With more than 400 wineries throughout the region, picking the best winery tours in Napa Valley can be, simply put, a bit daunting. For that reason, we’ve put together a list of the best of the best, so you can focus on what matters most: the wine. Here are seven great winery tours to experience in Napa Valley.
3450 Sage Canyon Road, St. Helena, CA 94574, (707) 967-8414
Located about 25 minutes from downtown St. Helena, Somerston Estate may be a bit off-the-beaten-path, but it’s a gem waiting to be discovered. This idyllic haven is where artisanal winemaking meets stunning vineyard landscapes, and the best way to experience it all is through the Somerston Tour & Tasting. This 90-minute tour will find you traversing through vineyards in an ATV, where you’ll take in the sweeping vistas from every angle. Following the tour, you’ll enjoy a seated tasting of current releases paired with different cheeses.
Insider Tip: Bring your camera, because the views from atop the hillside vineyards are photo-worthy.
Art + Wine
4411 Redwood Road, Napa, CA 94558, (707) 255-1144
Founded by the late Donald Hess, a respected art collector and vintner, Hess Persson Estates has earned a reputation for its character-filled wines and diverse range of wine tasting experiences. Art enthusiasts will want to make a point to book Hess’ walking tour of their on-site art museum, which includes an intimate tour of the impressive contemporary art works on display, followed by a seated tasting of current release wines.
Insider Tip: If you have a little more time to spare, upgrade your visit with the 90-minute Tour of the Palate Experience. As with the Walking Tour of the Museum, you’ll spend time exploring the collection of contemporary art, but you’ll follow it with a tasting of estate-exclusive wines paired with a seasonal, three-course menu created by Hess’ own Executive Chef, Chad Hendrickson.
8445 Silverado Trail, Rutherford, CA 94573, (866) 783-5826
Mumm Napa has been a destination for traditionally-made sparkling wines since its inception in the late 1970s. During the private, two-hour-long Capturing the Sparkle Tour, you’ll visit the winery’s demonstration vineyard, tour the winemaking facility and cellar, then finish with a tasting of five vintage sparkling wines and cheese on the Oak Terrace. If you’d rather have a more leisurely experience without the tour, book a tasting on the Oak Terrace or their Outdoor Patio to sip bubbly outdoors overlooking the vines.
Insider Tip: Visit Mumm Napa’s Fine Art Gallery. The gallery is home to a collection of original Ansel Adams prints (on loan from the Adams family), as well as works from local and international artists.
Cabernet & Caves
5901 Silverado Trail, Napa, CA 94558, (707) 252-9777
Situated in the heart of the Stags Leap District, Pine Ridge Vineyards—which has been making wine for over 40 years—offers several wine tasting experiences worth exploring. For a complete vine-to-glass tour, though, check out the 90-minute Cellar 47 Cave Tour and Tasting. You’ll visit the wine cellar and impressive wine caves, where you’ll enjoy a tasting of their limited estate Cabernets.
Insider Tip: Pine Ridge Vineyards has gained a loyal following for its Cabernet-based wines, including their flagship Cabernet, FORTIS, which is only available at the winery.
699 St. Helena Highway, St. Helena, CA 94574, (707) 963-3553
Named for one of the founding fathers of Napa’s viticultural legacy, Theron Ink, Ink Grade offers guests an utterly unique wine tasting “tour” you can’t get anywhere else: the SENSES by INK GRADE experience. This immersive experience will take you on a journey through the vineyards and winemaking process via a 360-degree projection, an experience akin to the renowned Van Gogh exhibit. As you traverse the rugged landscapes of Howell Mountain, all from the comfort of your seat, a wine connoisseur guides you through a tasting of four exquisite wines. This is a truly one-of-a-kind wine and cinematic “tour” you can’t get anywhere else in Napa.
Insider Tip: Ink Grade’s tastings, including the SENSES experience, are held in its Pavilion tasting room in downtown St. Helena—a sleek, spacious building designed by famed Wine Country architect, Howard Backen. As you step in, you’re greeted by an impressive rock art installation, sourced directly from Ink Grade Vineyard’s volcanic terrains. Curious about its story? Don’t hesitate to ask. It embodies the essence of Ink Grade’s philosophy: ‘In wildness is the preservation of the world.’
Steeped in Tradition
The Salon: 436 St. Helena Highway, St. Helena, CA 94574, (707) 963-2047
The Estate: 500 Taplin Road, St. Helena, CA 94574, (707) 963-2047
Dive deep into the history of Napa at Heitz Cellars, which played a pivotal role in the region’s resurgence post-Prohibition. As pioneers of the first vineyard-designated Cabernet Sauvignon in Napa, Heitz showcases a commitment to excellence, evident in their 100% organically farmed Napa Valley grapes. Elevate your visit with the Vineyard to Bottle Experience, which includes a private pick-up in a sleek Lexus, right from your hotel doorstep. This intimate tasting, limited to four guests, will take you on an immersive journey from the vineyards and winemaking facility to the historic Stone Cellar. Post-tour, you’ll stop at The Salon to enjoy a curated selection of single-vineyard wines, both vintage and new, perfectly complemented with handpicked cheeses and charcuterie.
Insider Tip: The Heitz Estate is an enchanting property, constructed in the late 19th century, but if you’re short on time and just want to pop in for a tasting, book either experience at The Salon, located right in St. Helena. You won’t get the big tour, but you’ll still get to sample Heitz’s famed wines.
Venture Among the Vines
750 Oakville Cross Road, Oakville, CA 94562, (707) 754-4254
For four decades, the family-owned Groth Vineyards & Winery has been making noteworthy wines from its expansive estate in Napa Valley’s Oakville AVA, as well as from other reputable vineyards in the region. Starting this July, the winery will welcome visitors to experience the estate and its vines like never before. Their new Among the Vines: Oakville Estate ATV Tour is a 90-minute experience (limited to four guests) that takes you on an easy-going ATV ride around and through the estate vineyards. Along the way, you’ll learn about Groth’s viticulture practices and stop for sips of wine while admiring the beautiful vines, majestic oak trees, and insectary garden.
Insider Tip: If you’re the type who loves to learn while you sip, consider attending one (or all) of Groth’s Oakville Summer School offerings. This intimate educational series, highlighting topics such as “The Art of Blending” and “The Magic of Harvest,” includes behind-the-scenes tours, hands-on experiences, and, of course, great wine.
360 Howell Mountain Road South, Angwin, CA 94508, (707) 965-2746
Nestled high above the valley at an elevation of 1,800 feet, Howell Mountain’s CADE Estate may not be the easiest place to get to, but it’s worth the drive for a look at this modern estate winery. During the 60-minute CADE Estate Tasting Experience, you’ll learn how CADE became the first LEED Gold Certified Winery in Napa Valley and about their organic vineyard practice. Enjoy stunning views of Napa Valley during the seated tasting of current release wines in the contemporary lounge or outside in the courtyard.
Insider Tip: If looking to add some older vintages to your cellar, check out CADE at 13th Vineyard, one of the oldest and historically significant properties in Napa Valley. At the still-intact 1886 winery—the 13th bonded winery in California—you’ll sample CADE’s library vintages from within the hand-laid stone winery.