Visiting Napa Valley and all of Wine Country is truly an amazing experience. The valley is gorgeous with rolling hills and wineries located at pretty much every turn.
If you are visiting Napa Valley I strongly recommend spending a day doing a walking tour to all the local tasting rooms downtown. Currently there are about twenty tasting rooms pretty much within walking distance downtown.
Here are my recommendations for planning your tasting room experience in Napa: (make sure you start with a big breakfast or early lunch!)
I recommend starting at John Anthony located right next to the Andaz Hotel on 1st Street. John Anthony has some incredible wines and their tasting room is gorgeous. They have a fun bar to sit at and taste or they have soft seating throughout the room. John Anthony also offers an exclusive tour and tasting of their private estate and vineyards, but you will need to call ahead or visit the website to try and book a reservation for this amazing experience!
From there, cross the street and you will find yourself at the Cornerstone Cellars tasting room. Cornerstone is newer to downtown Napa, they have a fun vibe and some delicious wine. I have been here a couple times and have enjoyed their private tasting rooms for parties of 10 or less and it was a great please to have some wine. The staff is very knowledgable and are great at explaining the winemaking process and providing full detail about the history of the winery.
Next, head down 1st Street another block and you will find yourself at the gorgeous Acumen Tasting room with a beautiful art gallery that rotates collections throughout the year. I took my best friend and family here when they were visiting me in Napa, and they LOVED it. We were able to sit in a semi-private area to enjoy our tasting and all catch up together. Their Cabernet and Temperanillo are amongst my favorites in Napa.
By this time you are probably starting to get hungry again, head down 1st Street and past Main Street to Gabrielle Collection (below) for an amazing food + wine pairing experience. I cannot say enough great things about Gabrielle Collection and the whole experience there. I have been to a number of wine-tastings but none have been as interactive as Gabrielle. Each wine they have for the tasting is perfectly paired with a food dish by their two chefs. The have “hand-on” food pairings where you get to create your own creation to pair with the wine. Besides wine they have a handful of products they sell from their custom sea-salts (the Cabernet is my favorite!!!!) to olive oil, vinegar, herbs, cooking gift sets, and even some treats to spoil your pets. These are all made in Napa Valley which is so amazing to use the local environment to organically produce some amazing products!
Some tasting rooms that are great for later in the evening:
JAM Cellars (located on the opposite side of the Andaz hotel) is known for live music and some fun wines! JAM is under the “John Anthony” brand which I referenced in the beginning of this post. You may have heard of JAM’s most popular bottle, “Butter.” This is every buttery Chardonnay lovers dream wine. They have a fun tasting menu and areas to listen to live music and hangout with friends.
For all you sports fans out there, Vermeil Tasting Room (right) is your place. They have a comfortable tasting room with multiple TVs, perfect for doing a tasting or grabbing a glass of wine and watching the game! Being a huge sports fan myself I love this environment and think it is so fun to go to in the evenings.
I hope this guide helps you the next time you are looking to stay in Downtown Napa and enjoy some of the local tasting rooms. There are even more to choose from and ones that I haven’t been to yet but definitely hope to try soon!