Napa Valley. A picturesque town of rolling vineyards and never ending sunsets. There’s a reason this slice of “Europe in America” gets over 3 million visitors a year. With more than four hundred wineries (comprising some eight hundred wine brands) as well as restaurants and shops, a visit to wine country can be a little daunting. Fear not friends! Our wine country experts from Taste of Purple have carefully compiled a list of the top 9 must see attractions to make your planning a little easier!
Please read on to learn about the fantastic locations you must consider adding to your vacation itinerary as soon as possible since many of these popular destinations require reservations in advance. You don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to see what they all have to offer! And for more information on great travel destinations for wine lovers, check out the Travel & Leisure resource section of our blog.
Must See Wineries
The first section on our list should be evident for anyone interested in visiting Napa Valley. It’s hard to take a trip to America’s wine country without considering all the top-quality wineries you can pick from to visit and tour throughout the year!
In this section, we’ll explore some of the most famous winery destinations that attract a lot of attention from the most eager Napa Valley tourists. Consider giving them a try for yourself! We promise you won’t be disappointed with what you find when you get there.
1. Darioush Winery: Located on Silverado Trail road, the Persian inspired Darioush Winery winery is a perfect juxtaposition of an ancient heritage and modern exploration. The winery’s philosophy is “make every guest feel more at home than home itself.” With rows of columns and walls of flowing water, it may not feel like home but you will definitely want to move in. They proudly feature a range of event options for guests, including fine wine and artisan cheese tastings, sensory sessions with an in-house expert, along with an assortment of options for special events available via registration. While you’re there, we sincerely recommend trying their 2014 DUEL. A blend of Cabernet and Shiraz that is out of this world.
2. Raymond Vineyards: Continuing with the uncommon, we have Raymond Vineyards. This winery is truly an experience. Every room has a unique style ranging from their velvet clad, ornate Red Tasting Room, to their Mannequin cloaked Crystal Cellar. They have a “Corridor of Senses” to help you experience the smell, texture and color of wines, and something they call their “Theater of Nature” to help you explore their biodynamic farming. They also offer a wide selection of one-of-a-kind private spaces, such as The Red Room and the JCB Lounge, for anyone looking to host a special event in a unique location. Seriously guys at least three days to fully experience this winery has to offer its guests.
3. 11|11 Wines: “Make Your Moment.” That is the tag line of this wonderfully unique winery. The name itself means something that could not have happened by chance and it’s not surprising considering the owners met on an airplane! The atmosphere is comfortable, mixing contemporary and rustic décor to create an open, welcoming space where you’ll want to spend your entire vacation. Alongside their gorgeous grounds and the modern industrial interior design of their main building that provide perfect photo opportunities, Eleven Eleven also features one of the most elegant wine selections offered throughout Napa Valley.. Our friend the Sparkly Wine Mermaid describes the vibe as an “exotic traveling circus.” Be sure to add this winery to your Napa travels!
4. Allora Vineyards. Allora Vineyards is a small production, family-owned winery, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t just as excellent or worth a visit as some of the larger, better-known wineries through Napa Valley. The Allora wines are produced with the greatest attention to detail and with an unfailing commitment to the highest quality, with each bottle, glass, and sip embodying the true essence of unparalleled style and ultimate luxury. . Their tasting room and grounds are truly beautiful, and you will feel like you belong there when you meet the vineyard owners. They feature some of the purest passion for winemaking you’ll ever encounter, which shows in their wine quality.
5. Rutherford Hill Winery boasts not only a massive selection of world-class wines but also possesses what is arguably one of the best views of any winery within Napa Valley. They offer a range of services to guests, including cave tours, private event hosting, and even proposal packages. Additionally, their golden hour dinners feature a fantastic spread of wine and various hors d’oeuvres at sunset, quickly followed by a specialized cave dining experience that is nothing short of elegant. However, for those wishing to enjoy the views the winery offers, Rutherford Hill is also one of the only wineries that allow its guests to bring their own picnic lunches.
