With over 400 wineries located in one of California’s premier grape-growing regions, it’s fair to say that the Napa Valley is an unmissable experience for any wine buff.
Welcome to Napa
We’d strongly recommend avoiding it in the summer when the crowds flock to tastings and the most popular wineries are extremely busy – try to head there in the Autumn for a more relaxed experience. But where do you start in this most iconic of wine regions?
Well, first of all make sure you make the time to take in downtown Napa itself. It makes a great base to explore the region from and it’s packed with affordable hotels and restaurants. From there you’ll be able to easily explore the rest of the region, and have an attractive and trendy old town to return to after a hard day on the road.
The many wineries in the Napa Valley offer a huge range of different experiences for the wine lover – from relaxed afternoons spent enjoying food pairing sessions with some of California’s leading wine experts through to quick tastings, there really is something for everyone. Don’t be put off visiting the biggest wineries either – they’re popular for a reason and most are well worth taking in. Here are just a few of our favourites.
- Robert Mondavi: Napa’s first commercial winery, established in 1861 by Charles Krug. It’s a great place to start your Napa Valley experience, with fascinating tours and stunning grounds.
- Inglenook Winery: Now owned by Francis Ford Coppola – who bought the place with the profits he made from The Godfather II – Inglenook is an unmissable Napa highlight. It’s a steep $45 to visit – but worth every penny.
- Frog’s Leap: Built on a former frog farm (no, we’re not entirely sure either), this is a wonderful place to soak up the atmosphere while enjoying a guided tour through their vineyards. You’ll get plenty of wine to taste while you’re taking in the scenery too – this is a special experience for anyone heading to the Napa Valley looking for something a bit different.
Find out more about our range of Californian wines on our website.