A First Timer’s Guide To Napa Valley

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A girl with big dreams who left her hometown in Ohio to chase the sunshine and landed in Austin, Texas nearly 10 years ago. What started as being bored and hungry with a glass of wine, turned into a full-blown business venture.

Hi, I'm ASHLEY

If planning a wine trip for the first time to Napa Valley feels overwhelming, it’s because it can be! Here’s an easy first-timer’s guide to some of the best wineries in Napa Valley plus a coastal day trip to hike the Redwoods and explore the charm of the small towns quaint towns. This guide gives you a taste of the quintessential Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, to Burgundian-style Chardonnay and Pinot Noir influenced by the Sonoma coast vineyards that represent the best wines the region has to offer.

Day 1: Stags Leap District and Culinary Delights

Regusci Winery

Begin your journey at Regusci Winery, nestled in the esteemed Stags Leap district along the Silverado Trail. This winery, famous for its Cabernet Sauvignon, is not just about wine; it’s a journey through history. Once a dairy farm, you can engage with friendly goats and adorable winery dogs, adding a touch of warmth to your visit.

Davis Estates

For culinary enthusiasts, Davis Estates is a must-visit. Here, the wine experience is elevated with chef-crafted dishes designed to complement their wines. Take home not just memories but also recipes and treats from your tasting experience. Relax in their cozy lounges, warmed by a fireplace, or enjoy the stunning vineyard views. Their open-air chef’s kitchen and personalized education from certified wine professionals make this a truly immersive experience.

Day 2: Exploring Healdsburg’s Finest

MacRostie Winery

Your second day takes you to Healdsburg, where MacRostie Winery awaits with a welcome glass of Sauvignon Blanc. This winery is renowned for its Burgundian-style Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The modern tasting room at the Estate House offers panoramic views of rolling hills and vineyards, with a variety of seating options and private tasting experiences. The winemaking traditions here, now led by Heidi Bridenhagen, ensure a top-tier educational experience.

Flowers Vineyards & Winery

Also in Healdsburg, Flowers Vineyards & Winery impresses with its stunning architecture, lush gardens, and towering redwoods. Here, you can savor Sonoma Coast Chardonnay and Pinot Noir paired with artisanal snacks. Whether you’re in a large group or seeking a private tasting, Flowers offers the perfect setting, all while adhering to organic and biodynamic farming practices.

*Pro Tip* Day 3: A Day Off from Wine Tasting

Take a break from wine and explore the stunning Sonoma Coast. Hike among the majestic redwoods, enjoy a coffee break in Guerneville and drive along Highway 1 for breathtaking scenic views. For lunch, stop by Bird’s Cafe and spend the afternoon shopping and dining in Sebastopol.

Day 4: Explore Historic Castles & Wine Caves

Chateau Montelena

This iconic winery, known for its Chardonnay that triumphed in the Judgement of Paris, is a must-visit. Explore the ancient castle, enjoy private tastings on the winery pond, or relax on their hillside terrace.

Miner Family Wines – Oakville, California

With over 20 years of winemaking history, Miner Family Wines offers a diverse range of wines from Bordeaux, Burgundy, and the Rhone Valley. Explore their wine caves, enjoy tastings with wine experts, and if you’re lucky, catch a concert celebrating their limited production Benedetto Series Cabernet.

This itinerary offers a balanced blend of wine exploration, culinary experiences, and scenic beauty, ensuring your visit to Napa Valley is nothing short of magical.

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