Are you visiting the wineries in Napa Valley?
California’s beloved wine-producing region is renowned for its excellent Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.
Combine this with beautiful views of rolling hills and you’ll have the trip of a lifetime.
But with so many wineries, it can be difficult to plan an itinerary.
In this article, we’ll show you exactly where to go and the best times to visit so you can spend more time enjoying different wines.
We’ll reveal the most beautiful Napa Valley wineries for you to visit.
Check these out!
1. Madonna Estate Winery
Madonna Estate Winery is located on the edge of Napa town.
This estate was established in 1922 by an Italian migrant who bought the 24-acre vineyard.
Madonna Estate Winery, now grown to 128 acres, prides itself in exclusively growing organic grapes.
Wine varieties that dominate the vineyards at this estate are Chardonnay (55 acres) and pinot noir (35 acres).
The fields have different terrain and soils, enabling them to make wine out of 9 grape varieties.
With endless rolling hills of vineyards, the views are incredible.
Attend their tasting sessions guided by staff, who are all descendants of the first owner.
Wine tastings can be savored both indoors in the tasting room and outdoors at the front entrance.
- Opening Hours: Daily 10am-5pm
- Address: 5400 Old Sonoma Rd, Napa, CA 94559, United States
2. Castello di Amorosa
Castello di Amorosa is based in a striking castle that’s inspired by a 13th-century Tuscan fortress.
The construction of this authentic-looking castle started in 1994, and a vineyard area of 171 acres surrounds this remarkable building.
Castello di Amorosa’s vineyards are spread over both flatlands and rolling hills.
Similar to many of the wine estates in the Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the major grape varieties at Castello di Amorosa.
Wine tastings, which require a reservation, can be enjoyed under the stone arches of the castle inside.
Food options to elevate the tastings include cheeses platters, chocolate, and antipasti.
If you explore the corridors and towers of the castle, you’ll be treated with astonishing views over the estate and beyond.
- Opening Hours: Daily 9:30am-6pm
- Address: 4045 St Helena Hwy, Calistoga, CA 94515, United States
3. Domaine Chandon
Domaine Chandon is situated in the town of Yountville, 60 miles away from bustling San Francisco.
Before you enter Domaine Chandon, you’re already welcomed by the lush gardens and terraces encircling the main building.
After starting a winery in Argentina, the owner spread his wings in 1973 and started his new business amidst the hilly landscapes of Napa.
Domaine Chandon is one of the few properties on this list that primarily focuses on producing sparkling wines.
Guests can sample the wines during a picnic on the lawn and enjoy the views.
Combine the estate’s sparkling beauties with homely food to make it an afternoon to remember.
If you’re traveling with a group, you can rent a private cabana for up to 10.
The property features both a wine shop and a tasting room.
- Opening Hours: Daily 10am-5pm
- Address: 1 California Dr, Yountville, CA 94599, United States
4. V. Sattui Winery
V. Sattui Winery is praised for its exquisite wine tastings and culinary experiences.
This property in St. Helena has a history that goes back to 1885 when an Italian family started to make wine full-time.
Working in small batches and with organic grapes, V. Sattui Winery is a sustainable wine-producing estate.
The family business now consists of numerous vineyards, where Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon are the most commonly grown grapes.
For tastings, you can pick between an indoor and outdoor sampling session.
Inside the tasting room, you’re surrounded by the massive barrels and impressive stone walls of this late 19th-century structure.
It’s amusing to create a drool-worthy meal at the Artisan Deli, where you can buy cheeses and meats for a picnic on the grounds.
There is also a food truck that plates barbecued goodies and authentic Italian pizzas.
Occasionally, there are weddings in their gardens, adding to the pleasant atmosphere at V. Sattui Winery.
- Opening Hours: Daily 10am-5pm
- Address: 1111 White Ln, St Helena, CA 94574, United States
St. Helena is home to several sublime wineries, with Beringer being another traveler’s favorite.
