What are the top wineries to visit in Napa Valley?

Get our insider tips for which wineries to visit in Napa
Posted on January 7, 2021

Napa Valley has hundreds of wineries and tasting rooms that you could choose to visit. Of course, with so many options, it can be so hard to decide where to go! This list of the top wineries to visit in Napa are some of my personal favorites and the Napa classics, each offering something a bit different to meet all types of wine lovers.

I live in and love the Bay Area and taking guests to Wine Country is one of my favorite days out. Our luxury wine country tours set the scene for an unforgettable experience together, whether it’s a romantic day out or a special occasion with your family or best friends. There’s certainly a dynamic feel to this region, with the influence of the Old World wine regions of Europe and the innovation and energy of the Bay Area. It’s the perfect combination!

A Visit to Napa Valley Wineries

First things first: If you’re planning to visit the top wineries in Napa Valley, then you’ll want a designated driver. To make this a truly special experience, obviously I recommend taking a fully guided tour! But, at the very least, be safe and responsible and make sure you have a driver who won’t be partaking in the tastings. The roads around Napa Valley are typical country roads that bend and wind around the hilly terrain, so make sure you have someone take responsibility for everyone’s safety.  California Highway Patrol and the local municipal police are also always on the lookout watching out for the wellbeing of our local community and all the families who live here (including mine!).

Of course, if you want a truly special experience, I’d recommend our Napa Valley Winery Tour with Lunch. Let me take care of the driving, traffic and special arrangements, and take you to all my favorite wineries in Napa. Trust me, it’s the perfect day trip from San Francisco!

Classic Wineries in Napa Valley

Napa Valley has a few wineries whose names are easily recognizable globally. Their production is expansive with an international marketing and sales reach to match. If you’re searching for the most famous wineries in Napa, these might be the ones you’re thinking of.

Robert Mondavi: A name synonymous with Napa Valley. Visit Mondavi Winery to understand how far we’ve come from the beginning when Napa was just trying to make a name for itself on the world stage. Pay homage to the man (and the infamous family feuds!) who influenced so much about New World wines.

Stag’s Leap: As iconic as it is stunning, Stag’s Leap is a pillar of Napa Valley. A visit can be romantic or fun, with a tour of the caves an interesting insight into this famous vineyard.

Beringer: As one of the largest producers in all of Napa Valley, a visit to Beringer winery estate shows you just how far the wine scene has come in a short period of time. It’s as grand as it is iconic.  Its also a wonderful introductory experience to anyone just starting to learn about California wines.

Best Wineries in Napa for Tradition

Napa Valley is known as a newcomer to the world stage, but that doesn’t mean that our vineyards lack traditional elements. For winery visits that harken back to Old World wineries in Europe, visit these vineyards…

Domaine Carneros: A French-style chateau immediately makes you feel like you’ve been transported to Europe via Domaine Carneros. Visit for the sparkling wines if you’re looking for a romantic day out.

V.Sattui Winery: Visit for its popular Italian deli and relaxed, family friendly ambiance. This is a very popular winery to visit in Napa, so you should also expect larger crowds and a more commercialized experience. But it’s popular for good reason!  Their wines often score very highly!

Chateau Montelena: Chardonnay kings and Bordeaux icons, Chateau Montelena is real royalty in Napa Valley. Visit for wine history and traditional charms, plus gorgeous grounds.

Castello di Amorosa: Want to really feel like you’ve traveled to Europe? Visit Castello di Amorosa and you’ll not only feel like you’ve arrived, but you’ll find it very difficult to leave! The architecture is something to behold and the Italian style reds very table-friendly.  They even have a dungeon…

Inglenook: Owned by Francis Ford Coppola, the chateau is an absolute stunner at Inglenook. With extensive history and private caves, this winery is an elegant Napa gem.

Top Romantic Wineries in Napa Valley

At Spark Experiences, we’re partial to a splash of romance with our unique experiences. Adding a little extra magic into your day together is our favorite thing to do! That’s why we especially love the wineries in Napa that have that air of romance about them. In fact, we even help plan microweddings in the Bay Area, including some vineyard settings! Here are a few romantic wineries in Napa that you should visit…

Sterling Vineyards: Bask in the views together as you enjoy Napa’s only aerial tram at Sterling Vineyards. The views from the winery itself are just as dramatic and romantic.

Spottswoode Winery: The old Victorian farmhouse for tastings is just such a romantic setting that you’d be forgiven for wanting to move right in and claim it as your own. Spottswoode combines classic charms with a family-owned small business feel for a delightfully romantic experience.

This list of wineries to visit in Napa Valley is not comprehensive; there are hundreds of wineries here! In fact, I haven’t even listed all of our favorite wineries. We take our guests to a few of the ones we mentioned here, while there are others that we like to keep as our own little secrets.

We have relationships with several wineries and winemakers here in the Bay Area, and we love to take guests to the type of winery that matches their style and preferences. From down-home, family-owned experiences to truly romantic, private visits away from all the crowds, we pride ourselves on crafting tours that best suit our guests’ interests.

When you have an insider with all the connections leading the way, your day can be truly magical. We would love to add that little extra spark into your visit to Napa Valley! Feel free to get in touch so we can craft the perfect day for you.