NOVINOPHOBIA - the fear of running out of wine.
You are definitely free of this fear in Napa Valley, where there is wine aplenty.
From our recent visit to sunny Napa Valley, we handpicked four wineries that delivered unique experiences.
FAILLA WINERY || Semi-Private Wine Cave Tour
3530 Silverado Trail N, St Helena
If you want a cozy and friendly wine tasting experience, we highly recommend this wine cave tour. Though we were enjoying summer temperatures outside, you will want to bring a jacket for the cave tour.
Once inside, our guide gave us explanation of how wine is made using these concrete eggs, which acts as a self-mixing mechanism. We visited during Easter Weekend, hence the adorable drawings initiated by the staff team on these concrete eggs.
Our tasting list for the day included a 2015 Haynes Vineyard, Coombsville Chardonnay, 2015 Chuy, Sonoma Valley Chardonnay, 2015 Lola, Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir, 2015 Keefer Ranch, Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, and a 2015 Savoy Vineyard, Anderson Valley Pinot Noir.
We thoroughly enjoyed the casual, friendly wine tasting experience, where our guide shared some expert tips on wine-making and also the interesting story behind the history of the winery. The wine tasting alone is $30, a great steal to enjoy great wines in a unique environment.
DUCKHORN WINERY || Open-Air Cottage and Patio
1000 Lodi Lane, Saint Helena
If you are looking for a spot where you can socialize and linger with a few friends, Duckhorn would be a great pick. Gaze out amongst the vines and greenery while enjoying the summer breeze on the patio sitting at their high top tables. You will stare in awe as their staff stack numerous glasses in a stable tower as they clean the tables.
With a beautiful view and relaxing patio seating, the cost of this tasting is a bit higher at approximately $50 per person.
Our wine tasting flight here included:
- A 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon from Patzimara Vineyard.
- A 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon from Howell Mountain
- A 2014 Merlot from Stout Vineyard; and
- A 2014 Merlot from Carneros.
HOPE AND GRACE || Cozy Yountville Tasting Room
6540 Washington St, Yountville
The numerous wineries lining the main street of Yountville are the best reason for you to stay in Yountville (we recommend Vintage House Boutique Hotel). we visited this cozy wine tasting room and left with a few bottles of their distinctively refreshing white wine.
The tasting flight fee here is only $20 per person, which is waived with a wine purchase. The popular choices at this winery was a local 2016 Chardonnay, the Semillon. Its acidity is moderate, with expansive pear, apple and lemon flavours to saturate the palate. Only 7 barrels were produced, making it a delicious collectible. It's bright and refreshing and is a perfect summer drink you will want to enjoy in the comfort of your own home.
DOMAINE CHANDON || Lush Gardens to Enjoy the Sunshine
1 California Dr, Yountville
If kicking back and lounging in a comfortable lawn chair in the summer sunshine is your favourite escape, then the Chandon Winery is a must-visit for you. The first floor is dedicated to their gifts and souvenirs shop, while the second floor is a sampling / wine bar that stretches the entire length of the second floor, and opens onto a sunny patio and garden with rolling hills, where guests can share a few bottles of champagne in the summer sun.
Here you can order by the glass or by the bottle from the wine bar. We shared three bottles amongst the four of us over three relaxing hours in the sun. Note that there is a charge for the glassware, so it is best to order all of your bottles at once, since you will have to pay the glassware charge again if you order each of your bottles separately.
There is an exclusive sparkling red wine at this location, which we found especially refreshing and would recommend you bring home as a souvenir. Make sure you leave some room in your luggage to bring home all these tasty wines!
We hope you are able to try one (or all four!) wineries in the above list, as we thoroughly enjoyed each of them, serving up memorable experiences.