“If you’re tired you take a nap-a, you don’t move to Napa.” -Carrie Bradshaw
Well that might not be true. I was only able to spend a weekend in Napa and I didn’t want to leave! Vibrant green hills that overlook these extravagant vineyards serving some of the most delicious wine in the world!
Why is it known as wine country? Location, location, location. With the varying levels of terrain and the dryness from March-October makes the area perfect for growing grapes. Here I will talk about the Six Vineyards I was able to make it to. If you are planning your trip to Napa, know that most of the bigger vineyards require reservations not only for a tour of the caves, but for a tasting as well.
The original owner built on this land in 1886 and planted the first vines around that time. In 1890, phylloxera, hit what is known as Napa Valley hard and killed the grapevines of the surrounding vineyards. Then the Prohibition surged in the 1920s and the land laid dormant until the Trefethen Family purchased it in 1968.
When you first arrive you will see the barrels of wine behind a glass wall used as the barrel cellar to age the wine. Upstairs the winery opens up into a huge sitting area with long wooden tables, perfect for large parties. It reminded me of a Medieval times dining room.
Across the Street from Trefethen is Laird Family Estate vineyards. The property was purchased in 1970 by Ken and Gail Laird and with the help of Robert Mondavi. What started out as a land of prune trees is now 2,000 acers of grape Vines.
This 13th Century style Tuscan Castle Vineyard took 15 years to plan and 15 years to build. It was finished in 2007, and while it isn’t actually from the 13th Century, you could have fooled me. All of the materials to build it were imported from Europe and averaged around $46 million… This did not include the price to build!
Although it has 107 rooms, all different, no one actually lives there and no one stays there. Weddings are not permitted at this location, although, they do throw parties for their members. The tour with a tasting of 5 wines will run you $45usd, but it totally worth it. Don’t forget to check out their ostrich and peacocks that roam the outside of the facility.
The wine made at Castello Di Amorosa can only be bought there or is available online for members only. So snag a bottle or two because you won’t find it in the grocery stores or restaurants.
Beringer Vineyards is the longest continuous running vineyard in Napa Valley of over 141 years. The land was originally purchased by brothers, Jacob and Frederick Beringer in 1875 and has stayed in the family for many generations. There are two places to have tastings, the original building up the hill or the Rhine House at the bottom. They were the first in Napa to offer tours in 1934 after the Prohibition lifted.
*Note: When we went, after purchasing a tasting, Beringer Vineyards was giving out 50% discounts to an experience at Sterling Vineyards*
You will have to back track from Beringer Vineyards and past Castello Di Amorosa to get to Sterling Vineyards. With that 50% off voucher we received at the Beringer Vineyards, we were able to get a wine/food pairing for $44 each, which also included the gondola ride and a wine glass.
On top of that, we were able to try some of their other wines including one from their $250 bottle (I usually drink wine out of a box, so this was a big deal to me). You can take a self guided tour of the vineyard out to the patio area for some great views.
Sterling Vineyards was founded in 1964 by the same person who started the Sterling paper company. It’s one of the most visited Vineyards in Napa, and was the official wine of the Emmy’s in 2016, where Emmy winners would also received a bottle of Sterling wine.
There are about 500 wineries in Napa Valley, and I was only able to make it to 6 over 2 days without getting obliterated. It’s easy to not realize the amount you have had to drink while wine tasting, so make sure you are safe and DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE.