The Most Beautiful Wineries In Napa Valley
by Daniel | Last Updated September 30th, 2019
There is one destination in the United States that surpasses all others when it comes to domestic wine tasting holidays. Napa Valley is home to some of the best wineries in the country and draws in oenophiles from far and wide. The only problem is that there is too much choice when choosing a specific winery to visit. There are award-winning producers scattered right across the valley, all with their own unique selling points and quirks. So, how do you choose?
If you don't want to make a choice based on a favorite wine or producer, you can always go for the most beautiful wineries in Napa Valley. Again, this leads to a bit of a dilemma as no part of the valley is unattractive and few buildings are exactly ugly. The following list is just a sample of the prettiest properties in the area. Some make the cut because of their grounds and views. Others are must-see wineries because of the architecture and tasting areas inside.
Pick a destination based on your personal preferences. Is it preferable to relax outside with an uninterrupted view of Napa or to explore a stunning building based on a European castle or chateau? Do you want to head to a more traditional, friendly house and garden or find somewhere modern and unusual? The remarkable thing about Napa is that all these options are possible.
10 of the most beautiful wineries in Napa Valley
1) Kenzo Estate
First of all, are you looking for a classic Californian wine tasting experience or something else? If you want the true Napa Valley experience, you need a vineyard with exceptional views of the countryside. The first choice here does that as well as any other thanks to its altitude. The Kenzo Estate is a large property 1550 feet up on Mt. George. While this does mean that it takes a little more effort to get there, it is all worth it for the views, the hospitality and - of course - the great wine. This site is ideal if you want to get as far away from your day-to-day life as possible and get back to nature. Yet, there are still plenty of modern conveniences and luxury touches.
One tour that is a hit with many visitors is the Tour and Tasting session with the addition Bouchon Plate. This sandwich plate is created on-site by the Estates own chef and it compliments the wine well. This enhanced tour lasts for 2 hours and costs $110.
Find the vineyard at 3200 Monticello Rd, Napa, CA
2) William Hill Estate Winery
Another beautiful Napa winery with stunning landscapes and views is the William Hill Estate Winery. This site is more understated than some other in this guide. It lets the scenery do the talking - and rightly so. The winery sits back from the main roads a little and overlooks the Silverado trail. It is easy to recline out in the sun with a glass of their chardonnay and lose yourself in the panoramic views. A good wine holiday is as much about getting away from the busy, urban world as it is about the wine. This makes William Hill such a great candidate for your next destination.
Tasting experiences can cost between $30 and $85 depending on the package. The most expensive includes the estate tour where you can walk through the vineyards and enjoy the views while tasting wine and cheese.
Find William Hill Estate at 1761 Atlas Peak Rd, Napa, CA 44558
3) Castello di Amorosa
There are, however, some impressive Napa wineries that look a little out of place - in the best possible way. The US isn't exactly known for its castles. The country is too young to have had much desire to build massive stone forts to see off invading legions. However, its designers are bold enough to take European designs and recreate them in the heart of the Californian countryside. The Castello di Amorosa winery houses a 13th-century style castle based on designs from Tuscany. It honestly looks so authentic that you have to do a double-take when you get there. This only adds to the sense of escapism during a trip to this site.
There are five different options for wine tasting here and the popularity of the winery means that booking is essential for the guided tours. You can also enhance experiences with affordable upgrades, such as a chance to taste reserve wines or enjoy chocolates. The guided tour with premium wine tasting is $45 for non-club members. Basic entry is just $30.
Find Castello di Amorosa at 4045 St. Helena Highway, Calistoga, CA 94515
4) Domaine Carneros
If a castle sounds a little extreme, why not head to a stylish Chateau. The architects and landscapers at Domaine Carneros didn't hold back when they created this place. The pretty chateau stretches across a terrace which then leads down into the grounds. These grounds are a blend of vineyards and formal gardens for a continental feel. In fact, the property was inspired by the 18th-century Chateau de la Marquetterie in Champagne, France. Instead of Champagne, this Napa winery specializes in sparkling wines. The Art of Sparkling Wine Pairing is a great experience for foodies.
Daily tours run at 11 am 1 pm and 3 pm and cost just $60. You can also opt for a luxury experience for couples with private tastings and caviar on the balcony. Jut be aware that this is $500 so one for a special occasion.
Find Domaine Carneros at 1240 Duhig Rd, Napa, CA 94559
5) Del Dotto Vineyards
There is an old-fashioned charm to a vintage wine cellar. Connoisseurs can meander through the dusty racks to find hidden gems. It is a great contrast to the open terraces and modern wine tasting rooms. So, why not take this aesthetic experience even further and experience wine tasting in a cave. Don't worry, this isn't some caving expedition with protective gear, safety lines and a glass of Cabernet. This is a more high-end cave with Italian marble and chandeliers. It creates a uniquely beautiful space in which to taste some of the finest Napa Valley wine. This cave is part of the St. Helena Venetian Estate at Del Dotto Vineyards.
