There are lots of great reasons to visit Napa Valley. Whether you’re headed there for a romantic getaway with your S.O., an ultra-chic bachelorette party, or even a family vacation, drinking wine is definitely on the agenda. But with over 400 different vineyards and wineries to choose from, it can be tough to figure out which ones are worth visiting.
In addition to offering its own varietals, each winery has its own personality, features unique design vibes, and offers novel ways to experience the vineyard. Some only host private groups, while others are open all day to the public, and if you’re lucky, some even have restaurants or picnic areas where you can enjoy a leisurely meal. The key to a successful trip to Napa is knowing which vineyards you want to visit before you get there.
If you’re planning a trip to California wine country, here are six spots you can’t miss.
Odette Estate Winery
The Winery: Housed in the famous Stags Leap District, Odette Estate Winery is both extremely chic and well-known in the wine world as a solid choice. Plus, the architecture is stunning.
Why Visit: If organic wines are your thing, this is the place to be. This year, the vineyard was certified by California Certified Organic Farmers, the country’s first organic farming certification.
The Winery: Napa’s first estate winery, Inglenook, was founded in 1879. It also happens to be one of Napa’s most visitor-friendly vineyards, with experiences ranging from group tastings to tours of the gorgeous chateau. There’s even a space available for private events, should you be planning something festive in the future.
Why Visit: Inglenook is one of the few wineries in Napa that offers food and wine pairings on the property. That means you can spend more than just a couple hours here, making it the perfect place to relax, taste some wines, and have some gourmet bites.
Wine Tasting Essentials:
The Winery: With a holistic approach to winemaking, Palmaz Vineyards likes to say that it “farms the individual vine, not the vineyard.” In combination with this philosophy, the winemakers also use cutting-edge technology to make sure the vines are properly cared for. The result is a modern take on creating high-quality wines that are a pleasure to drink.
Why Visit: Tastings are by appointment only, and you’ll be treated to a tour of the caves where the wine is made, plus you’ll have the opportunity to peruse a wine menu—complete with hors d’œuvres.
The Winery: Offering both style and substance, Cade Winery definitely deserves a spot on your Napa tour list. Tastings are private and need to be booked ahead, but you’ll get to take part in a tour of the facilities, and trust us, the experience is worth it.
Why Visit: The winery is known for its cabernets, but the real showstopper here is the view. Enjoy a glass of wine (or a few) on the patio while looking out at the surrounding valley.
Stags' Leap Wine Cellars
The Winery: Known as one of the best wineries to visit in Napa for the quality of its wines and the beauty of the whole property, Stags’ Leap Wine Cellars should definitely make your list. With top-notch wine educators and a wide variety of wines to taste, you won’t be disappointed if you decide to make the trip.
Why Visit: This winery is quite popular, so it’s a good idea to make a reservation, but that’s because it’s simply one of the best. If you’re looking for the quintessential Napa experience, this is it.
V. Sattui Winery
The Winery: Enjoy a winery tour or splurge on a wine-and-food pairing at V. Sattui Winery, which has won countless honors over the years. It has something for everyone with many different types of wine—from red to white to rosé and even sparkling.
Why Visit: Like some other Napa wineries, V. Sattui only sells its wines in-house, meaning that if you want to taste them, you’ll have to visit. Frequent visitors say that while the tastings are awesome, you can also buy a bottle of wine, stock up on some lunch supplies at the deli, and have a lovely picnic on the grounds.
Have you been to Napa? Which vineyards are your personal favorites?