Tips & Resources For Making Napa Valley Wine Tasting Reservations
Go Old School With a Printed Wine Map
Ok, there are apps upon apps when it comes to maps, but when youre setting up your wine tasting route nothing beats an old school printed out map. At least not yet. There are several different wine maps of Napa Valley you can find online, many of which dont provide all the Napa Valley wineries. Thats maddening to me The best ones Ive found so far are on NapaValley.com and VisitNapaValley.com. You can download and print maps from both sites for easy access .
If you plan ahead, you can also order the map from VisitNapaValley.com and they will mail it to you for free. The one thing I like about the map on NapaValley.com is the labeling on the map that notes if the wineries require reservations or have public tasting rooms. This is a huge help when youre trying to be spontaneous with your Napa Valley wine tastings.
All in One Reservations
Want to make your Napa Valley wine tasting reservations all in one place? Think OpenTable but for wineries. There are a few companies Ive found that provide this online service CellarPass, VinoVisit and Kazzit.
What Happens If I Plan A Trip To Napa In 2021 And It Gets Shut Down Again Due To Covid Will I Get Refunds
Wineries that have been forced to shut down due to Covid in 2021 will most certainly refund any fees they might have charged for your reservation. Some wineries actually just take your credit card number but dont actually charge you until you arrive. Just verify this when booking. Drivers on my site that I recommend will all refund any deposits should you have to cancel, even if you just change your mind. Just give them enough notice so that they can rebook your time slot.
Explore All Member Benefits
With Napa and other popular wine regions charging as much as $50 a tasting, our 2 for 1 discounts and member-only offers will save you hundreds. Below you can explore our 350+ deals within our 12+ wine regions and AVAs across CA, WA, and OR! We are the largest tasting membership of our kind!
Such a thorough post! and great pics. Loved it. I was looking for info on things to do in Napa Valley and love the idea of spending a boozy weekend.
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Welcome To Beringer Vineyards
Experiences are available to book Monday through Sunday each week. Reservations are required.
We look forward to welcoming you to Beringer. We want to assure you that our number one priority is the health and safety of our guests and team. Please review our Wellbeing Page for new procedures and an outline of how we will ensure your safety upon visiting.
Scenario : Seated Or Private Tasting And/or Tour With Prior Reservation If You Purchase Wine
If youre buying 1-2 bottles that doesnt really count as the server doesnt get anything from this. If I were you, I would still tip as mentioned above. If you buy 6+ bottles or join the club no need to tip for yourself and one guest. If there are more than two of you. I would then tip as suggested above in scenario 3.
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Increase In Tasting Fees
The move to a reservation-based model also corresponds to an increase in tasting fees. The bank survey noted that the average tasting fee in 2016 was $16 per person for a standard tasting and $30 per guest for a more premium experience. In 2021, the fees were $31 per person for a standard visit and $52 per person for a premium tasting. Wineries typically provide a discount on such fees if the visitor joins the wine club or makes an additional purchase. For example, Dry Creek Vineyard has a tasting fee at $25 per person, which is refundable with a minimum purchase, said Sara Rathburn, director of marketing.
In Sonoma County, the average standard tasting was $30 per person for a standard flight and $50 for the premium visit in the banks most recent survey. Napa County was much more expensive with those fees at $58 for a standard flight and $90 per person for a premium experience.
Its a reaction to having limited seating last year, McMillan said of the price spike that occurred over the pandemic. I dont think its going to come down.
Wineries also are finding that less guests can generate more revenue because customers who have a more personalized experience end up buying more wine than those on a quick visit, he added.
Its a reaction to having limited seating last year. I dont think its going to come down. Rob McMillan
Price: $70 / Club Price: $3500*
Let our handmade Belgian chocolates enhance your wine tasting experience.
-Reservations required for everyone in your party. MUST BE 21 or over to book this experience. If interested in booking a private tour please contact us. -Members must be active and present to redeem benefitsPlease Note Cancellation Policy and details below
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Scenario : Seated Or Private Tasting And/or Tour With Prior Reservation
This scenario applies to group wine tours and/or private seated tastings with a reservation. In Napa the cost will range from $35 $250 per person. Wineries that have reservations are one of three things.
If youre paying full price I would still tip around $5 $10 per person. If youre getting a discount $5 $20 pp . If youre receiving it at now charge definitely $10-$20 per person.
Reservation For Tastings Due To Covid
Are wineries still doing drop in tastings or do I need reservations for all/most?
