The 10 Most Beautiful Wineries in Napa Valley

  • Wine
  • by WC STAFF
  • on JUNE 30, 2015
  • 88458
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Every winery has a unique charm, but some rise above the rest. From gorgeous caves to towering castles, this is our list of the ten most beautiful wineries in Napa Valley.

Best Art and Wine Integration

hall-st-helena-2
Image source: HALL St. Helena

HALL St. Helena
401 St. Helena Hwy South
St. Helena, CA 94574
(707) 967-2626
Yelp: 4 stars, 190 reviews
Tasting price: Starting at $30
Reservations not required

The moment you see the 35-foot-tall polished stainless steel Bunny Foo Foo by acclaimed artist Lawrence Argent, you know you’re in for an aesthete’s treat because wine and art blend in perfect harmony at HALL St. Helena. Take the Wine and Art Exploration Tour on Sundays at 11 a.m. and weave and your way through enchanting works by John Baldessari, Peter Wegner, and Nick Cave.

Insider tip: HALL St. Helena’s “Wine Tasting 101” tour is the perfect foundation for wine tasting novices.


Most Elaborate Cave Design

del-dotto-st-helena
Image source: Del Dotto Vineyards

Del Dotto Vineyards (St. Helena Venetian Estate Winery & Caves)
1445 St. Helena Hwy
St. Helena, CA 94574
(707) 963-2134
Yelp: 4 stars, 151 reviews
Tasting price: $60
Reservations required

Everything about the St. Helena Del Dotto winey is opulent, but you simply haven’t had a cave tour tasting until you’ve sipped on your Chardonnay by candlelight. Lined with Italian marble and ancient tiles, you’ll sample the vineyard’s best wines under a massive chandelier and emerge filled with a sense of rich Italian ambiance.

Insider tip: If your schedule is tight, book a Bar Tasting (11 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.) for a less in-depth (but no less delicious) experience.


Most Authentic Castle

castello-calistoga
Image source: Castello di Amorosa

Castello di Amorosa
4045 St. Helena Hwy
Calistoga, CA 94515
(707) 967-6272
Yelp: 4 stars, 1750 reviews
Tasting price: Starting at $35 for adults, $25 for minors ages 5-20
Reservations not required for General Admission; required or recommended for guided tours and food & wine pairings

This 13th century-inspired Tuscan-style castle was conceived of by Medieval architecture enthusiast owner Dario Sattui. At 121,000 square feet, the castle features nearly one million handmade bricks from defunct Hapsburg palaces, as well handcrafted ironworks and leaded glass. Look for the hand carved stone crests featuring the Sattui family crest.

Insider tip: This winery is kid-friendly, providing grape juice tastings and ample space to explore.


Prettiest Grounds

chateau-montelena-winery
Image source: Lostracco Photography

Chateau Montelena Winery
1429 Tubbs Lane
Calistoga, CA 94515
(707) 942-5105
Yelp: 4 stars, 294 reviews
Tasting price: Starting at $25
Reservations not required

In addition to its English Gothic-style stone castle carved into the hillside, this family-owned winery, known for its Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, boasts a stunning Chinese garden that overlooks a lake. CellarMaster wine club members receive access to limited production wines and use of Jade Lake for private picnics.

Insider tip: To sample more exclusive wines, make a reservation for one of the Limited Release Tastings, held daily at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. (cost is $50).


Coolest Postmodern Architecture

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Image source: Close Pegase Winery

Clos Pegase Winery
1060 Dunaweal Ln
Calistoga, CA 94515
(707) 942-4981
Yelp: 3.5 stars, 112 reviews
Tasting price: Starting at $20-$30
Reservations not required for tasting room but are required for tours

Winery architecture doesn’t have to be stuffy or baroque, as proven when renowned architect Michael Graves beat out 96 firms to win the prestigious Clos Pegase design contract. In 1987, construction was complete on the estate that has been called “America’s first monument to wine.” Stroll through the majestic twin pillars that mark the entrance to the portico and take note of the special melding of indoor and outdoor spaces.

Insider tip: Book a Picnic on the Patio, where you’ll sample current releases while enjoying a gourmet outdoor picnic.


