The 8 Best Wineries in Napa Valley’s St. Helena

  • Wine
  • by DEVIN PARR
  • on OCTOBER 23, 2023
  • 76420
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Wine

The 8 Best Wineries in Napa Valley’s St. Helena

By Devin Parr October 23, 2023

One could visit Napa Valley and never leave the town of St. Helena. Known for world-class wineries, an exciting culinary scene, independent shops and galleries, intimate hotels, and gorgeous vistas, St. Helena is at once modern and charming, offering a small-town vibe with big city hospitality and amenities.

In addition to its rich history and reputation as “Napa Valley’s Main Street,” St. Helena is home to some of California’s best wineries. From boutique, small-production facilities to state-of-the-art, iconic properties, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite must-visit spots when wine tasting in St. Helena.

Merryvale Winery

1000 Main Street, St. Helena, CA 94574, (707) 963-2225

Merryvale Winery
Merryvale Winery, Photo Courtesy of Merryvale

As the first winery built in Napa Valley after the repeal of Prohibition, Merryvale Vineyards produces exceptional wines from Bordeaux varieties uniquely expressed through classic Napa Valley terroir. Select from several unique wine experiences at Merryvale: the Profile Estate Picnic that kicks off 800 feet above the valley floor, the Burger Butler that includes hand-delivery of your pre-ordered burger from the beloved Gott’s Roadside, and the hands-on blending lab that can accommodate groups from 12 to more than 100.

Markham Vineyards

2812 St. Helena Highway North, St. Helena, CA 94574, (707) 963-5292

Markham Vineyards
Photo Courtesy of Markham Vineyards

Venture to the stately, renovated 19th-century stone cellar and tasting room at the heart of Markham Vineyards, an historic architectural landmark in the greater Napa Valley. Here you’ll sample world-class Bordeaux varietals either indoors, in a classic seated tasting environment with midcentury furnishings, or outdoors, near the Koi ponds and under the olive trees on Markham’s garden patio. Markham Vineyards has been sustainably producing an impressive portfolio of wines for more than 45 years now, but they’re perhaps best known for their single-vineyard Merlot. Notice the cannoneer illustration on every bottle? Legend has it that namesake and US Navy veteran, Bruce Markham, would mark the start of each harvest by firing his cannon in the vineyards.

Conn Creek Winery

8711 Silverado Trail, St. Helena, CA 94574, (707) 963-9100

Conn Creek
Conn Creek Winery, Photo Courtesy of Conn Creek

Sustainability is at the core of Conn Creek’s identity. Founded in 1973, this Napa Green-certified winery specializing in Bordeaux-varietal-based red wines was the first “green,” energy-efficient winery building in Napa Valley. Today, the Mediterranean-style winery offers classic and interactive wine experiences, including the “Barrel Blending Experience®,” in which guests become winemaker for a day. After tasting through barrel samples of Cabernet Sauvignon and other Bordeaux varietals from select Napa Valley sub-appellations, they create a custom wine blend of their own to take home.

Heitz Cellar

436 St. Helena Highway, St. Helena, CA 94574, (707) 963-2047

Heitz Cellar
Photo Courtesy of Heitz Cellar

The gorgeous Heitz Cellar Estate has been an institution in eastern St. Helena since the 1800s. This very winery produced the first vineyard-designated Cabernet Sauvignon in Napa and specializes in Napa Cab to this day with its acclaimed Martha’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon. Guests can get a glimpse of the original Heitz Cellar Estate on their Vineyard to Bottle Experience. You’ll be collected from your Napa hotel in a brand new Lexus before taking a tour of their organically farmed vineyards, biodynamic winemaking process, and the iconic Stone Cellar. The experience also includes a stop at The Salon, featuring library and current selection vintages paired with cheese and charcuterie from their very own larder.