11 replies to this topic
No wineries are currently allowing walkins. All are requiring advance appointments. If you are coming mid-week, you may have luck with same-day call aheads for some wine tastings. But if you have any specific wineries you want to visit, I would highly recommend making a reservation last-minute availability is not a given. For any weekend visits, you definitely need to plan a few weeks in advance. I have seen firsthand over the past 6 weeks, coming to Napa on the weekend without a well laid plan and appointments in place is definitely a frustrating experience.
We found it easy to make reservations for the wineries.
For restaurants, I would make reservations too. Its not just covid, its because they are always popular for the better ones to dine at.
Edited: 9:55 pm, April 08, 2021
Do you want recs for downtown Napa? Celadon is very good. I would also check out Mustards Grill. We like to use Opentable to book restaurant reservations. If you go to Yountville, Bistro Jeanty is amazing. Enjoy your time in the beautiful wine country!
Unofficially, walk-in’s are excepted if they have an opening. This is pretty common during the week, not so much on weekend’s when it’s super busy. You wouldn’t believe how many people lock in a reservation and never show up, leaving these sometimes struggling wineries to lose business.
Edited: 1:09 pm, April 09, 2021
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What To Wear For Wine Tasting In Napa
Our guests often ask us What should I wear to my Napa wine tasting? or Is there a dress code for wine tasting?
Dont worry, theres no dress code but we have some tips to help make your wine tasting tour more comfortable.
Check out our photo gallery to help you decide what to wear wine tasting in Napa and Sonoma. *Note: These photos are of real guests on our real Wine Country tours, not stock photos.
Antipasti & Wine Pairing Tour
Join one of our knowledgeable wine educators on a guided tour of the Castello followed by a seated antipasti and wine pairing, featuring an assortment of freshly baked crostini topped with an array of delightful bites prepared by our in-house chef, and all paired perfectly with a curated flight of our finest premium and reserve wines.
Approximately 2 hours in length. Reservations are required. Dietary restrictions cannot be accommodated.
For additional availability or groups of 8 or more, contact or call 312-0407
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Can You Visit Wineries In Napa Without A Reservation
Would you like to visit Wine Country last-minute?? You can try these Napa wine tastings without an appointment if you dont need one. There are no longer free or easy ways to sample Napa wine. If you are in a tasting room, you may also be able to reserve a seat at one of the best restaurants in Napa or take a wine tour of the Napa Valley.
Napa Valley Wineries Tasting With No Appointment Required
Napa Valley is known to have some of the worlds best wineries and vineyards. This is why wine lovers from all over the world aim to come and visit. Back in the day, you can simply have a quick and easy wine tasting. It would not even cost you some money. However, that was all in the past and almost every wine tasting comes with a price. Because of their popularity, most Napa Valley wineries require reservations in advance. There are some wineries that you have to wait for months.
Dont fret, because there are also some Napa Valley wineries that will let you have a tasting without an appointment. This is for people who want to go on some spontaneous Napa Valley trip.
It is also for tourists who simply want to have some wine tasting while they are in California. Here are some of the best Napa Valley wineries that will let you have a taste of their wines without an appointment.
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How Is Napa On A Budget
4 Ways To Do Napa On a Budget
10 Things to Do in Napa Valley Besides Drink Wine
- Visit Wineries that Offer More Than Wine.
- View Napa Valley from the Air.
- Take a Train Ride.
- Eat your Way Through the Napa Valley.
- Go Shopping.
- Take a Fun and Educational Factory Tour.
- Soak in the Hot Springs or See the Famous Geyser.
- Enjoy the Great Outdoors.
How Should I Get Around
There are a few different ways to get around the Napa Valley.
Perhaps the most commonand the easiestis by car. If youre planning to drive yourself, have a designated driver and reserve a rental cars are available from all area airports, as well as from most of the major valley hotels. Rideshares serve the region, as well even at peak times, customers rarely wait more than 5 or 10 minutes for an Uber or Lyft. About a dozen private transportation companies operate in the valley, too a few worth investigating are Napa Valley Tours & Transportation, Pure Luxury Transportation, and Beau Wine Tours & Limousine Service. Keep in mind that the valley is long and it can take longer than you expect to get from the top of the valley to the bottom plan your tasting schedule accordingly.
Another popular option for exploring the valley is the Napa Wine Train. This old-school train service incorporates refurbished Pullman railcars and offers a variety of tours to explore Napa Valley excursions range from a few hours to the entire day, with longer ones stopping at wineries along the way. The Wine Train also offers seasonal events aboard the railseverything from special New Years Eve packages to one-of-a-kind Valentines Day trips.
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Tip #: Engage Your Pourer
The other thing you need to do is engage with the tasting staff. If youre an international traveler, come from across the country, or live in the state of California, winery employees are priceless resources for local intel. They might be able or willing to open special wines, too, if you express a strong interest.
