For lovers of wine and scenery, a trip to the Napa Valley is a must. On a guided group outing or private tour to North America's premium wine country, sample varietals, learn how wines are made, and enjoy a landscape dotted with vineyards. Here are some of Napa Valley’s top wine areas.
Oakville and Rutherford
Robert Mondavi put Oakville on the wine lover's map, and the region continues to be known for its Bordeaux-style wines (as does neighboring Rutherford). Frog’s Leap, in Rutherford, has earned a reputation as one of the area’s top organic producers, and Rutherford Ranch is another well-known winery. A stop at the Oakville Grocery for lunch offers a step back in time, while Mustards Grill and the Rutherford Grill are more upscale options.
Calistoga and St. Helena
Pride Mountain Vineyards and Modus Operandi cellars are just two of St. Helena’s excellent producers. In the town of Calistoga, known for its Old Faithful geyser and mud baths, you can stop by tasting rooms such as Vincent Arroyo and Teldeschi Family Winery. A ride on the Napa Valley Wine Train is a fun way to see the area.
Diamond Mountain and Spring Mountain
The Diamond Mountain and Spring Mountain districts are best known for their cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, and petit verdot. The famous Schramsberg Vineyards produces some of America’s best sparkling wine. For big reds, stop by Abreu, Sherwin Family Vineyards, or Castello di Amorosa—a medieval-style castle winery.
Further south, Napa Valley’s cooler and foggier Carneros region is known for making excellent pinot noir, chardonnay, and sparkling wines. Schug, Domaine Carneros, and Cuvasion are just a few of the big names here.