We created a tasting plan for Napa regulars. After you’ve experienced the larger more touristy wineries (an experience that is worthwhile and should not be missed), you can turn your attention to some of the smaller, boutique style, wineries. These wineries typically require a reservation and many of them are a little ways off the beaten path.
For this list we focused on wineries that are beloved by Napa locals. We wanted to find the places that other winemakers visit when they have a day off. After much research we narrowed the list down to ten wineries that showcase the best of Napa, but have an exclusive feel. These are wineries where you might meet the winemaker or the owner during the tasting. These are wineries where you can get educated about the wine making process and learn about how the soils of the Napa valley impact the wine.
The most common varietal planted in Napa is Cabernet Sauvignon. The wineries on this list feature some amazing cabs, but you can also find some that have more adventurous offerings. This is where the real fun begins. You can expand your tasting palate and fall in love with new blends or varietals.
A few examples of what you may want to try are; at Miner Faimly wines give the Tempranillo or Sangiovese a try, at Turnbull winery you can try the Fortuna Merlot, at Ledar you can try out the Howell Mountain Malbec or one of their Pinot Noir offerings, for white wine lovers we suggest trying the Estate Sauvignon Blanc at Cade winery. The point is, don’t be afraid to move beyond Cabernet Sauvignon when you are in Napa. There are many rewards for the more adventurous wine drinker when you expand your palate and try Varietals that aren’t the most obvious choice.
Have fun with this itinerary. If you pass a winery that isn’t on the list and it looks interesting, go in. This is just a starting point. Part of the joy of wine country is discovery!