Charles Krug Winery

2800 Main Street, St. Helena, CA 94574, (707) 967-2229

Charles Krug
Charles Krug, Photo Courtesy of Charles Krug

A visit to St. Helena wouldn’t be complete without a stop at the iconic Charles Krug Winery, home to California’s first tasting room. But don’t let the winery’s long history fool you. Today, Charles Krug Winery is a beautifully designed, world-class center for hospitality and wine tourism. Every detail, from carefully crafted tasting experiences to the feel and functionality of the property, are timeless yet modern, setting the standard for Wine Country travel today. Guests will fall in love with the winery’s endless stories at every turn, not to mention the rich portfolio of wines that express all that Napa Valley’s diverse terroir has to offer.

HALL Napa Valley

401 St. Helena Highway South, St. Helena, CA 94574, (707) 967-2626

HALL Napa Valley
Photo Courtesy of HALL Napa Valley

HALL Napa Valley produces Cabernet Sauvignon with fruit from nine estate vineyards, of which five are California Certified Organic Farming (CCOF). Both tasting room locations (St. Helena and Rutherford) boast a collection of modern art with pieces from some of the world’s most renowned contemporary artists. At their St. Helena tasting room, enjoy carefully curated experiences like the signature HALLmark Tour and Tasting, which takes guests on a stroll around the grounds, and concludes with a tasting in one the winery’s private salons, or the Cabernet Collector’s Experience, in which the winery’s most experienced wine educators guide guests through the terroir and techniques that go into crafting HALL’s rare and highly allocated Cabernet Sauvignons.

Trinchero Napa Valley

3070 North St. Helena Highway, St. Helena, CA 94574, (707) 963-1160

Trinchero
Trinchero, Photo Courtesy of Trinchero Napa Valley

With a family history that goes back to the late 1940s, this flagship Napa Valley in St. Helena winery offers small-lot, estate-grown wines at a state-of-the-art, yet warmly inviting property that features an intimate tasting room, bocce court, wine caves, and a gourmet culinary center. Wine experiences place an emphasis on education, showcasing the exciting nuances that terroir can impart on a wine’s flavor. Explore wines from Trinchero’s mountain vineyards in the Mountain Flight, and compare and contrast them with the wines from the valley floor during your next visit. Or, indulge in the Signature Experience where you will sip through a vertical tasting of Trinchero’s Signature Cabernet Sauvignon with a selection of cheeses while you cozy up around the outdoor firepit.

Fantesca Estate Winery

2920 Spring Mountain Road, St. Helena, CA 94574, (707) 968-9229

Originally the dowry of Caroline Bale for her marriage to Charles Krug in the mid-1800s, Fantesca is now owned by college sweethearts Susan and Duane Hoff, who have created a place for seasoned wine connoisseurs in search of luxury wine experiences. Tasting experiences here are intimate and personalized, and include samples of Fantesca’s premium, small-production, award-winning wines in a stunning setting that includes a 300-foot Spring Mountain cave and sprawling vineyard views.

Other Noteworthy Spots

Louis M. Martini Cellar
Louis M. Martini Cellar, Photo Courtesy of Louis M. Martini | Kristen Cropper

While you could easily spend days wining (and dining!) your way through St. Helena and still not hit every great spot, do splurge on Louis M. Martini’s Underground Cellar Experience, which takes place in the 85-year-old barrel cellar and includes a tasting of small-lot and library wines with expertly curated pairings from Chef Aaron Meneghelli. Head over to William Cole Vineyards and kill two birds with one stone: the historic winery not only hosts tastings of William Cole’s flagship Cuvée Claire Cabernet Sauvignon, but also of sister property Predecessor Estate’s ultra-small-lot, single-varietal wines from Howell Mountain.

Spend an afternoon at the 42-acre Ehlers Estate, exploring the winery’s rich history that dates back to the late 1800s and learn about the Leducq Foundation, dedicated to research in cardiovascular disease and stroke, which was established by the winery’s second owners, Jean and Sylviane Leducq.

Lastly, be sure to check out Faust Haus, the dramatic former farmhouse and Prohibition Era cellar, where you will enjoy age-worthy and terroir-driven wines in a gothic fairy tale setting.