Every year, hundreds of thousands of people flock to Napa Valley for a plethora of reasons — the gorgeous landscapes, the relaxing atmosphere, and of course the world-renowned wineries. So while Napa is on many people’s bucket lists, that means the winery tours can fill up quickly, and the area can become very crowded. One of the best things you can do while visiting Napa Valley is to do a little research and go off the beaten path in order to experience some of the best winery experiences the valley is so famous for. These unique spots are less known that most other Napa Valley locations, but they offer some of the most enriching winery experiences the areas has to offer. The following are just some of the best wineries to visit off the beaten path.
1. cade winery
Known for their delicious Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc, the Cade Winery is located in the Howell Mountain in Angwin. It’s a LEED Gold Certified winery and all grapes used in the winery are organically grown or sourced. The tasting patio overlooks the valley floor, which offers an unforgettable view as you sip on some of the best wines in the area.
2. charbay distillery & winery
At Charbay, you’ll not just get to enjoy great wine — they also offer the hard stuff as well. Your Napa Valley wine tour at Charbay will begin with a cold glass of green tea aperitif from the owners. From there, you’ll get to learn the ins and outs of the distilling process as you sample some of the winery’s best reds and whites. A port and chocolate pairing ends the tasting, although you can also choose a splash of their famous pomegranate dessert wine.
3. fantesca estate & winery
This boutique winery is located in the Spring Mountain District of Napa Valley. The name of the winery comes from the Italian comedy troupe character La Fantesca, who was known to make her audience swoon every time she took the stage. And when you set your eyes on this winery, you’ll certainly be doing the same. One of the best aspects about Fantesca is that they only have private tasting tours, which means every experience is personal. As part of the tour, you’ll overlook the gorgeous landscapes overlooking the Napa Valley floors and then step into the mountainside cave (believed to be an abandoned silver mine) to taste some of the most gorgeous wines crafted by Heidi Barrett. This is one of those truly unique Napa Valley wine tours that isn’t to be missed.
4. nichelini winery
Established in 1890, the Nichelini Winery is one of the oldest family-owned wineries in the valley. Since it’s not often offered to the public, getting the chance to include this winery to your Napa Valley wine tours itinerary is a rare treat. The wines embody the rich history this winery has to offer, and you can taste the fifth generation winemaker’s passion and expertise.
5. pope valley winery
By heading northeast from the Silverado Trail, getting to Pope Valley Winery is a journey that transports you back in time. Also known as the Burgundy Winery, this winery is one of the oldest in the Valley, being established in 1897. The hand-dug caves, complete with the hand-hewn redwood timbers, further enhance the antiquated experience. Not to mention the original farmhouse, a blacksmith’s workshop, and the old tools of trade, which all come together to make your tour a one-of-a-kind experience.
6. jarvis winery
Located in the city of Napa, between Mt. George and Milken Canyon, just getting to the Jarvis Winery marks the beginning of an adventure. From there, you get to tour the 45,000 square foot winery that is completely underground, complete with an underground waterfall designed to control the humidity in this unique winery. The tour of course includes a wine tasting in private rooms designed to give you an all-around unique experience.
If you’re looking for a hidden gem of a Napa Valley experience, then consider one of the above wineries and taste your way through some of these unique winery experiences in Napa Valley. Happy wine-ing!