The Best Wineries in Napa, California
Now I know what you’re thinking, nine is a lot to choose from. Out of the over 800 wineries in Napa and Sonoma California, I've narrowed the must-visit list down to my top four and included five honorable mentions.
Each of the wineries I've listed below has its own rich history that can be found in more places than just the vines. The tasting rooms, wineries, and vineyards are sure to amaze you and your crew from the atmosphere to the wines to the pairings. I hope you love them as much as I do!
Now if you’re thinking, but Ashlee, what do I wear?! Don’t worry, I've got that mapped out for you as well in our What to Pack for Napa, California Blog! Read on for the full insider scoop on which wineries to visit while you're on the Pacific Coast!
1. Walt Wines
Walt's Chocolate Pairing
Ashlee visiting the Sonoma Tasting Room
Walt's beautiful Sonoma property
Walt Wines is a fabulous winery that is owned by Katherine Hall. She inherited the business from her parents and it has been a family endeavor ever since. They have two adorable properties where they host wine tastings in downtown Sonoma, and a more recent location in downtown Napa.
My family and I recently did a pairing of exquisite chocolate bonbons with a variety of their specialty, Pinot Noir, in their Sonoma Tasting Room.
Walt Wines carefully crafts Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the grapes of their vineyards spanning over 1,000 miles on the Pacific Coast. Crafted with natural and true flavor, their wines express the character of each grape varietal and vineyard.
Walt Wines' Pinot Noir tends to pair beautifully with meats, pasta, and cheese. It is not a sweet wine but more light and fruity. This wine is incredibly diverse and can pair perfectly with many meals.
Walt Wines' other specialty, Chardonnay, pairs handsomely with fish and seafood. Chardonnay tends to be dry and embodies citrus flavors. The tone of the wine will often reflect where the grapes are grown.
Walt Wines highlights its vineyard's location for this exact reason; their grapes are carefully grown to reflect this flavor cultivated along the Pacific Coast.
I visited the charming Sonoma property and was astonished by the redwood in the backyard. Not only are they the tallest trees on earth, but they also hold five times more carbon than any other tree.
These trees are an ancient part of California's history, as well as vital for the health of our planet. To say the least, it was breathtaking.
2. Boeschen Vineyards
Boeschen Vineyards, a stunning and private locale, has much more than wine to enjoy. To start, the wine is made in carefully crafted small batches inside their beautiful wine cave.
This family owned vineyard was established in 1999 and finished the underground winery in 2006. The entirety of the business is run by the family from the website to the wine, their 11-acre estate is guided by family commitment.
Boeschen Vineyards also highlights its commitment to the environment and its local community.
Boeschen Vineyards is rich with history, thus they strive to embody that Old World charm and provide an escape from the bustle of modern life.
The garden’s landscaping reflects a setting common to the 1800s in Europe. The color-blocked rose beds will have you feeling like you’re in a fairy tale. Even more astounding, the roses as many were larger than my hand!
Their enchanting greenhouse was restored to its original glory of the 1920s. This structure only adds to the charming beauty of the gardens.
If wine and gardens don't suit you, the property also features a car collection that would make any aficionado swoon!
To see this splendid property you will have to book a private tour with the owner Doug Boeschen.
An extremely kind and knowledgeable individual, Doug himself gave me and my family a tour of the property. I simply couldn’t leave without a bottle of their Carrera wine.
3. Domaine Carneros
This show-stopping winery is full of history. The Domaine Carneros chateau was built in 1988 to house its premium sparkling wines. The chateau houses their winery and cellar where they store their magnificent bubbly wine.
The same carefully crafted process to make champagne is used to create the delicious sparkling wine at Domaine Carneros.
The Tattinger and Kopf families have been perfecting these delicious sparkling wines for decades. Spending a day tasting bubbly wine is a perfect way to change up traditional wine tastings.
We all know I'm is a sucker for bubbly, so the exquisite sparkling wine tasting was a highlight of the trip.
The CEO Remy - we love a woman in charge - generously brought out their best bubbly for our group to try.
We had the luxury of trying five different sparkling wines, each with a variety of descriptions from crisp, zesty, floral, to creamy. These wines were deliciously paired with a sweet and savory charcuterie.
4. Inglenook winery
His wines became world-renowned and are what drew increased attention to Napa valley.
The property was eventually divided and the production of wine from Inglenook ceased. In 1975, the estate was reunited with the chateau and vineyards through the purchase of the land by Francis and Eleanor Coppola.
The Coppola family has since restored the estate and brought back the production of delicious wines.
This winery was so amazing that I couldn’t end the trip without another visit. I had already visited Inglenook years ago, but had to return to show it off to my family and enjoy its variety of wines.
A fun fact about this winery is that it is currently owned by Francis Ford Coppola, otherwise known as the director of The Godfather! He and his wife Eleanor currently live on the property and help to run the winery.
This stunning Inglenook Winery has 235 acres of vineyards that you can walk through - although we don’t recommend walking through it in its entirety. The property’s views will make you feel like you’re in a movie with its abundance of vines and romantic trellises.
I promised you my top nine list, so here are five more stops to add to your itinerary while in wine country.
Not only does this fabulous tasting room sit inside a cave, but their “clean wines” are made specifically for red-wine-headache sufferers to be able to enjoy without the consequences.
The gardens of Clos Pegase are unreal, the lovely grounds make this stop a wonderful outing to explore. There is also lots to learn about their delicious wines and how to differentiate a sweet glass of red from a dry glass!
Another brand under the Walt Wines family of wineries, HALL, has two stunning tasting room options. Their St. Helena vineyards are a must see for anyone visiting Napa County because they include a range of varietals and cheeses in the HALLmark Tour.
Walking through some of the many acres of Mumm was astounding. However, the views only got better with a glass of some delicious bubbly in hand!
This gorgeous vineyard is full of my favorite bubbly wines. Not only were the bubbles delightful, but so were the lovely grounds full of lush plants and glorious ponds.
No matter where your next adventure takes you, I hope this blog inspires you to treat yourself to a well-deserved vacation. You time is important and it’s even more special when you get to explore a new place, meet new people, and make new memories. Even if you can’t bring yourself to Napa, maybe a nice bottle of wine can bring some of Napa to you! Enjoy!