Loveliest Backdrop For A Cultural Experience
Courtesy of Robert Mondavi Winery
7801 St. Helena Highway, St. Helena, CA 94574, 226-1395
Yelp: 4 stars, 1092 reviews Tasting price: Starting at $40
Appreciation of art, food, and wine were a core part of Robert Mondavis life philosophy and the winery he built is an homage to all three. Once you pass the seven-foot-tall Robert Mondavi sculpture that flanks the half-moon entryway of this iconic Mission-style winery, youll be able to experience the passion that Robert Mondavi had for the Napa Valley region.
Insider tip: When the winerys beloved Summer Concert Series returns, which has been in place for 50+ years, be sure to snag your tickets as they tend to go fast. Until that returns, check out the variety of culinary-focused events offered at the winery, such as the Garden to Table Dinner, which includes a three-course wine dinner and live fire demonstration.
Free Activities In Napa
In addition to sipping delicious wine surrounded by vineyards, Napa offers many activities to enjoy. There are plenty of hiking trails nearby for every fitness level. Downtown Napa is filled with beautiful shops to window shop and browse through. You can also walk along the Napa River downtown pre or post-dinner.
And, saving the best for last: Napa hosts a Downtown Napa scavenger hunt , where you have the opportunity to win a $100 gift card to the Downtown Napa restaurant of your choice!
Also, if youre feeling adventurous, you can explore the regions surrounding Napa Valley, such as Lodi, the Santa Cruz mountains, and Tri-Valley. These areas offer their own wine tasting experiences, in addition to other outdoor activities!
The Best Wineries In Napa Valley With Free Tastings
Napa Valley, California, truly is Gods country. The climate is incredible, and its the absolute perfect weather for growing grapes. Where there are grapes, theres wine. This is one of the most popular reasons to visit Napa Valley. Its also a good thing to try before you buy, and if youre looking for some of the best tastings available at some of Napa Valleys wineries, here are seven to stop by for a drink. Better yet, the tastings are free! So youll only break the bank if you purchase a bottle or bottles! Read on for some of the best bargains at award-winning wineries in Napa Valley.
1. Sutter Home Winery
Although this winery is synonymous with grocery store brands today, it has long been on the cutting edge of introducing wines to the United States.
2. Heitz Wine Cellars
This winery is a wonderful place to learn about history. Its been open since the 1960s and has kept up with the times, but if youd like to know the story of Napa Valley while enjoying a free wine tasting like in the Napa of yesteryear, this is the place.
3. Homage Vineyard
This popular micro-winery is a must-do for Cab Sauv enthusiasts. Its one of the most personal wine-tasting experiences, as you enjoy your tasting in the home of the winery owners.
4. Buehler Vineyards
5. August Briggs Winery
6. Vincent Arroyo
7. Neal Family Vineyards
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What Is Palate Fatigue And How Can I Avoid It
Palate Fatigue is what happens when youre tasting the same thing over and over again until you become unable to taste its nuances anymore or lose all appetite for the thing youre tasting. Its like the wine tasting equivalent of when you repeat or stare at a word until it loses all meaning. And when youre paying as much as you are for tastings in Napa, it also means youre probably not getting your moneys worth.
A rule of thumb: Two tastings in a day is relaxed. Three is efficient. Four or more tastings is work.
You might be excited to visit all of your favorite wineries, but if youre doing more than four, be sure to plan a nap before dinner. When Im looking for new wine for Palate Club, I taste at four or five wineries a day. Im a wine professional with a decade of experience, and I still find that I have significant palate fatigue after three wineries.
Plan Your Next Unforgettable Wine Country Vacation With Our Napa Valley Winery Map
Find all the details of Napa Valley wineries, appellations and roads. Start building a wine tasting itinerary, locate the winery or tasting room of your favorite wines, or find inspiration to plan your next wine country experience.
Visit the Napa Valley Welcome Center for more maps and guides.
With hundreds of wineries and miles of the valley to explore, we want you to know there’s no wrong way to enjoy Napa Valley
Can I wear jeans to a winery?
Yes! Jeans are acceptable year-round we call it wine country casual .
A more upscale winery might call for darker denim, and be sure to dress in layers as many winery experiences take place outdoors and tours often take guests through wine caves and chilled cellar areas.
Where is Napa Valley?
Napa Valley wine country is located in Northern California, 50 miles northeast of San Francisco, which makes it a short drive from several airports in the San Francisco Bay Area. Napa Valley is one of the world’s famous wine regions, with stunning landscapes and exceptional wines.
What is the closest major airport to Napa Valley?
Napa Valley is 70 miles from San Francisco International Airport, which is just a short drive away. Other great options include Oakland International Airport, 63 miles away and Sacramento International Airport, 75 miles away. Sonoma County Airport is just 34 miles from the north end of Napa Valley.