The origin of this estate goes back to 1875, and the staff has been giving public tours of the vineyards since 1934.
Upon arrival, you’ll be enchanted instantly by the gorgeous facade of the 1886 Rhine House.
If you prefer views of lush greenery, this is the perfect spot.
This mansion, inspired by classic German architecture, is surrounded by wonderful flower gardens and trees providing shade to the outdoor terrace.
A tasting is best enjoyed on the verandah, where the garden and the historic house provide a charming background.
Alternatively, Beringer hosts tasting tours and will show you around the vineyards on foot.
Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay are the dominant grape species used for the highly-praised wines of Beringer.
- Opening Hours: Thursday to Sunday 10am-4pm
- Address: 2000 Main St, St Helena, CA 94574, United States
6. Grgich Hills Estate
Grgich Hills Estate has three vineyards in the proximity of St. Helena.
The estate specializes in growing Chardonnay, a grape variety that has earned Grgich Hills Estate numerous accolades.
However, the estate also produces other grapes typical to the Napa Valley, such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel.
Overlooking the rolling hills of the Napa Valley and the winery’s own vineyards, the outdoor terrace is a stunning place to hunker down for a tasting.
This tasting at the Rutherford vineyard is best savored with a cheese platter.
Keep in mind that reservations are required for tastings and visits.
It’s about an hour’s drive from downtown San Francisco to the serene vineyards of this property.
- Opening Hours: Daily 9:30am-4:30pm
- Address: 1829 St Helena Hwy, Rutherford, CA 94573, United States
7. Sutter Home Family Vineyards
The Sutter Home Family Vineyards opened their doors in 1890 and reopened in 1948 after the US Prohibition era.
This estate is based in a wooden, colonial-style house enclosed by carefully curated gardens and lawns.
Some of the advantages of stopping by Sutter Home Family Vineyards are the splendid views over the rose gardens and the property’s vineyards.
Sutter Home Family Vineyards produce no less than 20 grape varieties, bottled and processed in different ways.
This leaves visitors with wines accessible for wine dummies and seasoned drinkers alike.
You can sample their wines outside on the picnic tables or in the dedicated tasting room inside.
The estate is open for tastings from Thursday to Monday and can only be visited after booking an appointment.
- Opening Hours: Thursday to Monday 10am-5pm
- Address: 277 St. Helena Hwy (Hwy. 29) South St. Helena, CA 94574
8. ZD Wines
Established in 1969, the family estate ZD Wines is now in the hands of the third generation of winemakers.
ZD Wines is situated just outside the town of St. Helena and has a total vineyard area of 32.2 acres.
Although ZD Wines is known for its fine Chardonnay’s, they also grow 6 acres of Pinot Noir.
Relish some of their organic wines during a vineyard view tasting held on the elevated outdoor terrace.
The flat vineyards contrast beautifully with the silhouettes of the hills in the distance.
Go more in-depth and join the Cellar Tour or the Abacus Experience Tour & Tasting.
On the Abacus Experience Tour, you’ll even get to taste maturing wines straight from the barrel.
- Opening Hours: Daily 10am-4pm
- Address: 8383 Silverado Trail, Napa, CA 94558, United States
9. Raymond Vineyards
Raymond Vineyards was brought to life in 1974, near the downtown of St. Helena.
The entire land consists of 90 acres of vineyards, plus gardens and organic vegetable patches.
Raymond Vineyards’ vision is winemaking sustainably and organically, with the preservation of biodiversity in mind.
Cabernet Sauvignon is the primary grape grown in the vineyards here.
On arrival, there are some remarkable experiences on offer, including private tours through the gardens and vineyards.
Another amazing experience is the Winemaker for a Day in the blending room.
Your host will show you how to blend and bottle your own wine and design your own label.
Lastly, sample their finest wines under ambient light and sparkling chandeliers in their Crystal Cellar.