Making Reservations For Wine Tasting In Napa Valley
03 Jul 2018
Napa Valley is known for its wine industry. Some of the worlds best wines are made here. Hundreds of wineries are spread across this valley making different kinds of wines. A lot of effort goes into making these wines.
A place for wine connoisseurs
Every wine made is different from the other. So before buying usually people taste the wines. In fact, the wineries have some wine tasting parties or events. Every wine enthusiast is welcome to taste these wines and then make their purchase.
You have wine connoisseurs spread all over the globe. Napa Valley is a place that makes some best of wines. So you have several people from different parts of the world wishing to come here to attend these wine tasting events. This is a place for wine lovers.
Is it necessary to make reservations?
Yes making reservation to attend the wine tasting events in Napa Valley is advisable. There are several wineries that are open to public. You can just walk in without making any kind of appointments. However, on weekends and other special days there may be a huge crowd.
Moving about in a crowd is a little difficult. You may not get to taste all the kinds of wines you came to taste. In such a scenario prudency says an appointment should be made. People with reservations are given the preference for tasting the different kinds of wines the winery has.
Making reservations makes access easy
Make online booking for a wine tasting event
Enjoyable event for the family
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Do You Book Winery Events Or Weddings
In keeping with Napa Valleys agricultural designation, local ordinance restricts winery events within the valley. Most wineries are only allowed to host events where the core purpose is to sell wine. If you are looking to host a personal event at a winery, Visit Napa Valley can provide further information.
Diamond Estate Tour & Reserve Wine Tasting
The gem of our guided tours! This intimate experience offers a selection of five reserve wines, including our Super Tuscan Blend La Castellana. Our knowledgeable wine educator will guide you through the Castellos state of the art production area, underground cellars, torture chamber, armory, and the spectacular Grand Barrel Room where you will taste a young Cabernet Sauvignon direct from the barrel. After the barrel tasting your host will escort you to a private-to-the-group tastingbar for a sampling of five of our current release reserve and small production wines.
Approximately 1 hour 50 minutes in length.
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Are Napa Wineries Open And Serving Tastings Now
Yes, though tastings of of this writing are still OUTSIDE. A lot of wineries have added tents and have made their tasting spaces very hospitable so you might not even notice or care – after all, youre still in Napa, youre still tasting great wine, its better than sitting at home watching TV, right?
Scenario : Group Tasting Of 8+ People
Every single person I reached out to said it was etiquette to TIP on any group over 8 people! They have a lot more work to do and theyre getting paid the same. They would be very pleased with a $5 per person tip but if it is $2.50 per person or more that is fair game.
So as you have seen, the answer is typically how much do I tip in Napa rather than Do I tip when wine tasting in Napa Valley. This is an overlooked expense many slip up on. Even though, wine tasting is costly weve included some additional facts that contributes to these findings.
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Do You Tip When Wine Tasting In Napa Valley
I cannot count the number of times I have been asked Do you tip while wine tasting in Napa Valley?. To be honest, it is a bit complicated. To find out the best solution, I emailed 20 of my closest friends who have worked in the wine industry. I asked them to help me come up with the most accurate response to this common question. Heres what I found.
Tip #: Make A Reservation
Most of the best wineries to tour in Napa are appointment-only for tastings. Usually a quick phone-call or online RSVP will do the trick. Simply conduct a quick Google search and call ahead to the cellars that interest you. Even those that dont require a wine tasting RSVP still appreciate reservations, particularly with parties of 6 or more.
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Do You Really Need A Tasting Room Appointment
Open daily, no appointment
Tasting room appointment
In short, the answer is no! We visit the Napa Valley numerous times a year and hardly ever make an appointment. In our travels to the Napa Valley we find three different tasting room scenarios.
The first are the wineries with regular visiting hours throughout the week. There are a plethora of Napa Valley wineries open daily, some starting as early as 10 AM. Most are open by 11 AM and stay open until 4 or 5 PM. Just enter the tasting room and belly up to the tasting bar. If you look at our list of suggested Napa Valley wine routes, the majority of those wineries have regular tasting room hours and no reservations are required to do a normal tasting of wines.
Tasting room appointment recommended
The second situation are wineries that are relatively new to Napa Valley and are subject to newer Napa County regulations for tasting rooms. These require that the tasting rooms entertain visitors by appointment only. You may see a sign outside saying Open by appointment only, but in reality anyone can pop in and taste wines. Use your cell phone and call and explain that you are just outside the tasting room, and more than likely you will be invited to come in and do some tasting. Our guess is that these regulations are an attempt by the County to control congestion in the Napa Valley.