I am planning a trip to Napa in the near future and looking for new wineries in multiple areas around Napa Valley to go to and experience. Trying to identify wineries that have great views, spectacular wines, and overall great experience/hospitality.
For context, here are some wines that we enjoy; VHR, Diamond Creek, Continuum, Del Dotto, Realm, Gargiulo, Darioush, TOR, Schramsberg
Looking for feedback on the following that I have discovered:
Outpost, Dunn, Cade, O’Shaugnessy
Vice Versa, Amici, Macauley
David Arthur, Chappellet
Cardinale, B Cellars
If I missed any please feel free to recommend them. Thanks in advance!
We had a great visit with vice versa last year. I would also recommend Kapcsandy and spring mountain vineyard. SM does a cab vertical tasting where we were able to try the 1988 and and 1998, so it’s a nice change from all the newly released wines that you’ll be drinking most of the week.
That is a nice list of wineries. Book as far in advance as possible for availability. Make sure the wineries are open the day of the week you want to visit, some are closed certain days of the week. I would recommend you look at Pride Mountain somewhere in here.
Heitz is super expensive for a tasting visit now unless you get complimentary tastings.
Great list. I’ve been to the following:
-The Vineyardist- Out of eight trips to the valley, this was one of our highlights. Julie has got to be one of the kindest (and well connected) hosts in Napa. Property, experience and wines were all incredible. On the pricey side (cabs in the $200-300 range, SB around $75)
-David Arthur- One of the more relaxed tastings up on PH. Cool range of wines and a beautiful tasting. Hopefully you’ll see David while there, quite the character!
-Chappellet- Probably a must visit for most due to the history. Winery is very cool to tour. The wines are classical and ones you can normally find easily, so that may or may not be a good thing to you
-Tench Vineyards- Already mentioned above, this was one of our favorite discoveries. Margaret is great, as are the wines (the cab franc was a wow-wine for us)
-Theorem- Shares a driveway with Vineyardist on Diamond Mtn, so it makes for an easy visit. Very modern and beautifully secluded. TRB makes the wine and while they are all nice, their food program is seriously impressive
-Cimarossa- Way up on Howell Mtn passed O’Shaugnessey. Very boutique. Gorgeous Cabernets. The tasting area is beautiful
-Progeny- On Mt Veeder, this is O’Shaugnessey’s Veeder project essentially. Ultra modern and sleek design. Remote. Delicious Cabernets (and white blend)
Make sure you plan distances carefully. Wineries that look close on google maps can take quite some time to get to. Best to stick to one mountain or at least side of the valley per day. It helps when picking wineries to visit also, find one or two wineries in the same area you want to visit and then try to make appointments at another place or two in the same area you may not know about, could find something new! Sounds like you are looking for wineries that specialize in cab but if you are looking for a great tour El Molino is pretty amazing for how Napa used to be, just south of the Calistoga/Diamond Mt area.
Howell Mtn - Great choices! O’Shaughnessy also makes an outstanding and my favorite Mt Veeder cab. A visit to Dunn at least once is a must for any Napa aficionado. Cade has the best view of those listed, but Outpost is no slouch.
Vice Versa is worth a visit—May want to wait until their new facility is up and running.
Amici is up in Calistoga but has great stable of wines made from up/down the valley.
Pritchard Hill - Chappellet is where it started on PH, consider adding Brand, Colgin, and Ovid to your list. Ovid and Colgin do have great views.
Veeder - Mayacamas is a great visit, for wines see O’Shaughnessy reference above, and second vote for Evidence and Progeny. Cresta Velia and Boich fly under the radar. My second favorite Veeder cab is Lynne from Addax, which you can taste in a visit to Elyse which I highly recommend. Any discussion of Veeder is incomplete without mention of Pott.
I went in November and other than a visit that isn’t open to the public, Mayacamas estate was our consensus favorite. Someone did recently post that they weren’t able to go on the tour recently due to weather, so unfortunately his visit was disappointing, so keep an eye on weather accordingly.
Our other favorites were Myriad, Rivers-Marie, and Impensata (at Wheeler Farms). All three are very intimate and you can totally geek out. It was also nice to break up all the Cab with Syrah at Myriad, Pinot at Rivers-Marie and Champagne and Merlot at Impensata. At Impensata, we only tasted two of their wines (the Merlot was my favorite young wine of the trip) plus a welcome Champagne, but it was really nice to relax and chat and follow the two wines as the blossomed in the glass.
Hietz was a lot better than I was expecting. Very good experience, especially for such a large winery.
We were all disappointed with Corison, but maybe due to the weather and wine being too cold. This was the only tasting we wouldnt have done in retrospect.
Also, whatever you do, do not go to Auberge du Soleil restaurant. It was horrible and we wanted to leave early. Worst dining experience in many years, by far. Not only should it not have a star, but we would’ve been way happier eating at PF Changs.
Can’t go wrong with the options you’ve laid out. My only suggestion would be to get some Pinot in there to avoid burning out on Cabernet. Failla is up near Calistoga, and while it’s not going to give you breathtaking views or palaci structures, the wine and the hospitality are absolutely top notch. The SVD Pinot Noirs are outstanding, as are the chardonnays. Ehren makes a syrah that’s great too. Nice way to break up a heavy day of Cabernet tasting.
Corison and Spottswoode are also worth seeking out to get a different take on Cabernet, and one that I personally find incredibly elegant and beautiful. Again, in both cases, you’re putting quality of wine ahead of scenery, but that’s what I tend to prioritize.
Bevan is making fabulous wines and is a great visit. Also highly recommend Del Dotto. Their reserve wines are very, very good and the opportunity to taste and buy them in various barrels is really interesting.