The best wineries in Napa Valley

The best wineries in Napa Valley

The sun-kissed hills of California’s Napa Valley are planted with the neat, trained rows of vines belonging to more than 400 different wineries. Stretching north from San Pablo Bay and San Francisco Bay, the Napa Valley has become renowned across the globe as one of the new world’s foremost wine-producing regions, particularly for its Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon grape varieties. But beyond its tasting opportunities, the Napa Valley offers visitors an extraordinary level of luxury, featuring top-end accommodation and gourmet restaurants—so sit back and explore the best wineries in Napa Valley with us below.

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Beaulieu Vineyards

The perfect place to begin a tour of the best wineries in Napa Valley is with Beaulieu Vineyards, which has acted as a benchmark for Californian wines for more than a century. As a mark of their supreme reverence for the heritage, wine producers here have cultivated traditional skills over 118 years, and combined these skills with modern innovations and technologies. The result is that Beaulieu produces wines that stand out even among the high standards of the region.

Photo: Milada Vigerova

Photo: Milada Vigerova

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The Chimney Rock Winery lets the unique terroir (or soil) of its Stags’ Leap location speak for itself

Chimney Rock Winery

Creating wines with what they term a ‘non-interventionist’ approach, ensuring only minimal interference in the natural chemistry of winemaking, the Chimney Rock Winery lets the unique terroir (or soil) of its Stags’ Leap location speak for itself. The result: wines that are authentic to their grape varieties, smooth to the taste, and flavourful on the palate.

Photo: Brad Neathery

Photo: Brad Neathery

Etude

The artisan producers at Etude take a similar non-interventionist approach to their winemaking, growing many of the grapes used, such as those for Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, and Chardonnay wines, on the estate itself. With the vineyards of each separate variety averaging just eight acres in size, great care is taken to ensure every vine produces fully-concentrated fruit, meaning only the highest quality of grapes are ever grown, harvested, and used.

Beringer

To experience the unique history and terroir of the Napa Valley as a whole, there’s nowhere better than the region’s oldest continuously producing winery, Beringer. Now an icon of the American wine industry and a designated historic district, Beringer invites visitors to wander through the vineyards and admire the stained glass and carved woodwork of the 17-room Rhine House mansion (constructed in homage to the family’s German routes) before tasting the result of 140 years of hard work in the library or on the porch.

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Raymond Vineyards

In contrast, Raymond Vineyards, founded in 1970, is the new kid on the block. However, the vineyard has still managed to build an incredible reputation, producing vintages that are both well balanced and complex on the palate. As part of the Boisset Family Estates, it is perhaps best known for its Cabernet Sauvignon, created with grapes picked from only the finest of Napa Valley appellations—legally defined geographical regions—and available for sampling in the modern surroundings of the Crystal Cellar tasting room.

Photo: Brandy Turner

Photo: Brandy Turner

Stag’s Leap Winery

One such appellation is that of Stags’ Leap, named after the Stags’ Leap Winery, an estate of 240 acres. These acres are planted with 90 acres of vines and divided into 23 blocks by variety to provide the perfect soil conditions for each. In addition to rich Cabernet Sauvignons such as The Leap and Audentia, this winery is known for stylish blends such as Ne Cede Malis (translating as Never Yield). However, make sure any visit is booked in advance to avoid disappointment!

Brasswood Estate

The Brasswood Estate blends their passion for wine with equal enthusiasm for local ingredients. In one of the multiple tasting rooms, guests are welcome to relax as they enjoy the fruits of the 17,000 square feet of natural caves on the estate, where the magic happens. They are also invited to sample the cuisine of the quality-driven kitchen, which is open from 11.30 am to 9 pm each day or explore the sensory room created by the estate’s sommelier.

Photo: Ellis

Photo: Ellis

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The Robert Mondavi Winery boasts one of the most comprehensive tour programmes in the Napa Valley

Robert Mondavi Winery

For anyone looking to delve deeper into the world of wine than a standard tasting session can provide, the Robert Mondavi Winery boasts one of the most comprehensive tour programmes in the Napa Valley. Two tasting rooms within the California Mission-style buildings offer up Robert Mondavi’s limited production and reserve wines for sampling, either by the glass or by the flight. Wine educators with encyclopaedic knowledge are on hand to help you make the most of your tasting session, while the grounds also act as a giant open-air gallery for a permanent art collection.

Mondavi

Mondavi

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