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Affordable Dining In Napa
While the wineries are beautiful and the wine is delicious, no wine tasting trip is complete without outstanding food. While there are many high-end, 5 star restaurants to choose form, there is also a vast selection of affordable dining options:
- Heritage Eats is fast and casual. Its a great local spot.
- Clementes at Vals is a grab & go Italian restaurant that the locals love. Its a hidden gem!
- Tannyas is a delicious and authentic Mexican spot.
- Oxbow Public Market is a one-stop-shop for dining and shopping. It offers a variety of cuisines for an affordable price.
While its easy to be intimidated by the cost of wine tasting in Napa Valley, it doesnt have to cost a fortune. With a little research, you can enjoy all of the best things ini Napa on a budget!
Military Friendly Napa Wineries
If youve reached this page, chances are, youre in the military. Thank you for your service! Please help me keep this page updated by commenting below if any of this information is outdated this list was complied from 2014-2020 . Also, please help others out and share your favorite Napa wineries in the comments below!You might also be interested in my blog on my Napa Food Tour or How to Save $100,000 in the military by age 31. This technique works for both the enlisted and officer professions. I digress
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Francis Ford Coppola Winery
If theres a mold for what wineries should be like, Francis Ford Coppola Winery breaks it.
Theres a pool, bocce ball courts and Movie Gallery that displays some pretty amazing pieces of Coppola movie memorabilia including several Academy Awards and the original car from Tucker: The Man and His Dreams.
And oh yeah, theres the wine.
More than 40 of them are made on-site. Visitors can enjoy two complimentary pours of Rosso & Bianco everyday table wines. Options include: Rosso, Bianco Pinot Grigio, Shiraz, Chardonnay and Moscato.
- Address: 300 Via Archimedes, Geyserville, California
- Phone: 707-857-1462
More Tips For Enjoying Budget
Napa Valley is known for its high-end, often expensive winery selection. However, it is possible to experience all Napa has to offer without breaking the bank. Through my own experience and research, Ive nailed down exactly how to enjoy Napa on a budget:
- Purchase a Napa Wine Tasting Card
You can purchase different wine tasting cards to save money at various wineries. The Taste Napa Downtown wine tasting card is available for $25. It is usable at 12 tasting rooms in Downtown Napa. Alternatively, you can purchase the Napa Priority Wine Pass to enjoy two tastings for the cost of one. It costs $25 per person and is active for an entire year.
- Pack a Picnic
Most tasting rooms will allow you to bring your own picnics to enjoy on winery grounds. You can save a pretty penny by munching on your own food, while you sip on wine outside in the sunshine. I recommend bringing an ice-chest filled with a variety of snacks. This can also double as safe storage for your purchased wine. Always check with each winery in advance to make sure they allow for picnics. Some vineyards in Napa do not hold the proper permits to allow this. However, I know for certain that Napa Cellars does!
- Do Your Research Ahead of Time
- Visit Sonoma
- Designate a Driver
Instead of hiring a shuttle or Uber to drive you from winery-to-winery, find a friend to be the designated driver for the day. You can take turns each day, so that everyone can partake in the fun.
- Wine Flies Free
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What Other Napa Deals Can I Get With The Wine Pass
Two for one cave tours, discounted VIP tours, extra pours – all part of the Wine Pass.
Napa Wine Train deals, including the one that stops at wineries. And yes, lunch and dinner excursion are also part of the discount on the Wine Pass.
Barrel tasting and private tours, two for one.
Hidden gems – when you grow tired of the crowds at the ultra popular wineries dive deep and hit the boutiques where youll get private tastings or small group experiences, all on the Wine Pass.
Group Discounts: Groups of 6 or more are often turned away at wineries and sometimes charged more, but I know the wineries that not only welcome big groups but honor the discounts as well. Need help? Just ask! Ill show you the ones that take the pass for groups of 10 or less.
Hotel Deals: Get additional discounts on some of my favorite hotels in Napa, including River Terrace Inn downtown and the fancy Harvest Inn.
Bike rentals, hot air balloon rides, mud baths, all on the Wine Pass.
Free Wineries In Napa For Wine Lovers On A Budget
- Once upon a time, people could travel through Napa Valley and enjoy all of the free wine their hearts desired. These days, most wineries charge a tasting fee to sample their delicious nectar. However, there are still a few free wineries in Napa for people who would rather spend their money on bottles of
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+ Napa Wine Train Discounts
Use your Priority Wine Pass to get these discounts on the Napa Valley Wine Train.
Napa Wine Train :
Wine Train Gourmet Lunch or Dinner: $25 off tickets pass members and up to 3 guests Sun – Friday, $10 off per person on Saturdays. Reservations required please call 253-2111 and mention you are a wine pass member during booking. At check-in please bring ID and wine pass to obtain special pricing.
Wine Train tour of Castello Di Amorosa : $25 off tickets for pass members and up to 3 guests Sun – Fri, $10 off per person on Sat. Reservations required please call 253-2111 and mention you are a wine pass member during booking. At check-in please bring ID and wine pass to obtain special pricing.
