I’m planning a trip in May. Last time I visited was 15 years ago. You used to be able to walk into a winery and do a tasting at the counter. Now it seems that every winery wants you to spend 90 minutes there doing a full tour. Are there any good ones left where you can “just” taste?
Frog’s Leap has more casual tasting options. Seated, but casual. You can usually just make a reservation same day.
Still have to make an appointment but at the Heron House in Yountville you can taste wines of Bench Vineyards, Eponymous Cellars, Hobel Wines, Lindstrom Wines, Myriad Cellars, Steltzner Vineyards, Switchback Ridge, and Zeitgeist Cellars and since it’s a tasting collective and not a winery there will be no tour.
Most wineries are requiring appointments due to covid restrictions and spacing requirements. Many allow walk-in’s on a space available basis.
You can probably do a walk in with Long Meadow Ranch in the store attached to Farmstead in St Helena. We had a great quick visit pre-covid there. Tasted 5 or so wines and joined the list. Really nice classic wines.
We also had a great visit at Frog’s Leap that trip but made a reservation in advance and sat on the patio.
Second this. Almost no one lets you just walk-in right now. Several can accommodate same day and don’t require a tour or anything, just check ahead of time.
Tank Garage Winery in Calistoga is one of my favorites. Funky atmosphere. Unique blends and labels, and bottles between $30-$65. That said, you need an appointment, but you could finish your tasting in less than 30 minutes.
My go-to quick tasting is Wine Country Connection in Yountville. They do pours and glasses, and have a reserve list down below. No frills, but friendly people and good wines. Here is their current list: