Almost all of Napa Valley’s wineries offer tastings, though not all have tours. There are more than three hundred wineries in all, producing wines of a very high standard, so your taste should ultimately determine the ones you visit.
Beringer Vineyards Napa Valley’s most famous piece of architecture, the gothic “Rhine House”, modelled on the ancestral Rhine Valley home of Jacob Beringer, graces the cover of many a wine magazine. Expansive lawns and a grand tasting room, heavy on dark wood, make for a regal experience. Tasting $20, tour $30.
Chateau Montelena. Smaller but highly rated winery, nestled below Mount St Helena. The Cabernet Sauvignon in particular is acquiring a fine reputation. Tasting $20, tour $30.
Clos Pégase. A flamboyant upstart at the north end of the valley, this high-profile winery amalgamates fine wine and fine art, with a sculpture garden around buildings designed by postmodern architect Michael Graves. Tasting $15.
Goosecross Cellars It’s well worth taking time to locate this friendly family-run winery, tucked away off Yountville Cross Rd. Crush-time is fun and its Chardonnay especially good. Tasting $20, tours by appointment ($30).