Looking for great wineries in Napa
July 7, 2021 10:51 AM   Subscribe

Hi! Simple question: What are your favorite wineries in Napa? We're open to any and all ideas. Thank you!
posted by DavidNYC to Travel & Transportation around Napa, CA (13 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
For visits/tastings, or just wines to buy? I ask because some of our favorite wineries do not have tasting rooms, and our favorite tasting rooms do not always correspond with our favorite wines.

That said, here are a few ideas that reasonably check both boxes (with the caveat that I have not visited in almost two years, and there was both covid and fire in the mean time, so some of this may have changed). Chateau Montelena is big, but is a legend and has some very solid wines. Pride is a fun tour and a different kind of scenery. Stag's Leap is venerable and reliable. On the smaller end, Mending Wall has a beautiful setting.
posted by primethyme at 11:04 AM on July 7, 2021 [3 favorites]

I love di Rosa, but it is more of an art gallery than a winery. They make wine, but don’t do tastings as far as I can tell. You are welcome to picnic on the grounds, however, and can imbibe as long as you are “subtle and adult” about it, per the employee I spoke with when I was there a few weeks ago.
posted by sacrifix at 11:10 AM on July 7, 2021

Very limited experience, but I recommend Schramsberg's (their specialty is sparkling wine).
posted by Rash at 11:25 AM on July 7, 2021 [1 favorite]

I like Duckhorn. Nice tasting room and excellent wines.
posted by shoesietart at 11:27 AM on July 7, 2021

If you’re open to Sonoma, right around the corner… Then my absolute fave is Gundlach Bundschu. I keep going back. Sitting by their lake makes for such a wonderful half-day.
posted by estlin at 12:04 PM on July 7, 2021 [1 favorite]

Agree about Sonoma - Bella Wine Caves is my favorite.
posted by dpx.mfx at 12:43 PM on July 7, 2021

I'm sure you've heard that reservations are booked out months in advance this year so be as proactive as possible. Frog's Leap is a beautiful winery and I highly recommend a visit and a wander around their garden.
posted by rdnnyc at 1:15 PM on July 7, 2021

Napa local here. We just took family to Turnbull and Darioush. We typically also take people to Caymus. I like Mumm for sparkling wine and great views. Search around for reservations because almost every winery is working on reservations only. Midweek is easiest but you should plan to be flexible, restaurants too… book now and expect some late or early dinners.
posted by Swisstine at 1:42 PM on July 7, 2021 [1 favorite]

Ferrari-Carano in Sonoma - beautiful gardens and grounds, very good wines.
posted by flowergrrrl at 4:35 PM on July 7, 2021

V. Sattui is one of my favorites. Relaxed atmosphere and great food (bbq), too.
posted by Ahmad Khani at 4:55 PM on July 7, 2021 [3 favorites]

The Hess Collection is interesting if you like art with your wine.
posted by Gusaroo at 8:05 PM on July 7, 2021 [1 favorite]

We spent some time in Downtown Napa and got great recommendations from the guy at Back Room Wines. Big selection of small and teeny local wineries. And a lot more. He’s since sold the place, but that would be a place to stop and ask around.

Okay, from that guy’s recommendations and what we found on our own, all smaller family wineries, with a sampling of AVA’s around the valley:

Starting on the Highway 29 side:
Elyse (new owners, but still selling the old owners’ bottles)
Paradigm — solid Cab Franc
Smith Madrone (way up Spring Mountain; beautiful Reisling)
Vinoce (Mt Veeder, another solid Cab Franc. Recently opened a tasting room in Downtown Napa)

And on the Silverado Trail side:

Neal Family, up on Howell Mountain
and right in the heart of Stag’s Leap AVA, Baldacci Family.

You could choose three of those and have a great day. More than that and yer pushing your luck. Pick up sandwiches at the Oakville Store or at the little market across the parking lot from Bistro Jeanty in Yountville.
posted by notyou at 9:47 PM on July 7, 2021 [2 favorites]

Small world: Smith Madrone gets a nod in this NYT story about the impact of climate change on Napa: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/18/climate/napa-wine-heat-hot-weather.html
posted by notyou at 9:17 PM on July 20, 2021

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