- Opening Hours: Daily 10am-4pm
- Address: 849 Zinfandel Ln, St Helena, CA 94574, United States
Best Way to Tour Napa Valley – Wine Train!
The Napa Valley Wine Train has been operating since 1864 and provides a unique way to see the wine region.
Hop aboard for a three-hour, 36-mile round trip journey across the valley.
You’ll have front-row seats of Napa Valley’s vineyards and views of their rolling hills.
Apart from the vineyard vistas, several perks await when you book this train adventure.
You’ll have a chance to dine on board in one of the fancy carriages, where a multi-course meal is served if you book the Gourmet Express package.
Even more tempting is the Vista Dome experience.
You’ll be spoiled with a glass of sparkling wine, a multi-course meal, and views through panoramic windows.
You can even purchase regional wines while you’re on board.
Which Winery Region is Better: Sonoma or Napa?
Sonoma County is located 20 minutes drive west of the Napa Valley and is closer to the Pacific Ocean coastline.
The Napa Valley receives noticeably more visitors annually, while the land area is actually half the size of Sonoma County.
If you like the more renowned wineries with ritzy tours and tastings, the Napa Valley may be the spot to venture for.
On the other hand, Sonoma County is an excellent choice if you like less crowded wineries and more authentic experiences.
Fine dining venues are known to be some of Napa’s main traits, but Sonoma has excellent dining options as well if you look closely.
Check out our guides:
- 8 Romantic Sonoma Hotels & Inns with Private Spa Baths
- 10 Most Beautiful Sonoma Valley Wineries with Best Views
Where to Stay
Napa Valley is a very popular destination, particularly for couples.
If you’re planning to stay for a few days, choosing the right hotel or bed & breakfast will certainly heighten the experience.
Check out our guides on a few romantic stays before planning your itinerary.
The Napa Valley Lodge (in the picture) is just one of many luxury hotels available.
- 10 Luxury Napa Valley Hotels with Private Hot Tubs
- 15 Most Romantic Napa Valley Bed & Breakfasts for Honeymoons
- 12 Napa Valley Spa Resorts – Best Luxury Wellness Retreats
Napa Valley Wineries Map
In the area around St Helena and Rutherford, dozens of wineries are assembled in a small area.
Most of the wineries are open from approximately 10 am to 5 pm, and a tasting generally lasts one hour.
If you’d rush, you could visit about 6 wineries per day.
Just make sure you’re not driving, or at least have a guide with you!
To get a sense of the wine culture in the world-famous Napa Valley, it’s recommended to spend at least 3 or 4 days here.
The region has several fine-dining restaurants, good for some memorable lunches and dinner parties.
Otherwise, there are quaint towns to explore, markets, museums, bike tours, and even hot air balloon rides.
The harvest period from August to October causes a peak in the tourist season, and it will be busy at the wineries.
In spring, from March to May, the weather is about as good as during the high season, and prices are lower.
Also, you’ll get to enjoy the colourful gardens that are in full bloom during this season.
Napa town is about 48 miles northeast of downtown San Francisco.
Other prime wine destinations within the valley, such as Rutherford and Yountville, are located 62 and 57 miles from San Francisco, respectively.
It takes an estimated 1-hour drive to reach the Napa Valley.
|Napa Valley Wineries||Opening Hours|
|Madonna Estate Winery||Daily 10am-5pm|
|Castello di Amorosa||Daily 9:30am-6pm|
|Domaine Chandon||Daily 10am-5pm|
|V. Sattui Winery||Daily 10am-5pm|
|Beringer||Thursday to Sunday 10am-4pm|
|Grgich Hills Estate||Daily 9:30am-4:30pm|
|Sutter Home Family Vineyards||Thursday to Monday 10am-5pm|
|ZD Wines||Daily 10am-4pm|
|Raymond Vineyards||Daily 10am-4pm|