Wine tasting at Charles Krug’s. Photo courtesy of the winery
As the pace of vaccination rises and the country opens up, many are planning their first getaway in almost a year. Napa Valley has always been an idyllic destination for rest and relaxation, and the bucolic region continues to offer one of the most dreamy places to enjoy not only some of the best wines in the world, but also the legendary California sunshine. Rent a car service or choose your designated driver, follow this three-day route that winds through some of the best wineries and finest wineries in the valley, and enjoy the unparalleled and unforgettable travel experiences you have missed:
Ehlers Estate (St. Helena)
Start your day at 9:30 am in St. Helena Ehlers Estate for breakfast and tasting in their beautiful olive grove. Two unique tastings include the Ehler’s tasting ($ 50 per person; for groups of 2 to 6 people), an intimate, personal presentation of their estate wines led by a knowledgeable wine educator, or choose the one Cabernet tasting ($ 50 per person; accommodates groups of 2 to 6 people) for the most serious wine collector and Cabernet enthusiast. Both options offer updated versions and shared stories about the property’s history.
Photo courtesy of Ehlers Estate
Larkmead Vineyards (Calistoga)
The next stop is Larkmead vineyards. Larkmead was founded in 1895 and continues to lead the region as one of the most forward-thinking producers. Sustainability and future planning are prioritized over a Research block is dedicated to researching new grape varieties in the course of climate change. To experience Larkmead’s renowned wines from winemaker Dan Petroski, guests can choose between the following Estate tasting (USD 70 per person; for groups of 2 to 6 people), a private tasting in one of the first outdoor areas with four current wines and a tour of Larkmead’s newly planted research vineyard (weather permitting) or the Larkmead Reserve tasting ($ 95 per person; for groups of 2 to 4 people), a private, host-led tasting of five wines from Larkmead’s unique Napa terroir, and a tour of the groundbreaking research vineyard (weather permitting). Wait 75 minutes for this experience.
Larkmead vineyards. Photo courtesy of the winery
Charles Krug (St. Helena)
End the day at Charles pitcher in St. Helena. The winery is one of California’s oldest wineries and was founded in 1861. It invites guests to enjoy modern outdoor tastings in their renovated picnic area. The C.urated estate tasting ($ 45 per person; seats 1 to 6 people) is a comprehensive entry point into the range of classic Napa wines. With five new cabanas, guests can also enjoy a luxurious, private tasting with the winery Cabana experience (Minimum of $ 400). Groups of up to 6 are invited to reserve a bespoke two-hour tasting that includes exclusive wine flights, a selection of bottles, and delicious culinary options like wood-fired pizza and more.
Charles Krug Cabana Experience. Photo courtesy of the winery
The beautiful cardinal The Oakville Estate offers a memorable tasting experience led by a knowledgeable and dedicated estate team. Upon arrival, guests enjoy panoramic views of the valley and mountain appellations that together make up Cardinale’s limited edition Cabernet Sauvignon. Further exploration of the world of Cardinale continues with a curated selection of wines to be enjoyed in the tasting room, artfully paired with seasonal small bites. Cardinale offers two private tasting experiences, the Estate tasting ($ 100 per person; accommodates groups of 2 to 6) and the Library tasting ($ 150 per person; accommodates groups of 2 to 6 people).
Cardinale winery. Photo courtesy of the winery
Nickel & Nickel (Oakville)
Focuses on making 100% varietal wines with a vineyard. Nickel & nickel The Oakville winery is the perfect next stop for decadent Cabernet Sauvignon and fantastic terroir-guided wines. At the winery, guests can choose from three different wine tasting experiences: the 60-minute discount tasting ($ 80 per person; sleeps 2 through 6) the 90-minute discount tasting ($ 95 per person; sleeps 2 through 6) and a very special one Terroir tasting ($ 80 per person; sleeps 2 to 6 people) with eight 100% varietal wines from a vineyard in the Napa Valley’s most exciting sub-appellations that show no two vineyards are alike. This experience grants exclusive access to the extraordinary variety of Napa Valley’s finest vineyards while surrounded by serene views of the Vaca and Mayacamas Mountains.
Nickel & Nickel Winery. Photo courtesy of the winery
Far Niente Winery (Oakville)
Just a short distance away Far Niente winery In Oakville, the last wine tasting is on day 2. Far Niente and Nickel & Nickel both belong to the Far Niente Family of Wineries & Vineyards. Similar to the previous tasting, guests can choose from three different wine tasting experiences: a 60-minute discount tasting ($ 80 per person; sleeps 2 to 6), a 90-minute discount tasting ($ 95 per person; space for 2 to 6 people) and a Cave Collection Library wine tasting (120 USD per person; space for 2 to 6 people) with current and extremely limited wines from the Cave Collection. As they experience these unique and extremely limited wines, guests are surrounded by beautifully manicured gardens and extensive vineyards.
Far Niente winery. Photo courtesy of the winery
Gary’s Wine & Market Place (St. Helena)
Take it slow this morning and stop by Gary’s Wine & Marketplace for coffee and pastries and maybe picnic items like a freshly made salad or sandwich made with locally sourced ingredients. Gary’s offers a variety of gourmet delights too, so you can stock up on epicurean souvenirs to bring back to friends and family after your trip, or pick up a few bottles of wine from other great Napa Valley wineries you can visit while the trip couldn’t stop weekend.
Gary from Garys Wine & Marketplace pours out some sparkling wine to Schramsbergs Jack Davies. Photo courtesy Gary
Artesa (St. Helena)
Enjoy a nice Outdoor tasting at the Artesa ($ 45.00 per person; sleeps 2 through 6). The Artesa Visitor Center has great views of the view from every area of the modern and spacious tasting room. They also offer two different tasting flights to choose from and a handful of optional food pairings to enjoy during your visit. Upon arrival, you’ll be greeted with a sparkling wine tasting, which you can enjoy if you consider the tasting flights menu. A host guides you through the options and introduces each wine throughout the tasting while sharing information about how Artesa wines are made, the vineyard, winemaking practices, and the specifics of each wine.
Artesa. Photo courtesy of the winery
End your vacation around Quintessa With The fundamental experience ($ 145 per person; accommodates 1 to 4 people), which represents the ideal world-class fusion of wine and nature. As your host leads you to your private pavilion, which is surrounded by hills covered with vineyards, he will tell the story of Quintessa and the organic and biodynamic farming practices of the winery. Curl up in your pavilion and enjoy a jewel-like view of the winery – one of the quintessential Napa Valley views – while your host prepares your five-wine tasting flight. Enjoy the Illumination Sauvignon Blanc, two Quintessa vintages and two barrel samples of a future Quintessa vintage while your host shares more about Quintessa’s holistic philosophy and the latest winemaking techniques. It’s the perfect end to a perfect weekend.
Quintessa. Photo courtesy of the winery