Top Napa Valley Wine Tours

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If I had a nickel for every time I was asked what my favorite wineries in Napa are I could buy a bottle of Screaming Eagle, or at the very least a bottle of Nickel & Nickel. 🙂 Narrowing down the toasts of the town in the Napa Valley isn’t easy because when it comes to naming magnificent winemakers, my cup runneth over. However, it’s impossible to taste and tour all of Napa Valley in one trip no matter how big the Wine Oh! With that in mind here are my fav five, but they might not be yours. If that is the case, feel free to leave a comment and let us know your Top Napa Valley Wine Tours!

1. Far Niente

Far Niente’s rich history dates back over 125 years while they are well known for their  classically Californian Chardonnay their other wines can do more than hold their own.  There is something for everyone at this premier producer with Nickel & Nickel as their big brother and Dolce as their little sister you can expect more than a little sibling rivalry amongst this wine modern family.

My historic tour started with a welcome from Walt a long time tour guide who took us on a walk throughout the hillside winery, continuing through part of their 40,000 square-foot wine aging caves, and ending with a pit stop along the wine road less traveled.  The tour is complete with a can’t miss car collection in the Carriage House. Their show-stopper is a Vignale-bodied ’51 Ferrari 340 America roadster and the experience ends with a wine and cheese pairing. Combine their rich history, classic cars, and award winning wines and you have the most worthwhile wine tasting experience in the valley.

2. Domaine Carneros Winery

If sparkles make you smile, then you can’t beat beginning your day with a little bubbly. Domaine Carneros sits right smack in the heart of Carneros and was founded by Champagne Taittinger in 1987. The winery is considered a regional landmark and a sight and experience that can’t be missed. The tour starts with a little sparkling, and it takes you to the vineyards where you get to pick and taste grapes straight from the vine. After learning what goes into the art of making sparkling wine special, the exciting event ends with a whole bunch of bubbly. If you take the trip through Domaine Carneros Winery, you will leave with more than one reason to say “Cheers!”

3. Opus One

This legendary winery might be the brainchild of two masterminds, but there is truly only one Opus. Baron Philippe de Rothschild and Robert Mondavi, created the wine in 1979 and their attention to detail is what helped make them the cream of the wine crop. I have taken this tour four times and I learn something new each time. Hearing the history of two of the world’s most iconic innovators and tasting their current vintage surrounded by beautiful red wine stained barrels are a few more reasons why there is only one Opus!

4. CADE

If you venture over the river and through the woods, you will find yourself in the heart of Howell Mountain, the home of Napa Valley’s first organically farmed, LEED Gold Certified Winery. CADE Winery is committed to having visitors think and drink green. Using solar panels, reducing water production and maintaining a natural landscape, CADE is making their mark by reducing their carbon footprint. If going green isn’t your thing, you still might want to make your way to the winery hidden in the hills. Their Howell Mountain Estate Cabernet Sauvignon and mind blowing views are enough to make you get in the game, even if green isn’t your best color.

5. Silver Oak

Silver Oak has been hand crafting Cabernet for over 35 years and has arguably the most recognizable landmark in the valley. In 1972, Silver Oak’s Alexander Valley vineyards produced their first harvest, and seven years later their Napa Cabernet soon followed. Since then, Silver Oak has been a go-to wine you can count on for quality and consistency. After taking the tour, you will learn the history of their heritage and will likely be a believer that life is, in fact, a Cabernet! If you really want to hear the inside scoop from the man who’s been there since the beginning, request former pilot turned tour guide, Deke, to show you the ropes, pour some wine and dish the dirt.

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PUBLISHED DATE: November 9th, 2011 | WINE CATEGORY: Wine 101, Wine Country, Wine Education
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