Collective/Estate/Legacy/Famiglia Wine Train tours: : Receive $35 off tickets for pass members and up to 3 guests based on availability Sun – Fri, $10 off per person on Sat. Reservations required please call 253-2111 and mention you are a wine pass member during booking. At check-in please bring ID and wine pass to obtain special pricing.
Which Wineries Offer Free Tasting In Napa Valley
Theres almost nothing more exciting and satisfying than exploring Napa Valley to sample the fine wines that come from the vineyards located there. Although the days of free wine tastings are mostly over, there are still a handful of wineries that are willing to waive tasting fees. Most of these estates will waive the fees for people who join their wine clubs or for visitors who make a purchase.
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Napa Valley Wineries Wine Tastings Tours & Winery Map
- https://www.visitnapavalley.com/wineries/?skip=0& sort=rankTitle& subcatids=503& amenities=wineries_sparkling
- Napa Valley towns, hotels, wineries, restaurants, and activities are open and welcoming guests. Wineries and restaurants are now welcoming guests both indoors and out, and beautiful spring weather makes for a delightful alfresco experience.Masks are
Get Free Wine Tastings With This Wine Club Membership
And now, for my secret weapon for visiting Napa Valley on a budget is drum roll the Foley wine club! I have to thank my friend Amy for introducing me to this wine club program as its truly the best wine club in Napa Valley and Sonoma!
Heres how to works: the Foley family owns a lot of wineries. All you have to do is join the wine club of just one winery and you and 3 friends can wine taste FOR FREE at any of the other wineries across the West Coast! These wineries include
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Faq: Free Wine Tastings
Q: How about Free wine tastings?
Back 10 or 15 years ago, most of the tastings in Napa were free.
At that point, an activity called “slamming” became popular among the 20-somethings living around the Bay Area. In short, “Slamming” was all about driving up early, getting to as many wineries– and tasting as many wines– as possible in one day. Eating dinner, sobering up a bit, then driving home.
In other words, there were some people zoooooming around between the wineries , drinking as much, as quickly, as possible– and getting VERY drunk in the process.
It didn’t take more than a few really bad traffic accidents before the Napa wineries started talking about how to help curb this really dangerous activity.
What they came up with: Charge a small amount to everyone, and give credit back if they purchased wine.
So if you wanted to get to 40 wineries in a day , at 5 bucks a pop, it was just too expensive to gulp down as much as possible. Cheaper to buy a jug and stay home.
Overnight, “slamming” was gone.
But the wineries now had a new problem: They still wanted to give away complimentary tastings. How to do this?
They started by leaving coupons in the Vistor’s Centers. Not a good idea– the “Slammers” started up again, albeit with a more limited number of wineries.
So many of the wineries looked at the demographics: Who would be coming to Napa to really relax and enjoy the wine country? Folks that would be interested in spending some time– and money– for a better experience.
Peaceful Wine Country Setting
5901 Silverado Trail, Napa, CA 94558, 575-9777
Yelp: 4.5 stars, 308 reviews Tasting price: Starting at $45
Founded in 1978, Pine Ridge Vineyards is a picturesque winery in the heart of the Stags Leap District, where intimate tastings and tours feature stunning views of their sustainable vineyards and the surrounding hills. Sample the winerys elegant cabernet sauvignon wines from the relaxed setting of the shaded patio or picnic grounds, then be sure to explore the demonstration vineyard to get a closer look at the vines.
Insider tip: Pine Ridge Vineyards isnt just dedicated to producing quality estate wine from their vineyards throughout the Stags Leap, Howell Mountain, Oakville, Rutherford, and Carneros appellations, they are also fully committed to sustainability in all facets of winery operations. The Napa Green Certified Winery is proud that 89 percent of their material is recycled or diverted from landfills, while all of their estate vineyards are Napa Green Certified Land, as well each with a fully customized conservation program to encourage and protect biodiversity.
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Things To Know About Napa
Lets start with why Napa Valley is famous: really, really good wines. Napa Valley is ideally situated to make some of the worlds best wines. The grapes get long hours of California sunshine to ripen, but the area quickly drops around 40 degrees Fahrenheit at night due to the cool Pacific Oceans influence. The reliably cool, foggy mornings and evenings allow the grapes to retain acidity, which leads to more balance to the wines.
Mountains surround the valley on both sides: the Vaca Range to the East and the Mayacamas to the West. Within less than an hours drive, soil types and microclimates vary widely, and between these two mountain ranges, wineries and vineyards are sprinkled throughout!
It takes less than an hour to get from one end of Napa Valley to the other, but the wineries density could quickly fill up a week of wine tasting.
Most Napa tourists stick to Highway 29, which is lined by dozens of wineries . Traffic can lurch on the weekends, but driving Highway 29 and stopping wherever tickles your fancy is the easiest way to visit Napa without much planning. Just be prepared for crowded tasting rooms and potentially slower service!