2-Day Oak Knoll Wine Tasting Guide

  • Share
Share with your friends







Submit

The Oak Knoll District AVA is located at the south end of the Napa Valley floor. The 8,300 acre area is characterized by a cool, moderate climate due to its proximity to the San Pablo Bay and the coastal fog that blows in from the coast. As a result, Oak Knoll’s growing conditions are optimal for many varieties of grapes: particularly Merlot, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Riesling. We’ve sussed out the best tasting experiences in the Oak Knoll District, with an itinerary heading north from downtown Napa, then returning back south down the Silverado Trail.

1
Wineries / Napa

Eleven Eleven Winery

Eleven Eleven’s owners, Ellie Anest and Aurelien Roulin, met on a flight from Paris to Los Angeles in 2010, and connected over their love of real estate, food, and wine. They bought their first vineyard in 2012, bought the winery in 2013, and then opened the doors to visitors in 2015. This hidden gem specializes in Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Chardonnay, and tastings are held in their modern, sleek tasting room where the vibe is warm and inviting. Note that the winery is only open Wednesday through Sunday, by appointment only.

Insider Tip

The winery is located just up the street from the tucked-away Trancas Crossing Park, a tranquil spot for a relaxing walk before or after your tasting.

Directions

From downtown Napa, head North on Highway 29. Exit Trancas Street. Turn right onto Trancas Street. The destination is on the left.

Details
2
Wineries / Napa

Celani Family Vineyards

Celani Family Vineyards is a small, family-run winery, focused on unfiltered Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. Situated in the foothills of the Vaca mountain range, this Tuscan-style estate winery boasts beautiful olive trees, as well as 17 acres of Merlot and Chardonnay. Tastings are held by appointment only, and are held in a sophisticated, relaxed tasting room.

Insider Tip

Ask to try the latest vintage of their limited production Ardore Cabernet Sauvignon, the first wine that Celani produced during their premiere harvest back in 2005.

Directions

From Eleven Eleven Winery, turn right onto Trancas Street. Turn right onto Big Ranch Road and drive .8 miles. The destination is on the right.

Details
3
Wineries / Napa

Robert Biale Vineyards

Robert Biale Vineyards specializes in Zinfandel, and are particularly known for their pride and glory: Black Chicken Zinfandel, a bold, smooth variety with a name referencing the code used in the days of prohibition. After tasting through their fabulous Zins, ask about limited production special releases like their Petite Sirah and Rosé. Tastings are offered by appointment only in a rustic, welcoming tasting room.

Insider Tip

For a rich treat, ask to try the dessert Petite Sirah, a unique and delicious port.

Directions

From Celani Family Vineyards, drive North on Big Ranch Road for 1.1 miles. The destination is on the right.

Details
4
Wineries / Napa

Andretti Winery

Famed racecar driver Mario Andretti and his friend Joe Antonini founded Andretti Winery in 1996. Steeped in Old World charm, the Tuscan-style estate is reminiscent of an Italian village, complete with a piazza, fountain, and cypress trees. The 42-acre estate produces delicious Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc—great examples of the diverse varieties that can grow well in the Oak Knoll District—as well as Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Merlot.

Insider Tip

For an edible souvenir, be sure to pick up a few bottles of their homemade mustard.

Directions

From Robert Biale Vineyards, drive North on Big Ranch Road. The destination is on the right.

Details
5
Wineries / St Helena

Materra/Cunat Family Vineyards - St. Helena

Newly opened Materra|Cunat Family Vineyards is a family-run winery that just opened in 2015. The winery grows many grape varieties, including Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Viognier–ripe for sampling in the bright, airy tasting room (by appointment only). Consider the Reserve Library Tasting for a selection of reserve wines and artisanal cheeses served intimately in the library.

Insider Tip

Ready to geek out over the technological advances in winemaking? Ask about their computerized fermentation tanks.

Directions

From Andretti Winery, head North on Big Ranch Road. The destination is on the right.

Details
6
Wineries / Napa

Trefethen Vineyards

The tone is set for a visit to Trefethen as soon as visitors enter the driveway: the drive is flanked by cypress trees and vineyards on either side of the road, and the relaxed, rustic ambiance continues as visitors sip award-winning Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. Trefethen’s original building was badly damaged in a 2014 earthquake, but the winery is hosting tastings by appointment in a temporary tasting room while historical architects work to restore the original building, which was constructed in 1886.

Insider Tip

Tastings are currently done in an elegant tent, complete with chandeliers and a fountain, until the original building can be restored. It’s the wine tasting equivalent of glamping.

Directions

From Materra|Cunat Family Vineyards, drive West on Oak Knoll Avenue. The destination is on the right.

Details
7
Wineries / Napa

Darioush Winery

Persian owner Darioush has created a palace in the Napa Valley, where visitors are greeted by 18-foot freestanding columns, water fountains, and lush gardens. Tastings are held inside the opulent winery, offering samples of premium Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon in a setting that evokes a bygone era.

Insider Tip

The fabulous pistachios, offered to cleanse the palate during the wine tasting, are also available for purchase.

Directions

From Trefethen, head east on Oak Knoll Avenue. At the end of the road, turn right onto Silverado Trail. The destination is on the left.

Details
8
Wineries / Napa

Razi Winery

Founded and owned by architect Fred Razi, who often hosts visitors personally, this winery offers an intimate tasting experience in a low-key setting. Sip and swirl unfiltered Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Chardonnay while relaxing alongside the winery’s Chardonnay vineyards. Note that tastings are held by appointment only, Monday through Saturday.

Insider Tip

Ask to try the Chardonnay, the wine that started it all for Razi.

Directions

From Darioush, head south on Silverado Trail. Drive 1.4 miles. The destination is on the left.

Details

You might also like

Guides

The 7 Best Hotels in Yountville

Yountville is home to the highest number of Michelin stars per capita in the United…

Read More
Guides

Your Guide to Planning a Napa Valley…

Napa Valley is defined by romance, relaxation, and class, but it also boasts plenty of…

Read More
Guides

The Most Exclusive Napa Valley Experiences

Luxury, exclusivity, and pure joy: Napa Valley has it all—provided you know where to look.

Read More
Guides

The Judgment of Paris: A Napa Valley…

The Judgement of Paris will always be seen as the turning point for the Napa…

Read More