A Jug of Wine: Our Favorite Wineries in Napa

I consider Napa Valley my stomping grounds. I haven’t explored every single vineyard in the area (there are roughly 500-700 wineries in total), but here is a list of my favorite vineyards for a visit, in no particular order. Napa Valley is rather large, so if time is short and you can’t see them all, at least visit some of these locations. Make a reservation, bring a camera and enjoy!

  • Round Pond – (www.roundpond.com) – Family owned, diverse with its holdings and winning awards for not just their wine. A tour of the Round Pond Winery introduces visitors to not just their wines and grapes but their olive oil and red wine vinegars as well. Make a food & wine pairing reservation, you’ll love the sweeping views. It’s peaceful, beautiful and worth a day or weekend visit. After your wine tasting, head to their adjacent Olive Mill for a tasting there.
  • Sherwin Family Wines – (www.sherwinfamilyvineyards.com) – Makers of some magnificent Cabernet Sauvignons and set in the picturesque Spring Mountain District of the Napa Valley. Using more traditional methods for the production of their wines, a visit to their winery is much like stepping back in time. Bring your camera.
  • Barnett Vineyards – (www.barnettvineyards.com) – Begun as a small, cottage industry, the flavor of the wines produced here demanded more attention. Uniquely set on the side of a mountain, special care is given to maintaining the integrity of the earth while still producing delicious Cabernets. Try their Rattlesnake Hill Cabernet.

    Entrance to Chappelet Winery
  • Terra Valentine – (www.terravalentine.com) – A visit to this vineyard is much like a visit to Italy. The buildings are distinctive and welcoming, the wines delicious and memorable. Modernizing the winery and it’s equipment was the first task for the owners, giving them more time to focus on the making of superior wines.
  • Ladera Vineyards – (www.laderavineyards.com) – Visit for a wine tasting offered daily or an Estate Tour Wednesday through Saturday which leads you through their caves. The main winery building is over 100 years old and their commitment to excellence is superior. Join their wine club and gain access to some of their more special wines.
  • Hope & Grace Wines – (www.hopeandgracewines.com) – One of the more dark Cabernets, the Hope & Grace Winery is collecting accolades for their deep, rich flavors with subtle undertones of both cherry and pomegranate aged in French oak barrels. Hosting various tasting events throughout the year, Hope & Grace obviously enjoys accommodating their tasting available to the public in Yountville.
  • Salvestrin Winery – (www.salvestrinwinery.com) – Begun by Italian immigrants, John and Emma Salvestrin, the Salvestrin Winery brings decades of wine producing experience due to their family’s history of creating wines in Italy. If variety is the spice of life, Salvestrin wines will appeal to oenophiles everywhere. Producing Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Retaggio, petite Sirah and Sangiovese, there’s sure to be a flavor to suit any palatte.
  • Frogs Leap Vineyard – (www.frogsleap.com) – With a unique name one would expect a unique wine, and they would be correct. These are some fun loving people! The original outbuilding for this “ghost winery” (a winery that was in existence during the wine boom of the late 1800’s in the Napa Valley) is nearly 130 years old but the wine produced here is anything but. Make sure to pay a visit to their winery where they sell not just their wines but also grow assorted vegetables and fruits grown on the property. Very nice property, very nice owners.
  • Chappellet Winery – (www.chappellet.com) – Growing grapes that work with the soils of the Napa Valley, the Chappellet Winery produces quality wines at an affordable price. Offering entertaining and educational wine tastings, definitely worth a visit. This solar-powered vineyard hosts a variety of events not just at their winery but across the country. If you can’t make it to the Napa Valley, just wait, they’ll eventually make it to you. But visit the winery and create some memories that will last a lifetime.
  • Newton Winery – (www.newtonvineyard.com) – World’s Great Wine Estates Robert Parker, Jr., selected this winery as “…one of the most gorgeous mountain estates in California…”. Offering a variety of wines such as Chardonnay, Merlot, Sauvignon and Claret, the Newton Winery appeals to a vast audience of wine aficionados. In addition, the views are breathtaking. Hosting a number of tastings throughout the year, the Newton Winery is a location everyone should visit. Make sure to see their gift shop where local artisans of glassware and wood fixtures ply their wares.
Salvestrin Winery
Sonya Lee

Since a child, Sonya has been traveling from the corners of Canada to the far east Asia. Born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, she led a normal family life with her brother, mother and dad. A well received job opportunity in Hong Kong for her father put the compass in action from a young age. Sonya loves good food, and I mean GOOD simple food. She loves an occasional drink, be merry and enjoy the good times. Having recently healed herself from a large ruptured cyst, her favorite foods include fresh carrot juice, grilled vegetables, sauteed portabello mushrooms and truffle french fries. Her philosophy? Healthy food makes a healthy body. Read more on the Editor page. When she's not fretting over WAFT, she runs a small design agency called mowie media and shares the good times with her dog, Monster and 3 cats Sabi, Kaeli & Misty.

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