A Day In Napa Series: #1
Napa Valley has much to offer wine lovers as well as those who just love traveling. From their world famous vineyards to their mouth watering food, it makes for a must visit destination. The sights, views, and activities are plenty and varied; however, with so many amazing wineries and locations to visit in Napa Valley, it can be difficult and overwhelming deciding where to go. If you take your time to enjoy everything each winery has to offer, you will probably only be able to fit in a few wineries each day. This is part one of a guide to help give you ideas of daily itineraries or just to help give you ideas of places that would interest you most.
Is it overwhelming sorting through the many different locations to visit in Napa Valley?
Del Dotto Vineyard probably has one of the most breathtaking buildings in Napa Valley. Their St. Helena location boasts a beautiful Venetian estate that you won't want to miss seeing. Their tour is fun and very informative, making it a great way to start your day. You get to see their gorgeous marble lined caves and taste wine straight from the barrel, which is always a fun experience. At the end of the tour you get to pair some of their wines with different meats, cheeses, and chocolate, and if your taste buds are watering already, they should be! The food and wine is delicious, especially the reds! This intimate and private tour is $60 and you must make reservations. You can also do a tasting at the bar for $45 if you are looking for something a little cheaper.
Lunch at Villa Corona
After you finish at Del Dotto, it will probably be time to sample some of Napa's delicious food for lunch! For a nice casual place, try Villa Corona in St.Helena. It offers some savory Mexican cuisine, perfect for a break from wine tasting. You also can't beat the prices at this adorable little eatery!
After lunch, if you aren't ready for your day to be done quite yet, head over to Sterling Vineyard in Calistoga. Upon arrival, take the gondola up to the winery, and the views from there are simply stunning! It is the perfect place to sip a glass of wine while enjoying the sight of Napa Valley. Once in the winery, you take yourself on a self guided tour where you sample their different wines along the way. As you are savoring the wines, and enjoying the views, you also get to view some of the art hanging throughout. As another little perk, you get to keep your wine glass as well. This is definitely a one of a kind experience in Napa Valley. If you choose the general admission tour, it is $29. If you upgrade to their Silver Experience, which includes a seated tasting of limited release wines, access to more of the winery, and more art from artists such as Picasso, it is $39. You do not need reservations for small groups.
Castello di Amorosa
Please do not leave Napa Valley without stopping by the Castello di Amorosa! It is located right across from Sterling Vineyard in Calistoga. Castello di Amorosa is one of the more crowded wineries, but the tour is so fun and the wine is amazing! It is an authentically built Tuscan castle, making it one of the more unique places to visit. If you take the tour you get to view many different parts of the castle, even the torture chamber, as well as sample 5 or 6 different wines. Their La Fantasia wine is a must try! If you live nearby and decide to become a wine club member, you will get an invite to the amazing parties hosted here, which are supposed to be very fun. The general admission price is $25 to walk yourself around some parts of the castle and to sample 5 wines, the guided tour price is $35, and you can add chocolate to your tasting for $5, a cheese pairing for $15, and a charcuterie pairing for $15. Reservations for small groups are not required, but keep in mind that this is a very popular destination.