine Train are both good options for those who prefer to enjoy the scenery without worrying about transportation. Another great way to plan a day of wine tasting in Napa is visiting a string of wineries along either Highway 29 or the Silverado Trail, which are both popular scenic drives. Among the dozens of wineries to try are Trefethen, Mumms, Rubicon, Quintessa, Frog's Leap, Peju, and Robert Mondavi.
Some Napa Valley wine tastings are focused on specific varietals, while others span a range of whites and reds. Sparkling wine enthusiasts will love the tastings at Gloria Ferrer, Domaine Carneros, Mumms Napa, Domaine Chandon, and Schramsberg. Some Napa wine tasting tours offer food pairings as well, so you can learn what foods bring out the special characteristics of different wines. If you love food as much as wine, you might want to try a tasting at the California Culinary Academy in Napa. You can also pack a picnic lunch and enjoy lunch at a winery with one of your favorite bottles from a tasting.
Wine tasting in Napa is a fantastic way to spend a relaxing day. Whether you want to tour the Silverado Trail wineries, focus on sparkling wine, or find great food and wine pairings, the possibilities for great wine tasting in Napa are endless.