Intro to Napa Valley Tour
If you have never been wine tasting in Napa Valley before, or perhaps you are new to the world of wine, then you may benefit from taking a couple of days to experience one of our Introductory to Napa Valley Tours. While hard-to-find boutique Napa wineries along the road less traveled may appeal to returning guests and the more established oenophiles, new visitors often desire building their wine foundation by touring iconic Napa Valley wine brands and historic landmark estates. We believe a combination of both large historic estates and smaller, boutique family-owned wineries can provide the best overall learning experience, while allowing our guests to view a broad range of geography throughout the valley. To truly appreciate the valley’s complexities, and avoid wine fatigue, we recommend a two-day experience.
Two-Day Napa Valley Tour
Day One – Hwy 121/29
Los Carneros or Oak Knoll: Dress in layers, as the more southern wineries in Napa are often wrapped in morning fog; summer months included. Pinot and Chardonnay excel in Carneros, as well as sparkling wine. A little of everything grows in the Oak Knoll AVA just north of the city of Napa, but Chardonnay, Rieslings, and Merlot are more notable. By starting a winery tour in either of these two regions, we can build an educational foundation and help you begin to discover your palate.
Yountville: By the middle of the morning, you’ll notice the summer fog barely reaches this lower mid-section of the valley. You may even sense the temperature is slightly warmer as we have moved further north, and getting more insulated from coastal breezes within the Napa Valley. At this point in our Napa Valley tour, we can visit boutique wineries producing whites and reds of several varietals. Sauvignon Blanc can be added to Chardonnay, and Cabernet now begins to take rank among the red wines. Before venturing on, it may be the perfect opportunity to relax and enjoy a wine country picnic at one of our favorite winery partners (wine purchases are customary at the host winery).
Oakville/Rutherford: Enter the realm of Cabernet Sauvignon. For those who love big Cabernet, you have arrived. Some of the best Cabernets in the world grow throughout Napa Valley, and in these two regions you will discover the pioneers along Hwy 29 who have taken premium winemaking to another level in America.
St. Helena: Wrap up day one in sunny St. Helena, and take in one of several historic wine estates off Hwy 29. From food and wine pairing tastings, to historic tours, there are many ways we can develop the palate and feed the mind.
Dinner: Let us recommend the perfect restaurant dinning option that will further enhance your wine and food discovery.
Day Two – Silverado Trail
Stags Leap District: Now that you have a taste of what Napa Valley is all about, we take it up another level on the second day of your personal Intro to Napa Valley Tours. We start back at the south end of the valley, along the Silverado Trail, to discover the silky smooth Cabernets of Stags Leap District. This unique AVA is known for fruit forward Cabs that put a “velvet glove over an iron fist”… creating early drinkable red wines that are well balanced.
Oakville/Rutherford: On the Trail side, we will visit a smaller producer and gain a different perspective from the more sun-soaked side of the valley. Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon take center stage as we tour northward along this part of the Silverado Trail.
St. Helena North: Stop number three for the day brings us to the northeastern side of St Helena AVA along the Silverado Trail. We will choose from several boutique family Napa Valley wineries in this warmer region, and enjoy lunch in a quintessential vineyard setting (wine purchases are customary at the host winery).
Calistoga: Discover the hottest spot in Napa Valley…literally. Temperatures in the summer can easily range 10-15 degrees higher than the southern valley. Wines in this region range from Sauvignon Blancs to Cabernets, Zinfandels, and Petite Syrahs. Calistoga red wines can often feature jammy fruit notes, black pepper, and sweet baking spices; pairing well with hearty meat and game dishes.
Dinner: We can help you find that special bistro or fine dining experience to wrap up your wine country experience. Be sure to bring your favorite bottle of wine from your last two days of discovery!
After two full days of wine tasting and epicurean indulgence, you may wonder what’s in store for your next visit. All we can say is, it is never the same tour twice. Our repeat guests come back year after year (some come two or three times a year) to build their budding wine cellars and discover new hidden gems. We strive to promote the growth and development of every client’s wine appreciation, and look forward to taking our guests to the “next level” on each of our Napa Valley tours.
Below are just some of the larger wine estates we may incorporate into our Introductory to Napa Valley Tours:
Boutique Family Wineries:
Too many to list!
Of course, we will weave into your custom itinerary a variety of boutique family wineries tailored specifically around your taste and experience level. Now come…and enjoy your next Napa Valley wine tasting experience!
Are you interested in touring one specific region of Napa? Check out our custom tours!
Not sure which area of Napa Valley to tour? Take a moment to check out Beau Wine Tours’ specific routes, including our Napa Valley Wine Tours, Discover Coombsville Tour, Spring Mountain Wine Tours, Howell Mountain Wine Tours, and Diamond Mountain Tours. For the wine connoisseur, our Collector’s Tour may be the perfect match. Enjoy!
If you are looking for a more economical Napa Valley group wine tour experience, check out our Daily Napa Valley Limo Tours. For wine tour bus and shuttle service, check out our Napa Valley Wine Tour Bus and Luxury Shuttle Service.