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Wine Country hospitality has a little something for every type of wine, food or nature lover. It’s impressive that the $500/bottle Napa Cab buyer can enjoy lunch out next to a non-wine drinker who’s visiting Napa for its soft natural beauty. This is why when I’m asked, “what wineries do you suggest I visit?” I have to ask a few questions. “What wines do you like? How much wine do you expect to buy during your visit? What’s more important: understanding the wine you’re drinking or soaking in the landscape?” That sort of thing.
Now, DDWA Members can contact me and I’ll suggest a visit or two based on their answers (and most likely suggest a winery that comps tastings to my members…don’t you want to join?)
Non-members are hardly left out in the cold, though, for I’ve compiled a fantastic, 12 winery wine-tasting guide and build-your-own wine tasting itinerary, broken up into three geographical groups. Each group is featured in their own dedicated post.
These are all wineries that are set up, one way or another, to receive guests either same day or next day, in most cases. Remember it never hurts to call ahead to make sure the winery is available to see you, because, you know, things happen. For a great tasting day, pick one winery from each of the three groups and contact them to make an appointment (or just let them know you’re coming…you usually get even better service when the winery is expecting you.) And come back another time to try the others. I’ve really laid out 4 great tasting days in Napa and Sonoma for you. It’s my gift, from me to you.
This virtual tasting moves from south to north. I suggest no more than 3 winery visits in a day as each visit usually is 1 or 2 hours, and you want to take a break in between for a bite. Of course, you don’t have to pick just one from each group. I suggest picking one from each so you can see more of our beautiful wine country.
Each winery links over to their website.
*** means this winery offers either complimentary or 2 for 1 tastings to DDWA Members.
Membership is just $60/year. The benefits pay for itself in A FLASH.
Costs of tastings are subject to change. Most wineries have a policy to waive tasting fees depending on how much wine is purchased. Ask the winery about this.
Free wine advice from a former Napa wine shop owner & sommelier
Wine Tasting Guide, Part Two – Southern Napa Valley (Four Wineries You Should Visit)
Fortunati Vineyards & Winery***
Gary and Ellen Luchtel own and make Fortunati. They sell all their wines direct to consumer, so you won’t see them on any retail shelves. Gary, the winemaker, makes full-flavored, great value Napa reds and whites. By appointment. $30/tasting. DDWA Reviews Here
Located on Soda Canyon Road looking over Napa Valley. Owners/Winemakers Schatzi Throckmorton and Mike Hirby make full-throttle, powerful red wines (and a little bit of Chardonnay, too). By appointment. $50/tasting. DDWA Reviews Here
Darms Lane Vineyard and Winery
Taste overlooking the Estate vineyard in Napa’s Oak Knoll District. Killer Chardonnays, Merlot and Cabernets made from the vines you see down below. By appointment. $40/tasting. DDWA Reviews Here
On Silverado Trail, 5 minute drive north of Napa. World-class wines that combine power and grace. And an awesome, friendly, professional hospitality team. Walk-ins welcome, but make an appointment for the best experience. Tasting fees are $48 to $200, depending on what you choose.
Part One – Sonoma County and Carneros, 5 Wineries You Should Visit
Part Three – Middle and Northern Napa Valley, 5 Wineries You Should Visit