There are few things that get the romantic juices flowing like wine tasting excursion. A great thing about living in California is that we have one of the best wine regions in the world in our backyard. Here’s a guide to taking a Wine Tasting trip to Napa Valley, written with the couple in mind.
Napa Valley Overview
With over 200 wineries to enjoy, Napa Valley is surely the undisputed king of California Wine Country. One reason that Napa Valley has become so popular with visitors (apart from the world-class wine, cool climate, and rustic charm) is that it’s located fairly close to both San Francisco and Oakland airports. That being said, it’s recommended that you do rent a car upon your arrival, as the valley is fairly spread out.
Where to Stay
There’s a lot to do in the valley besides just drink wine, but that’s not what this article is about. A great place to stay is the River Terrace Inn, which is a solid value at around $140 a night. The inn provides well-appointed and spacious rooms, and it is within walking distance of the Napa Valley Wine Train, which offers several different winery tours for you to choose from. Choosing the train is a great option, because it takes you to some of the premier spots in Napa Valley, and you won’t have to worry about drinking and driving. Tours include gourmet meals, and also a front-row seat to the region’s beautiful scenery.
You should plan on spending one day on the wine train, but you’ll certainly want to do more wine tasting while you’re on your trip. A great group of wineries to visit are the Hess Collection, which have some excellent vineyards including Veeder Hills. This location is spread across 135 rolling acres and produces some excellent wines including their wonderful Cabernet Sauvignon. There is also an excellent art gallery on the winery’s property that features works from some of the top living artists in the world today.
Another winery you’ll want to see is that of Sterling Vineyards. To reach the winery, visitors must take an aerial tram, and this attraction in itself is worth the visit. Once you’ve made it to the top (enjoying gorgeous views of the lush green vegetation down below), you’ll be greeted with friendly hospitality and a glass of wine. As with the Hess Collection, there is a wealth of great art on property, and visitors are encouraged to explore the grounds while sipping on one of the estates’ fine offerings. Sterling Vineyards also offers multiple tasting rooms, and a self-guided tour that allows couples to explore the grounds at a leisurely pace.
A final Vineyard that you have to visit while in Napa Valley is that of Joseph Phelps. Still overseen by the famed winemaker, there is an emphasis on intimacy at this estate that is both romantic and endearing. Visitors can choose from a variety of wine tastings once on the property, but a recommended one is their Terrace Tasting. Located on the estates back terrace, this tasting is limited to parties of six or less, and is self-paced. You’ll want to try all of their wines, but one of the best is Insignia, their flagship Cabernet Sauvignon.
A wine tasting trip to Napa Valley is an experience that both you and your significant other will remember for a lifetime. The suggestions in this article are a great point of departure for any getaway to the region, but you should spend a little time doing research on your own before your trip. Also, because the valley is located in Northern California, you’ll want to take the time of year into account when planning your trip. The best times for wine visiting are usually in late spring, summer, and early fall.
Our guest author, Stefan Georgi, is a wine enthusiast and romantic who loves Napa Valley. He highly recommends using a Travelocity promo code when renting a car or booking a hotel in the region.