The building looks just unassuming, although still pretty, on first impressions and then truly wows people when they head inside. The Cave Experience and Barrel Tasting package lasts for 90 minutes and costs $75 per person.
Find Del Dotto Vineyards at 1055 Atlas Peak Road, Napa, CA 94558
6) Round Pond Estate
If you prefer to relax outdoors and sip wine on a terrace, the Round Pond Estate has the perfect place for you. Their large terrace area has a mixture of covered and open-air spaces with plenty of space and seating. You can find a quiet corner and not have to worry too much about the terrace becoming crowded. This cozy space looks out over beautiful scenes of the valley.
Another selling point for this pretty Napa winery is that they make so much great tasting food and other produce here. The best way to experience this is with the Garden-to-Table Brunch package. Here you can enjoy a multi-course family brunch made from ingredients grown on the estate. You can also try their very own Round Pond olive oil. This Brunch experience costs $195 per person.
Find Round Pond Estate at 875 Rutherford Road, Napa, CA 94558
Many keen wine tasters will favor those wineries with the traditional vibes and the nods to European traditions. It feels right for a vineyard even if you are in California, not Italy or France. Yet, that doesn't mean that there aren't beautiful sites out there in Napa with a more modern approach. A walk through the vineyards can be twice as enjoyable while critiquing modern art. You might argue that a glass of red wine makes modern art more accessible. One winery that embraced the connection between art and wine tasting is HALL St. Helena. It is known for its giant steel Bunny Foo Foo statue by artist Lawrence Argent.
Guests that take the tour can also see more artwork around the property. This includes tapestries, LED installations and other contemporary art. The HALL signature tour lets guests enjoy the grounds and the art collection while tasting four award-winning wines. This package costs $50.
Find HALL at 401 St. Helena Hwy. South St. Helena, CA 94574
8) Ashes and Diamonds
If the architecture of a property is important when choosing a site for its aesthetics, you can't go too wrong with a trip to Ashes and Diamonds. This modern site takes a very different approach with a mid-century design. The idea here is that this site is more sympathetic to the Napa of previous generations. Yet, the angular shapes and blocks of color are modern and striking. Granted, this one isn't going to be to everyone's tastes because it lacks the traditional Napa vibe. But, there is beauty here for those that want something a little different.
The basic wine tasting package is $40 for the four portfolio wines, which you can taste on the outdoor patio. There is also a five-course food and wine package for $95. If you really want to splash out, there is a Vintage Experience with a trip around the vineyard and into the cellar for $250.
Find Ashes and Diamonds at 4130 Howard Lane, Napa CA
9) Opus One
How about a trip to Opus One? This winery doesn't always come to mind when talking about the most beautiful wineries in Napa Valley. That might be because visitors are keen to head to those establishments with the best views or that European charm. However, there is something attractive in a contemporary way about this site. It is also one of those places that you need to visit at least once. There is a blend of classic stonework and stark modern lines that tempts you to wander the grounds and explore. This is no doubt down to the collaboration between its French and American founders.
The main estate building sits on a small slope overlooking all the vines and the valley. A recent addition is the tasting pavilion which holds sessions for Opus One tastings. Just be aware that this high-end establishment is by-appointment-only and the basic tasting is $75 per person. It is pricier than some of the prettier estates. But, it is one that Napa enthusiasts should visit at least once.
Find Opus One at 7900 St Helena Hwy, Oakville, CA 94562
Finally, we can't complete this guide without taking a moment to look at Beringer. There is a reason that this infamous Napa Valley winery continues to stay popular with tourists. That reason becomes obvious the moment you pull up to the Rhine House. This building originates from 1884 and still looks as grand today as it did back then. The House is remarkably photogenic from the outside but the delights don't stop there. The tasting room inside is definitely somewhere that all oenophiles need to visit.
Another reason for the popularity of this site is its affordability. A wine tasting session in the Old Winery Tasting Room costs just $25 for guests and is free for club members. For just $45 you can join the reserve tasting session. A one-hour tour of the sensory gardens and the rest of the property is $55. This makes Beringer more than just a pretty face. It is an accessible choice for those new to Napa and wine tasting.
Find Beringer at 2000 Main Street St. Helena CA 94574.
Find a Napa Valley winery so beautiful you won't want to leave
As you can see, there is a diverse selection of wineries in Napa Valley with their own quirks and sense of style. You can opt for a classic estate where the landscape does all the talking or find a unique building to explore. There are replica castles and chateaus as well as contemporary terraces and pavilions. You can even raise the bar and view some artwork as you sip some of the best wine in the region. This list is a great starting point when planning your adventure. Research your options, find a tour in your budget and get ready to be wowed by the beauty of Napa.
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