With more than 400 wineries throughout the region, picking the best winery tours in Napa Valley can be, simply put, a bit daunting. Luckily, we’ve combined our insider knowledge with the top online reviews to put together a list of the best of the best, so you can focus on what matters most — the wine. Here are the best winery tours to experience in Napa Valley.
1761 Atlas Peak Road, Napa, CA 94558
Tucked off the Silverado Trail along Atlas Peak Road, William Hill Estate Winery was founded in 1976 by vineyard developer William Hill and has continued to produce chardonnay and Bordeaux varieties from throughout Napa Valley. For an intimate look at the winery, book the 90-minute Estate Tasting and Tour, an in-depth walking tour and tasting. The experience starts with a guided walk through the most scenic areas of the estate vineyard, followed by a tour of the cellar and barrel room. You’ll learn about William Hill’s unique farming and winemaking techniques before sitting down to enjoy a tasting of limited-production current release and library wines, accompanied by a cheese and charcuterie plate.
Insider Tip: To explore the wines without the walking tour, opt for the Estate Tasting, which includes a variety of Napa Valley chardonnays and estate-grown Bordeaux varietals paired with culinary bites. In fact, wine and food are a big part of the William Hill philosophy, so much so that they even have an entire section of their website dedicated to wine and seafood pairings.
200 Rutherford Hill Road, Rutherford, CA 94573, (707) 963-1871
Founded in 1972, Rutherford Hill Winery was one of the earliest pioneers of merlot in Napa Valley and today, not surprisingly, merlot continues to be the flagship wine. Head to this historic hillside estate to sample merlot and Bordeaux varietal wines while enjoying panoramic views of the region, but if you want to delve deeper into Rutherford Hill’s history, then book the Wine Cave Tour & Tasting. This 90-minute experience will take you through Rutherford Hill’s historic cave, which, at nearly a mile long, is one of the most extensive cave systems in the area. During this guided walking tour you’ll also learn about the winery’s history, winemaking, and commitment to sustainability before sitting down for a tasting of five red wines.
Insider Tip: If you’ve already experienced the cave tour or just want to sip a glass of wine in a more casual setting, Rutherford Hill offers afternoon glasses of wine in their oak grove picnic area. Wines by the glass are available Monday through Thursday from 3:30 PM – 6:00 PM, with a different theme each day.
8338 St. Helena Highway, Napa, CA 94558, (707) 944-2945
Founded in 1979, this family-owned winery in Rutherford is located in a 110-year-old barn surrounded by, as the name implies, a grove of Sequoia trees. As a Napa Green Certified Winery, sustainability in and out of the winery is of the utmost importance, which is reflected through everything from the drought-tolerant landscaping to obtaining power from renewable energy. While Sequoia Grove offers a current release tasting and a single-vineyard tasting, it’s worth planning ahead to book the A Taste For Cabernet experience. Featuring four gourmet bites thoughtfully created by the in-house chef to complement a selection of top-tier and reserve cabernet wines, it’s a tasty study in how cabernet-based wines can gracefully pair with much more than simply red meat.
Insider Tip: No need to limit the wine pairings to just your visit. You can become your own chef and sommelier at home thanks to the wide assortment of recipes and pairings available on Sequoia Grove’s website, from pimento cheese dip with cabernet franc to lamb bolognese with cabernet sauvignon.
8445 Silverado Trail, Napa, CA 94558, (707) 967-7700
Mumm Napa has been a destination for traditionally-made sparkling wines since its inception in the late 1970s. During the hour-long Winery Tour, you’ll visit the winery’s demonstration vineyard, tour the winemaking facility and cellar, then finish in their Fine Art Photography Gallery for wine while perusing the artwork. 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.
Insider Tip: If you’d rather have a more leisurely experience without the tour, book a tasting on the Oak Terrace to sip bubbly outdoors overlooking the vines.
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 Wine Tasting And Cave Tour, which begins with a look in the demonstration vineyard. You’ll also visit the wine cellar and impressive wine caves, where you’ll enjoy a barrel sample followed by a seated wine and cheese pairing.
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.
1473 Yountville Cross Road, Yountville, CA 94599, (707) 944-8642
You don’t need a reservation to pop in for a tasting at this Yountville winery, but it’s worth planning ahead to enjoy the elevated Backstage Lounge Tasting. Though not technically a wine tour, this reservation-only wine tasting includes Cliff Lede’s most limited-production wines, which you’ll sample from the tasting room’s comfortable indoor lounge. Expect rock music playing on the speakers — after all, Cliff Lede’s vineyard blocks are named after rock songs — and rotating art on the walls in which to admire, like the current “Reflections: The Art of Bernie Taupin” exhibit that has been extended through October.
Insider Tip: If you’re looking to post up close by, book a room at Cliff Lede’s own Poetry Inn. Perched on a hillside overlooking the Silverado Trail, this private, five-room inn perfectly blends romance and seclusion with luxurious amenities to ensure a restful stay in Wine Country.
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 hour-and-a-half Estate Tour & Tasting, you’ll get to explore the LEED Gold Certified Winery and expansive caves built into the hillside. After, 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 walls.
1350 Acacia Drive, Oakville, CA 94562, (707) 944-2861
Surrounded by 13 acres of landscaped gardens, Napa Valley’s Far Niente Winery is a beautiful sight, but to really experience it all, book the 90-minute Tour and Tasting. This intimate tour will take you through the historic tri-level winery and wine caves, followed by a seated tasting of current releases. To cap it off, you’ll sample the celebrated late harvest wine, Dolce, produced by Far Niente’s sister winery.
Insider Tip: History buffs will especially enjoy paying a visit to Far Niente Winery, which was established in 1885 and prospered until the start of Prohibition. In 1979, Gil Nickel purchased the winery and began a three-year restoration, resulting in the winery being placed on the National Register of Historical Places.