MAR 9, 2018 – California Delicious
Besides having over 400 wineries, Napa Valley is a geographic marvel with plenty scenic views and things to do. Finding the perfect setting to enjoy a nice glass of wine while gazing out over miles and miles of vineyards can be restorative. The valley is full of wine history, notable icons and attractions, and absolute beauty. A visit to Napa for the weekend can be full and exciting, and at some point you may want to find a place to relax, enjoy a glass of fine wine, and sip it with a magnificent view in the background. We highly recommend it and have gathered a few favorites for you to enjoy.
- Tastings: $35 General Admission. Premium tasting experiences available
- Varietals: Sparkling Wines, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Malvasia Bianca
- Unique: Aerial Tram Ride
- Events: RoseFest; Artisanal Cheese Celebration
- Tours Available
- Gift Shop
As you enter through the gates of Sterling Vineyards, you are welcomed by rows of trees and grape vines. And Sterling Vineyards is the only winery in the world that offers an aerial tram. Rising above 300 ft, take the aerial tram up to Sterling while enjoying the panoramic views that look over miles of vineyards of Napa Valley.
There is a general admission fee of $35. This allows you to walk through Sterling’s terraces trying a selection of their current wines at different stations, with a 360-degree stunning view of the valley. While you taste, one of the members of the Sterling Team will explain the history of the vineyard and how they process their wines.
For an even more premium experience, they have three other tasting experiences: Silver, Bubbles, and Platinum.
The Silver Experience ($48) begins with the aerial tram ride. Once at the top, the tasting begins, featuring a selection of Sterling’s limited-release wines in their spectacular Tasting Rooms. The view from the terraces is spectacular. Following the tastings, you are free to follow a self-guided tour of the winery.
The Bubbles Experience ($55) is a new feature of the winery and features Sterling Sparkling Wines. Reservations are required and availability is limited to Thursday through Sunday, at 10am and 11am, so you will have to plan ahead for this.
The Platinum Experience ($75) is a one-hour long food and wine pairing educational experience. You will be served four flights of their production reserve wines, each paired with a gourmet sensation to tickle your palate.
During your time at Sterling, do not be afraid to talk and chat with their team, and of course ask for another glass. You will finish the tour to be welcomed to be seated on their beautiful patio with delicious food to be served and a 360-degree view of beyond their terrace.
After enjoying their finest meat, cheese, and wine tasting, buy a souvenir at their gift shop to bring back from your trip. They have a variety of selection of their wine, trinkets, wine accessories, etc.
Sterling is open daily from 10am to 5pm. Children are welcome ($15 for kids).
- Tastings: Reservation not required. Range in price from $30 to $90.
- Varietals: Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Cabernet Franc, Petite Sirah, Malbec, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling
- Unique: Stone Castle Chateau; Lake/Chinese Garden
- Tours: Visit their barrel-aging facility (Early AM only)
Chateau Monetelena is the perfect place to start the day. You will be welcomed with a beautiful view of the lake as soon as you get out of your car. You can stroll around the lake and through the Chinese garden that reaches out to the base of Mount Saint Helena. Every corner is a picturesque view.
Walk up the hill to be greeted by the one of the most famously photographed iconic castle in Napa: The Chateau. Arriving early will give you plenty of time to take pictures in front of the before it gets crowded.
If you are early enough, you can walk in their barrel aging facility and be astonished by rows and rows of wine barrels.
There are several tasting options. Tasting hours vary and the Chateau is closed on most holidays, so check before you go. Best is to book a reservation and try one of many Chateau Montelena’s tasting experiences!
San Francisco Tasting Room: $30/person. 1pm to 8pm.
Current Release Tasting: $40. By appointment.
The Barrett’s Dream: $95. Daily: 10:00am & 2:00pm
Library Tasting: $60. Mon – Fri: 2:00pm; Sat – Sun: 10:00am – 2:00pm
Estate Tour: $50. Monday through Friday. 10am.
Vineyard Tour: $60. Monday through Friday. 10am.
- Varietals: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Zinfandel, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon
- Tastings: Requires an appointment. Closed for most Holidays.
- Unique: Painting parties held throughout the year
If the name sounds familiar, it may be from the Joy of Cooking book you have in your kitchen, written by Irma Rombauer, who is the great Aunt of the Koerner Rombauer, the founder of the vineyard.
Rombauer can boast of stunning views of Napa Valley. While pricey, the Joy of Wine Experience is more than just a peek behind the curtains, but rather a full behind-the-scenes look.
Wine by the Glass: $9 to $30 per glass. 10am to 5pm daily.
Classic tasting: $25 – 10am to 5pm daily.
Joy of Wine Experience: $100 – 11am to 2pm Thursday through Monday.
CADE Estate Winery – 54 acres above the fog line. Stunning views.
Beringer – Seated tasting in the Rhine House
Rubicon Estates – Previously Niebaum Coppola. Incredible home and grounds. Well worth a visit.
And finally, while not a vineyard, the Auberge Du Soleil restaurant offers one of the best views in the Napa. Listed as #1 “Favorite Wine Country Hotel” Gold List 2018 from Conde Nast Traveler Editor, go there for a drink or an appetizer on their patio that offers breathtaking views of the Napa Valley.
1. Sterling Vineyards – www.sterlingvinyards.com
2. Chateau Montelena Winery – www.montelena.com
3. Rombauer Vineyards – www.rombauer.com