Napa Tasting Fees

In planning a trip to Napa I decided to contact Continuum. The website had no info on visiting so I called and was told they might be able to see us and would let me know. So I asked what the fee would be and was told it was $125 PP. Surely this has to be the most ridiculous tasting fee in Napa? BTW, I am not going.

Not sure that’s too out of line with many higher end Napa places at present. It’s been a while since I have visited, but happened across the Shafer web site recently and noted a $75/person visit/tasting fee. Led me to look at a few others out of curiosity and $75+ seems to be fairly common. Even at larger production places with wide distribution (like Caymus) $50ish was common.

I guess it depends on what people want out of a visit. Most of these are being packaged as an “experience”, not just walking in and tasting a few wines. In that vein it’s more entertainment $$ and many people are probably willing to pay for that.


Some places have high tasting fees due to how infrequently people will come by and visit. They may only have 2-3 groups in a day, so often there is a lot of wasted wine, and they have to pay that person a livable wage relative to NorCal. Some wineries are limited to a certain number of visitors a day too, which can also add to the issues.

It can make a difference too, if you’re already a buyer/member or not. We visited Continuum a couple of years ago (as existing buyers) and didn’t have a charge.

If you want a fun wine experience, taste with a board member. It’s always free, and never a charge.


Alpha Omega

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Heitz is still free!!! No appointment needed!

Alpha Omega was a terrific tasting experience…We had dinner at Mustards afterwards

good point Dan to support board members on here…I’ve tasted with all 4 producers and all were free and top notch and I bought wine from them after all the tastings :slight_smile: Blankiet is another one if you buy several bottles they wave the fees. They did with me at least…

FWIW, my wife and I visited Continuum on our honeymoon back in 2015. Granted we were picking up a previously purchased order, and then bought some while we were there, but our fee was waived.

This was definitely more of an experience than a tasting. We got to walk the grounds, chat with the winemaker, tour the wine making facilities, and even try some newly pressed juice. We got to taste a sample of their Novicium blend as well as I believe the 2013 vintage paired with some cheese, nuts, crackers and their estate Olive Oil.

The grounds are beautiful, our hostess very knowledgeable and friendly - overall a great experience . But it was very much an experience and less a traditional tasting.

That’s not what their website says.

That’s some very useful context. It’s still expensive, but it sounds a lot different that saying the tasting fee is $125.

Does it say they don’t waive the fee with purchase, or just not advertise that they will?

Taken off their site:

FEES $75 per person, independent of wine purchases, charged at the time of reservation

What’s the producer of a single wine (yes they have a second label wine but who cares) that retails for $200 to do. They are basically openning one of their limited $200 bottles for your tasting. I’d rather pay the fee and avoid the hard sell at the end of the tasting.

How about Jean Edwards - Napa wine but tasting room in Sonoma, forever-participant in BerserkerDay??

JUST opened the tasting room - fee of $25 waived with $65 purchase

Why is their one wine a $200 bottle?

I couldn’t agree more.

Because it can be?

I can’t believe people here are justifying a $125 tasting fee, that’s just crazy! That’s $250 for two and you get maybe a glass (or less) per person total.

A place that charges more than $50 and doesn’t waive with a purchase is not something I’m interested in.