Most Regal Château

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Image source: Domaine Carneros

Domaine Carneros
1240 Duhig Rd
Napa, CA 94559
(707) 257-0101
Yelp: 4 stars, 1038 reviews
Tasting price: Starting at $30
Reservations not required

There are châteaux and there are châteaux, and Domaine Carneros is home to the most majestic château in Napa Valley. Inspired by the 18th century Château de la Marquetterie in Champagne, France, guests are invited to enjoy their wine in the Louis XV-inspired salon or on the terrace overlooking the vines as while contemplating what it must feel like to be born into French royalty.

Insider tip: Infuse a little romance with The Sparkling Suite Tasting ($500 per couple) which includes a tasting of sparkling wine, Pino Noir, caviar, and charcuterie in a private room with an open balcony that overlooks the estate.


Most Picturesque View

sterling-vineyards
Image source: Sterling Vineyards

Sterling Vineyards

1111 Dunaweal Ln
Calistoga, CA 94515
(707) 726-6136
Yelp: 3.5 stars, 719 reviews
Tasting price: Starting at $29 (for General Admission)
Reservations not required

Float through the sky on the only aerial tram in Napa Valley as you glide up to the entrance of Sterling Vineyards. Once you arrive and your wine is safely in hand, you’ll behold the views from the vineyard’s overlooks and elevated walkways as you traverse the Mediterranean-style winery at your own pace.

Insider tip: If you’re planning a full day of wine tasting in Napa, be sure to start your day at Sterling Vineyards. The wait to board the aerial tram can be unpredictable in the afternoon.


Most Unique Design

quixote
Image source: Quixote Winery

Quixote Winery
6126 Silverado Trail
Napa, CA 94558
(707) 944-2659
Yelp: 4 stars, 26 reviews
Tasting price: $45-$65
Reservations required

World-famous Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser designed this whimsical and colorful estate, unlike any other in Napa Valley. When you visit, you’ll see why—no straight lines, rooftops planted with grasses and trees, and gold-leaf onion domed buildings make Quixote Winery not only one of the most beautiful wineries in Napa Valley, but also the most unique.

Insider tip: Everything about Quixote Winery is unique, even the floors. Pay special attention to the way that the floors curve and roll; the uneven walking surfaces in the winery are considered a “melody to the feet.”

Most Elegant Fusion of Old and New

opus-one-winery
Image source: Opus One Winery

Opus One Winery
7900 St. Helena Hwy
Oakville, CA 94562
(707) 944-9442
Yelp: 3.5 stars, 299 reviews
Tasting price: Starting at $75
Reservations required; call (800) 292-6787 to book your tour

From the entryway’s floating staircase to the pyramidal skylight in the rotunda, the estate at Opus One is a contemporary love letter to winemaking’s rich past. California redwood and stainless steel mingle with crisp, cream-colored Texas limestone for a controlled elegance as tasteful as Opus One wines. Behold the arresting sight of the Grand Chai, Opus One’s cellar that appears to curve into infinity when viewed from the center.

Insider tip: An intimate experience is important at Opus One Winery. Reservations are taken by phone only and single parties exceeding four people become private tours.


Loveliest Backdrop for a Cultural Experience

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Image source: Robert Mondavi Winery

Robert Mondavi Winery

7801 St. Helena Hwy
St. Helena, CA 94574
(707) 226-1395
Yelp: 4 stars, 605 reviews
Tasting price: Starting at $20
Reservations not required for walk-in tastings but are required for tours and food & wine experiences

Appreciation of art, food, and wine were a core part of Robert Mondavi’s life philosophy and the winery he built is an homage to all three. Once you pass the seven foot tall Robert Mondavi sculpture that flanks the half-moon entryway of this Mission-style winery, you know you can expect inspiration of mind, body, and soul, fully realized by the iconic concert series that has been in place for nearly fifty years.

Insider tip: The winery’s Concert Series offers four ticket levels, ranging from General Admission to a full dining experience.

What’s your opinion on the most beautiful wineries in Napa Valley? Tell us in the comments below!