Some of my favorite wineries in Napa became my favorite because of the views. Some of them became my favorite because of the wine, but most of them became my favorite because of the overall experience. Here are my top picks.
Elizabeth Spencer has a quaint little tasting room and outdoor area that I really liked. If you make an appointment, you will get to taste through the wines in their adorable little cottage too.
Cade was a really nice experience. Not only are the views breathtaking, but when you make an appointment you are able to get a private tour of their caves. I was lucky enough to see them crushing grapes too.
Iron Horse Vineyards was a really educational and pleasant experience for me. I learned a lot and loved enjoying the sparkling wines while taking in all the scenery.
Soda Rock was a random stop on our way back from Healdsburg, but one of the most memorable. The tasting ladies there (Grace and Carol) are a riot, and we had so much fun with them.
Honig was another one of my favorites for many reasons. First of all, I absolutely love their wines. Their Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon are 2 of my favorite wines to sell. They give you one on one attention when tasting, and we were able to sit outside in the garden looking over the vineyards.
I loved wineries where you could sit and enjoy a little bite to eat while you taste, and Robert Sinskey is one of those places. The tasting includes a small plates of canopies and other wine friendly bites that pair well with the wines. I’m not a huge fan of their wines, but I loved the idea of showcasing their wines with food.
Paraduxx (part of Duckhorn) was probably one of my favorite wineries to visit because we were able to sit outside at a table while enjoying a plate of charcuterie and cheeses with the large array of tastings they give you. Our tasting instructor (Teressa) was fantastic too and kept us very interested in the wines. This was just a great experience overall.
The outdoor seating area at Ma(i)sonry was really lovely as well.
Chappellet had a fantastic and very educational tour of their vineyards, cellar room, and a nice sit down tasting of their wines. I am a big fan of their Chardonnay and Cabernet, but enjoyed this experience a lot.
Mumm stands out because there really isn’t much better than enjoy sparkling wines while taking in the view of the vineyards on a funny Fall day. Not my favorite sparkling wines, but again, it was the experience. Jill and I enjoyed our Mumm experience with another couple (hi Austin and Jen!) who we met at Chappellet earlier that day.
Visiting the Forman was also a fun experience. Ric Forman, who was a long time winemaker at Sterling is known for introducing barrel fermentation of white wines to California, helped start Newton and Duckhorn Vineyards, and is considered an expert in non-malolactic Chardonnay. He is the sole proprietor of Forman, and personally nurtures the wines at every stage. Without knowing, we ran into him on our way to their private tasting room, and now I wish I had known it was him-I would have introduced myself! The winery and his house are located at the base of Howell Mountain on this absolutely beautiful property overlooking the mountains and vineyards of St. Helena. It really was spectacular. Margaret took us through the wines, chatted with his about Ric and his winemaking history, along with other fun stuff. It was a memorable experience.
I really enjoyed the wines at Forman, Chapellet, Flora Springs, Hall, Plumpjack, and especially Honig the most.
And last but not least-Domain Carneros. This was a very relaxing way to end our day with a glass of bubbly and the view. It really is a beautiful estate.
There really are so many great wineries to choose from in Napa, and each one is so very unique. I always loved the ones that had outdoor seating areas where you could enjoy the wines while you relaxed and took in the views. These were just a few favorites from this trip, but I can’t wait to go back and try some more!