7 Best Winery Tours in Napa Valley for Newcomers

  • Wineries
  • on JULY 13, 2016
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If you’re looking for a unique experience that goes beyond the traditional Napa Valley wine tasting, consider scheduling a winery tour during your visit. We’ve rounded up a list of some of our favorites, including tours through state-of-the-art winemaking facilities, stunning vineyards, and romantic wine caves.

Art and Wine Converge

Image Source: Yelp

HALL St. Helena
401 St Helena Highway
St Helena, CA 94574
(707) 967-2626
TripAdvisor: 4.5 stars, 210 reviews

At HALL Wines, an appreciation for fine wine and art go hand in hand. Owners Kathryn Walt Hall and Craig Hall, who have been producing outstanding Cabernet Sauvignon for decades, also have quite the modern art collection. Both passions are featured in the wine and art exploration tour, which includes a stroll through the collection of modern art, with tastings of HALL’s latest releases woven throughout the exploration. Or check out the ”sunset cruise,” a walking tour of the property at sunset, ending with a tasting on the terrace overlooking the vineyards.

Insider tip: If you enjoy these wines, plan a visit to WALT Wines in Sonoma to check out HALL’s other label in an intimate tasting room experience.

Medieval Magic

Image Source: Yelp

Castello di Amorosa
4045 St Helena Hwy
Calistoga, CA 94515
(707) 967-6272
TripAdvisor: 4.5 stars, 2783 reviews

A tour and tasting at the Castello di Amorosa is a one-of-a-kind experience. Inspired by a 13th-century Tuscan castle, the Castello offers guests a glimpse into medieval history. We recommend the royal food and wine pairing tour, which includes an educational tour of the castle, hosted by the winery’s sommelier, and concludes with a tasting of premium wine and food selections in the lavishly-appointed Royal Apartment.

Insider tip: Keep the Italian theme going by heading to nearby Bosko’s Trattoria for wood-fired pizzas and housemade pasta.

Visit the Hilltop

Image Source: Yelp

Newton Vineyard
1 California Drive
Yountville, CA 94599
(707) 963-9000
TripAdvisor: 4.5 stars, 55 reviews

Newton Vineyard, one of the first wineries built on Spring Mountain, is known for their unfiltered Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Chardonnay. The property’s founders, Dr. Sue Hua and Peter Newton, have included elements of their ancestry throughout the estate. These elements—a London phone booth, Chinese red gates, and gorgeous English gardens, to name a few—set the tone for a unique and enchanting tasting experience. We recommend the vineyard tour and tasting, which includes exploring the estate in a Pinzgauer utility vehicle, then a hilltop tasting through the winery’s current releases while taking in the breathtaking panoramic views.

Insider tip: Ask for a sip of their signature Cabernet Sauvignon, The Puzzle. Each year, it is a mystery as to which proportion of each varietal will go into this centerpiece wine, hence the name.

An Equestrian Affair

Image Source: Yelp

Tamber Bey Winery
1251 Tubbs Lane
Calistoga, CA 94515
(707) 942-2100
TripAdvisor: 4.5 stars, 137 reviews

Tamber Bey Winery, located at Sundance Ranch equestrian facility, offers a unique and engaging wine tasting experience. The tasting room is housed in the original barn clubhouse, and visitors are invited to mingle with the estate’s horses in the central courtyard. The ranch and winery tour and tasting includes a guided exploration of the ranch, the custom crush facility, barrel rooms, and a visit with the resident horses. Be sure to ask about the 2012 Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon: it was awarded 90 points by Wine Advocate.

Insider tip: Looking for something extra special? Book Tamber Bey Vineyard’s Wine Country Experience! Join Vintner Barry Waitte for a private tour of the Tamber Bey Winery and Sundance Ranch followed by a retrospective tasting of Tamber Bey’s past vintages from Barry’s library.

Explore the Historic Estate

Image Source: Yelp

Staglin Family Vineyard
1570 Bella Oaks Lane
Rutherford, CA 94573
(707) 963-3994
TripAdvisor: 4.5 stars, 15 reviews

Staglin Family Vineyard was founded in 1985, when the Staglin family purchased the estate. But, the property has history dating back to 1864, when it was first farmed by the Steckter family. Tour the winery’s underground caves, organic vineyards, and visit the recently renovated 19th-century farmhouse. Staglin Family are known for their premium Cabernet Sauvignon, but they also produce Chardonnay and Sangiovese wines at this historic estate, as well.

Insider tip: Consider taking home some of the winery’s Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, produced under their Salus label. One hundred percent of the proceeds from these wines go toward raising funds for mental health research, a cause near-and-dear to the Staglin family.

Experience Napa Valley History

Image Source: Yelp

Chateau Montelena
1429 Tubbs Lane
Calistoga, CA 94515
(707) 942-5105
TripAdvisor: 4.5 stars, 390 reviews

Chateau Montelena famously made a name for itself in the historic 1976 Judgment of Paris wine tasting. Today, visitors are welcomed into the beautiful stone castle for tastings of the property’s renowned Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. The estate’s vineyard tour offers an intimate glimpse into the winery’s farming and viticultural process. Small groups (with a maximum of 7 people per tour) are driven in the Montelena Club Car throughout the property’s hillside vineyards, and are then led through a guided tasting experience of the latests releases.

Insider tip: After the tour, stop for a caffeinated pick-me-up at Yo el Rey Roasting.

Journey Through the Caves

Image Source: Palmaz Vineyards, Yelp

Palmaz Vineyards
4029 Hagen Road
Napa, CA 94558
(707) 226-5587
TripAdvisor: 5 stars, 74 reviews

Deep below Mount St. George, hundreds of barrels of wine are aging in Palmaz Vineyards’ massive underground caves. The largest wine caves in the Napa Valley, spanning 100,000 square feet, are about 10 times the size of any other in the region. Palmaz Vineyards, a small-production winery known for Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling, and Chardonnay produced by high-tech methodology, was founded by Dr. Julio Palmaz, inventor of the balloon heart stent and his wife, Amalia Palmaz. The Palmazes passion for wine really developed while Dr. Palmaz was completing his residency at UC Davis. Today, he brings his passion for scientific precision to winemaking, as has studied wine on the molecular level. Get the insider perspective on the winery’s use of gravity-flow winemaking methods, by taking a private tour through the multileveled caves while enjoying stunning releases paired with savory hors d’oeuvres.

Insider tip: For a sweet finish, ask for a sip of the refreshing Florencia Muscat.

A visit to the Napa Valley offers a bevy of sensational experiences, including extraordinary tasting and dining.


WineCountry Staff


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