If you want wine made out of your choice of grapes in small quantities—like maybe just a barrel, then Judd's Hill is the place you need to visit. The winery is owned and managed by Finkelstein family on the principle of 'small is beautiful.' They are quite happy to make wines on a made-to-order basis and according to customer specifications. They have a wine club where members have additional benefits and are invited to Judd's Hill events in Napa Valley. A combination of art, heritage, finest grapes and hand crafted wines is what Judd's Hill is all about. Picturesque and sunny, a visit to this winery is a great way to spend a lovely afternoon.
Located on a summit, Pride Mountain Vineyards is spread over 235 acres (95 hectares) and is surrounded by mountains, offering a stunning view of the countryside of Sonoma County. The estate blends in well with the natural surroundings. Pride Mountain welcomes you to a tour of their estate and the most popular attraction, the caves. These caves lie about 50 feet (15 meters) below ground and the wine is stored in them. Tours take place in the mornings and tasting sessions during the afternoons. Since county regulations require a prior appointment, it is advisable to reserve and confirm the tour.
This national park is the preserved home of one of the United States' most famous naturalists and conservationists, John Muir. Muir, who passed away in 1914, founded the Sierra Club and is considered the father of the National Parks system. The site consists of Muir's 17-room Victorian mansion and surrounding fruit ranch, his gravesite, the Martinez Adobe, and the recently added Mount Wanda area that features the John Muir Nature Trail. Take the self-guided tour of the grounds. There are special events around Christmas and on John Muir's birthday, April 21.
This is considered by many to be the most beautiful 18th-century chateau in North America. The chateau also has one of the most prominent vineyards. Domaine Carneros produces award winning sparking and Pinot Noir wines. You'll feel just like a king in the Louis XV-style salon with gracious service to match. Snuggle up to a warm fire during the cold winter months or enjoy the summer air from the terrace. Check out the in-house store, where you can pick up a number of vintages for friends and family. The tasting tours are offered daily.
Robert Mondavi is one of the most renowned vintners in Napa County, producing affordable and complex wines. The Robert Mondavi Winery offers several tasting tours varying in depth and price. The Taste of Wine is a two-hour formal tasting dedicated to training your palate as well as learning about various wine characteristics. Reservations are required all tours and tastings. In addition, the winery hosts countless concerts, art exhibits and community events. Visit the website for details on tours, tastings and events.
The Schramsberg winery was established way back in the year 1862 by German immigrants, and a century later it became the first winery in America to attempt the production of sparkling wines. Today, it produces eight varietals of sparkling wine—they are made primarily from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes and all of them are bottle-fermented. For a taste, you can visit this historic winery by appointment.
Etude Wines specializes in two classic reds – Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon. They firmly adhere to sustainable farming and care is taken in every stage of wine making to ensure the ecological balance is not harmed in any way. Even wild animals have been given a safe passage between the vines. Ripe and ready-to-be-picked grapes are protected from hungry starlings by a falconer and a team of trained falcons. This is a lovely place to spend a day learning about wine and tasting some of the best wines in the Napa Valley. On weekdays you need to call ahead for a tour of the estate or just walk in if it's a Saturday.
The Saintsbury Winery was named after George Saintsbury, a British man of letters and wine connoisseur. It has come a long way since it was founded in 1981—in the last few decades it has accelerated its turn-out from 3000 cases to over 55,000! It specializes in the making of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and turns out select varietals of the latter occasionally.
A picnic ground and trailhead at the base of the hill lead to steep trails up to the boulder-strewn valley rim. Hikers and horse riders to the Skyline Wilderness Park are greeted with pretty views of the valley and a respite from the wine-soaked tourist crush of the valley floor. Some moderate degree of cardiovascular fitness is advisable before setting off.
Truchard Vineyard is a small wine-making estate that uses traditional approach to produce delicious wines. The field holds 270 acres (109 hectares) of planted area, where ten different varieties of grapes are produced. Truchard's wines, particularly from the 1994, 1996 and 1997 vintages, are a great hit among one and all. The cellar here boasts of 1997 Cabernet Sauvignon and 1999 Cabernet Sauvignon that hold a unique fruity tinge to their taste.
Craig MacLean is the reason behind the flavorful, well handcrafted and delicious wines made at Ahnfeldt Wines. The wines made here are well-known throughout California. All of them have received rave reviews, thanks to the fine wine making skills used here. One may find varietals from Sauvignon Blanc to Cabernet Sauvignon to Merlot; each one of them are a class apart. One can also enjoy their wines in a few restaurants like Ristorante Allegria and others in Napa. If you enroll as their member, you can get a discounted stay at some of Napa hotels like the McClelland-Priest Bed & Breakfast Inn.
A collective that showcases 11 boutique wineries in the Napa Valley, Napa Wine Merchants is a casual place where exquisite wine tasting takes place. Wines are created to deliver rich flavor with perfect balance. Run by Thrace Bromberger of Gustavo Thrace Winery, the source is visited for the finest food-friendly wine around. Napa Wine Merchants is where you should be for wine tasting at its fullest. What is perhaps most exciting for visitors and wine lovers is that it offers weekly wine making classes. Also, the Napa Wine Merchants website regularly features coupons for free wine tastings.