The Lure of Napa Valley, California
What makes Napa Valley, California so special?
No other wine region on the planet draws as much attention as Napa Valley. It’s incomparable beauty pairs seamlessly with generations of winemaker passion to craft some of the world’s truly exquisite wines, as a result, it’s visited by well over three million people every year; making it one of California’s top tourist destinations (Disneyland ranks #1). Perfect for a day or weekend trip from San Francisco, Napa Valley awards one with beautiful scenery, exceptional wineries, world-renowned wines and, of course, an unforgettably memorable experience.
5 Reasons Why Every Wine Lover Needs to Visit Napa Valley
Napa Valley is great for “wine beginners”.
Have you ever been to a winery and felt out of place because you’ve only recently joined the wine community? At Napa Valley, you don’t need to worry about this. The wineries in Napa offer tours, tastings and meal pairings perfect for wine veterans and anyone who is still new to wine.
Napa Valley is home to some of the best wines in America.
In a 1976 blind tasting, the Judgment of Paris, Napa’s wines were deemed as good as and, in some cases, better than France’s most prestigious offerings. It forced the international community to sit up and take notice of American wine.
There’s more than just Cabernet Sauvignon in Napa Valley.
Napa Valley is famous for its signature grape, Cabernet Sauvignon. Cabernet Sauvignon makes up 40% of the region’s annual wine grape harvest by volume and 60% by value. But there is actually way more to Napa Valley than just Cab Sauv! Three dozen different grape varieties grow in Napa Valley. The top five most planted, after Cabernet, are Chardonnay, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir and Zinfandel.
Napa Valley has things for everyone; it’s not all about wine!
Heading to Napa Valley but you’re not much of a wine drinker? Don’t worry! There are lots of other things to do in Napa Valley. The region is also home to global culinary landmarks like The French Laundry, amazing hotels, and an emerging, fun-loving bar scene. Is beer more your thing? Napa Valley is also home to some amazing microbreweries.
Napa Valley is home to the Culinary Institute of America.
If you love food as much as you love wine, then you need to take a trip to Napa Valley! You can visit the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, which is open to the public and features two restaurants; a bakery; public tours of the campus; food and wine classes; and many events.
Still not convinced on taking a trip to Napa Valley?
9 Best Napa Valley Wineries You Need to Visit
Napa Valley contains well over 500 wineries, with most welcoming guests with winery tours, wine education and tasting rooms. While enticing, the sheer number of winery options can be overwhelming.
Planning your next wine vacation? Check out these top Napa Valley wineries that should make your winery list:
- Beaulieu Vineyard (BV), Rutherford
- Beringer, St. Helena
- Cakebread Cellars, Rutherford
- Chateau Montelena, Calistoga
- Ehlers Estate, St. Helena
- Robert Mondavi Winery, Oakville
- Pine Ridge Vineyards, Napa
- Shafer Vineyards, Forest Grove
- Silver Oak Cellars, Oakville
4 Tips to Know Before You Go to Napa Valley in California
Napa Valley Climate: What is the weather like in Napa Valley, California?
Napa Valley is known for it’s ideal Mediterranean climate. Napa has dry and hot summer days, with temperatures typically hitting the high 80s (26°C) or low 90s (32°C). If you’re planning to go from May to September, be prepared for a cool, marine fog during the day. Napa Valley usually sees it’s rain in the months of November through April, which is known as “Cabernet Season”.
Hospitality: What do to and where to stay in Napa Valley?
The Napa Valley wine region has 3.5 million visitors annually and over 90% of them claim they will definitely be back. Napa Valley is home to over 150 accommodations. If you’re looking for a place to stay overnight in Napa Valley, the region offers cute AirB&Bs, fair-priced hotels, and some of the world’s most luxurious resorts. Feeling peckish? There are more restaurants per capita than any other wine region in the world! You can find anything from creative meals made by top chefs, farm-to-table dishes, burgers, and food trucks. Tired of drinking wine? Take a hike in the hills, bike on the Napa Valley Vine Trail, visit an art gallery, or hit up a concert.
Clothing: What to wear on a winery tour in Napa Valley?
If you’re planning a winery tour, make sure to bring a light jacket or wear layers that are suitable for any weather. It is also important to pay attention to your footwear. Your shoes should be suitable for soft dirt, gravel, and dusty paths.
Plan your visit to Napa Valley, check availability & make appointments.
The smaller wineries will often receive guests on an appointment only basis, so always call ahead, or visit their websites for availability. Virtually all wineries will charge a fee for the tour or tasting, but given the amount of information garnered and the quality of wines poured, along with the beautiful and stylish settings; these visits are an incredible bargain.
Experience The Total California Wine Experience in Napa Valley, California
Excellent wines are certainly treasured; however, the experience a winery and its staff provides determines its guest’s assessment and the desire to return. Wineries achieve first class status when their staff enjoys greeting people, are extraordinary experts in their fields and capable of conveying their knowledge in a friendly, fun and understandable fashion. Life is way too short for lousy wine and a mediocre time.
We look forward to seeing you in Napa Valley, California!