Where to Sip, Swirl, and Savor in St. Helena

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You can learn a lot about St. Helena’s wineries in the town’s numerous drop-in tasting rooms, but many also offer tours or fun and educational experiences that will deepen your appreciation of their wines—and of wine in general. Here is our list of the best winery experiences in St. Helena (be sure to call ahead—reservations may be required).

Get Exclusive

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Image Source: Yelp

Anderson’s Conn Valley Vineyards
680 Rossi Rd
St. Helena, CA 94574
(707) 963-8600
TripAdvisor: 5 stars, 15 reviews
Reservations: Required

A 10-minute, scenic drive from downtown St. Helena will take you to Anderson’s Conn Valley Vineyards, known for their Estate Cabernet, and a private, very exclusive experience. Upon arrival at the tasting room, you’ll be whisked through the vineyards to their barrel caves, where current releases, library wines, and barrel tastings surround as you slip into the comfortable seating.

Insider tip: Anderson’s Conn Valley Vineyards’ annual Spring Fling party (open to the public) features live music, appetizers, and new releases to taste.

Taste the Old and New Napa Valley

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Image Source: Yelp

Charles Krug
2800 Main St
St. Helena CA 94574
(707) 967-2200
TripAdvisor: 4.5 stars, 77 reviews
Reservations: Required

Charles Krug winery may be the oldest in Napa Valley, but their 90-minute tour and tasting experience will transport you to the present. After being welcomed at the newly transformed hospitality center—a contemporary rendition of the Redwood Cellar’s rich history—you’ll tour the estate, from the farm-to-table garden maintained by the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, to the barrel room where samples of their Bordeaux-style wines await.

Insider tip: Enjoy wood-fired pizza and a glass of wine on the Charles Krug lawn (seasonally).

A Passion for Wine and Art

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Image Source: Yelp

HALL St. Helena
401 St. Helena Hwy South
St. Helena, CA 94574
(707) 967-2626
TripAdvisor: 4.5 stars, 210 reviews
Reservations: Required

Visible from Highway 29, “Bunny Foo Foo” is a 35-foot-tall, leaping steel rabbit that clearly signals the eclectic winery experience ahead. Take HALL St. Helena’s Wine and Art Exploration tour on Sundays and you’ll be inspired not only by their classic Bordeaux varieties, but also by the myriad statues and displays that reflect the owners’ passion for art—a tour that will engage all five senses.

Insider tip: Dogs are welcome in the picnic area or patio (but not on tours) at HALL St. Helena.

Gallery Gazing at Markham Vineyards

Markham-Vineyards
Image Source: Markham Vineyards, TripAdvisor

Markham Vineyards
2812 St. Helena Hwy North
St. Helena CA 94574
(707) 963-5292
TripAdvisor: 4.5 stars, 46 reviews
Reservations: Required for tours or groups of 6 or more

Come for the wine, stay for the art. Markham Vineyards, which specializes in Merlot, adds another dimension to the tasting experience with an onsite art gallery. The gallery has its own theme—contemporary art—with exhibits such as Baron Wolman’s cover shots for Rolling Stone magazine, iPhone photos, or tributes to psychedelic art.

Insider tip: Before you go, download Markham Vineyards’ 2-for-1 tasting coupon from their website and present your mobile device to a staff member.

Take a Walk Around the World

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Image Source: Yelp

Newton Vineyard
2555 Madrona Ave
St. Helena, CA 94574
(707) 963-9000
TripAdvisor: 4.5 stars, 55 reviews
Reservations: Required

A few intriguing landmarks on the secluded grounds of Newton Vineyard are clues to the founders’ heritage: a Chinese pagoda and red gate, a London telephone booth, and manicured English gardens are just a few touches that add to the environment—all blending harmoniously for the small, unhurried group tours of the gardens, caves, and winery. Newton’s unfiltered Chardonnay is especially good.

Insider tip: At Newton Vineyard, the seated tasting is set up with four glasses so that you can taste the wines side by side, rather than serially.

True Luxury

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Image Source: Yelp

Sinegal Estate Winery
2125 Inglewood Ave
St. Helena, CA 94574
(707) 244-1187
TripAdvisor: No ratings or reviews as yet
Reservations: Required

Brand new to the scene, Sinegal Estate Winery was founded by David Sinegal, son of a Costco co-founder. This extensively renovated, 30-acre estate is lavish (winery, vineyards, lake, olive orchard, gardens, and a Victorian homestead round out the scene) but the well-regarded Cabernets haven’t yet reached the Napa Valley price stratosphere. Tours are limited to 21 visitors daily, so sign up early for a tour and tasting.

Insider tip: After a tour of Sinegal Estate Winery, relax lakeside on a bench or under the gazebo.

Taste the Terroir

Corison-Winery
Image Source: Corison Winery, Yelp

Corison Winery
987 St. Helena Hwy
St. Helena, CA 94574
(707) 963-0826
TripAdvisor: 4.5 stars, 34 reviews
Reservations: Required

Surrounded by gnarly, old Cabernet vines, Corison Winery offers the Corison Library Experience: a Kronos Vineyard tour & library Cabernet tasting. Crafted by winegrower Cathy Corison, the artisanal Cabernets you sample, in a formal setting, will give a taste of this renowned terroir, from vineyard to bottle.

Insider tip: Corison Winery guests can book a room at the Harvest Inn by Charlie Palmer, or at Southbridge, at a discounted rate (see Corison Winery’s website for details).

Reach the Summit

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Image Source: Yelp

Pride Mountain Vineyards
4026 Spring Mountain Rd
St. Helena, CA 94574
(707) 963-4949
TripAdvisor: 5 stars, 367 reviews
Reservations: Required

Known for their big, bold reds, Pride Mountain Vineyards’ new tour gives visitors a sense of place: the Summit Experience, named for their idyllic location on the top of Spring Mountain. This exclusive, personal tour is limited to six guests and takes you through the winery production area and barrel caves to a private, elegant salon for a formal tasting that includes current and limited release varieties.

Insider tip: Ignore your GPS and follow the directions on Pride Mountain Vineyards’ website.

Keeping Things Authentic

Tres-Sabores-Winery
Image Source: Tres Sabores Winery, TripAdvisor

Tres Sabores
1620 S. Whitehall Ln
St. Helena, CA 94574
(707) 967-8027
TripAdvisor: 5 stars, 39 reviews
Reservations: Required

Tres Sabores is a small, family-owned ranch that is certified organic and dry-farmed. The setting is authentic, as are the tours, which feature guided walks through the cave, the vineyards, and the gardens, tasting as you go, plus a final tasting at a private table (the Por Que No? blend is a favorite).

Insider tip: If you visit Tres Sabores during the fall harvest, you might get the chance to crush a few grapes in the bins with your hands.

Make a reservation for one of the above educational experiences, and you’ll never want to belly-up-to-the-bar for a standard menu tasting again. Whether your palate aligns more toward sweet whites, or hearty, robust reds, you’ll return home with newfound winemaking knowledge, backed up by a bottle (or case) or two of drinkable keepsakes.