Planning a trip to Napa can be both a very exciting and daunting task. With so many incredible wineries, where do you start? Our advanced search tool helps you narrow your search to find wineries that fit your unique preferences (yep...we've been there too) BUT if you want to skip to the Must-See wineries in Napa, read along and get ready to take a trip you'll never forget!
1. Robert Mondavi Winery
Robert Mondavi established his namesake winery in 1966 with a vision to create Napa Valley wines that would stand in the company of the world’s finest. He chose To Kalon Vineyard in the heart of the Napa Valley as the home for Robert Mondavi Winery. This first-growth vineyard, located in Oakville, California, is renowned for producing some of the finest Cabernet Sauvignon wines in the world, as well as for its Sauvignon Blanc grapes, from which Mr. Mondavi crafted his signature wine, Fumé Blanc. 2016 rings in a very special new year as it's the 50th anniversary of the Robert Mondavi Winery. All year, they will be celebrating the man whose passion and determination brought California wine to the world.
The Inglenook legacy began in 1879 when Gustave Niebaum, a Finnish sea captain, wine connoisseur and entrepreneur, came to Rutherford to build a wine estate that would rival Europe’s finest. When Niebaum’s grandnephew, John Daniel, Jr. inherited the chateau and vineyards in the 1930s, Inglenook had already earned international acclaim. Francis and Eleanor Coppola purchased the property in 1975 and have spent forty years reuniting the original vineyards, returning winemaking operations to the chateau, and restoring Inglenook’s illustrious heritage with the help of renowned wine consultant Stéphane Derenoncourt and Managing Director and Winemaker Philippe Bascaules. In honor of this estate and its historical significance, they have restored the name, Inglenook.
3. Chateu Montelena
In 1976 Chateau Montelena helped put California at the forefront of the wine world. That year a who's-who of the French wine and food establishment gathered for a grand tasting at the Inter-Continental Hotel in Paris. Four white Burgundies were tasted against six California Chardonnays. When the scores were tallied, the French Judges were convinced that the top-ranking white wine was one of their own. In fact, it was Chateau Montelena's 1973 Chardonnay, rated above all other wines. The results proved that Chateau Montelena could produce some of the world's finest wines, and that California's wine industry had come of age.
4. Stag's Leap Winery
Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, notably known for being the winery that won the Cabernet Sauvignon competition in the 1976 Judgment of Paris, was founded in 1970, and is considered a Napa Valley first-growth estate. The FAY Outlook & Visitor Center, which opened in September of 2014, was designed by Barcelona-based architect Javier Barba to take advantage of the stunning views of the estate vineyards and the Stags Leap Palisades. From the FAY Outlook & Visitor Center, to the Estate Vineyards, to the underground caves, a visit to Stag's Leap Wine Cellars is a feast for the eyes as well as the palate.
5. Alpha Omega
Alpha Omega, a family owned boutique winery, is located in the heart of Napa Valley on the Rutherford Bench. Alpha Omega began its journey in 2006 to be recognized as one of the great wine estates in the world. Handcrafting wines from historic vineyards in Napa Valley, Alpha Omega creates a wine that uniquely expresses the essence of the terroir of this famous wine region. Surrounded by vineyards and mountains, the beauty of this rustic, farm-style winery is as captivating as its wines.
Discoveries dating to 5,000 B.C. in the Zagros Mountains of Northern Iran show that winemaking emerged as permanent communities replaced nomadic life and a new age of wine culture began. Darioush Khaledi was instilled at an early age with the winemaking craft of his father, inspired by wine culture in the literary city of Shiraz - in modern day Iran - and the ancient city of Persepolis. Darioush and his wife, Shahpar, founded Darioush and began to realize a lifelong aspiration to share the art, architecture, wine, craftsmanship and culture that inspired their journey. A Must See in Napa for it’s beautiful architecture, stunning decor and phenomenal wines.
7. Del Dotto
In 2007, the new Del Dotto Venetian Estate Winery and Caves was completed on the St. Helena property. The new caves are lined with Italian marble and ancient tiles depicting the history of wine. Complete with Venetian crystal chandeliers, mosaic marble floors, and hand-painted gold-inlaid ceilings, this new tasting facility is one of the most beautiful in the world. It elevates wine to its rightful position as a truly sacred beverage.
8. Silver Oak Cellars
Silver Oak is single-minded in the pursuit of exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon. For 40 years, they have produced delicious and distinctive Cabernets from their Napa Valley and Alexander Valley wineries. Each Cabernet is food-friendly, extensively aged to be drinkable upon release, and perfect for enjoying with friends or family.
9. Opus One
A collaboration between Robert Mondavi and Baron Philippe de Rothschild, Opus One arose out of passion. And beginning with the first harvest in 1979, every vintage of Opus One has expressed the vision and passionate spirit of its founders. Cultivated with passion and a singular vision, Opus One produces only one ultra-premium Bordeaux blend a year. With expansive grounds, stunning views, and spectacular wine, this is a must see. Be sure to schedule an appointment before visiting.
10. Domaine Chandon
A trip to wine country wouldn’t be complete without raising a glass of bubbly. In 1973, Domaine Chandon became the first French-owned sparkling wine venture in the United States. But Chandon’s beginnings date back to 1690 with the father of champagne. A Benedictine monk and cellar-master at the Abbey of Hautvillers, named Dom Pérignon, set out to unlock the secret of sparkling wine and ultimately developed the traditional champagne method. Domaine Chandon continually strives to seek new ways to heighten its reputation as the fullest hospitality experience in Napa Valley, and to provide its guests with inspiration to entertain with Chandon at home. A Must See in Napa, stop in with friends, enjoy the beautiful grounds, sit out on the patio with a cheese plate and soak in the Napa Valley ambiance.