Did you have the opportunity to recently visit a gorgeous Napa Valley winery and come home with a case full of your new favorite reds or whites? Consider elevating your wine drinking experience by investing in a few pieces of top-quality wine glasses and stemware from our experts at Taste of Purple.
Must Taste Restaurants
After whetting your appetite and thirst during a tour of one of the five exceptional vineyards listed above, you’ll likely want to satisfy yourself with a delicious meal at one of the top-quality restaurants in and around the Napa Valley area. While there are dozens for you to choose from- and all of them deserve some level of praise for their service and food- we want to recommend only the best.
1. Press Restaurant: Amazing food, lovely ambiance, and a killer wine-list one of the world’s largest collections of Napa Valle Wines; this is a must-see location for any wine lover taking a trip to Napa Valley in the near future. But the wine is far from their only selling point, as they leverage some of the finest ingredients to make a wide selection of absolutely delicious food. Our recommendation? Eat the Swordfish and drink The Penicillin! Dewar’s Scotch, Honey, Ginger, and Lemon. Trust us, it’ll cure you. The PRESS Restaurant is currently listed as one of the most popular restaurants in all of Napa Valley due to its fantastic food and service, so don’t hesitate to make a reservation for your trip today.
2. Rutherford Grill: We discussed the Rutherford Hill Winery in the section above, and now we’d like to talk about the Rutherford Grill. there’s nothing better than sitting on the outside patio of Rutherford Grill on a sunny California day. after visiting a few of the stellar local wineries. Their menu is to die for, and we had a complicated time picking between all of their fantastic options, but we were eventually able to locate a few favorites. Make sure to make a reservation ahead of time because this hot spot can get packed pretty quick! Get the French Dip, thank us later!
3. Bar Terra: Located in St Helena on Railroad Ave, Bar Terra combines straight lines with rustic stone walls, completing its rustic modern ambiance. There is no one recommendation for this restaurant. With menu options like Lobster Tortellini, Grilled Octopus, Wild Mushroom Risotto, and Bar Terra Ramen it’s impossible to choose.
Must Stay Hotels
If you’re planning to stay in Napa Valley for anything longer than a day- which you really should- you’re going to need to locate some sufficient accommodations. While you could always rely on a service like Airbnb during your trip, we highly recommend considering some of the fantastic hotels in the area. Because Napa Valley is a premier tourist destination throughout much of the year, all of the hotels in the area hold themselves to the highest standards of care, service, and professionalism.
Visiting Napa Valley without trying out one of their excellent hotels would honestly be a mistake.
1. Harvest Inn: Quaint cottages and brick fireplaces make the Harvest Inn the perfect place to wind down after a long day of wine tasting! Added bonus, the onsite Restaurant, Harvest Table, is the perfect place for an end of the night drink and appetizer!
2. Wine Country Inn: the views at the Wine Country Inn will make you hesitate about actually leaving your hotel! This quaint B&B offers tons of amenities and several specials. They even have a package that includes a champagne hot air balloon ride! Sign us up!
Final Thoughts and Factors to Consider
Our passionate wine experts at Taste of Purple sincerely hope that our above guide has given you a great list of new places to consider checking out on your next big trip to Napa Valley! It’s by far one of our favorite vacation destinations, and we’ve had the pleasure of visiting many of the spectacular establishments that the area has over the course of our many trips there. We’re sure that your trip will be just as memorable as all of ours have been and that you can come home with some wonderful new stories to tell and some bottles of fantastic wine to enjoy!
And if you’d like some help finding the best possible way to enjoy that wine, also consider exploring our shop. We proudly offer a wide selection of gorgeous, handmade wine glasses and stemware that feature our patented aeration notch, meaning you’ll never have to rely on a conventional aeration device again!
Are you looking for a fast, new, and effective way to elevate your nightly wine drinking experience without the hassle of running everything through an expensive aeration filter? Our handcrafted wine glasses and stemware from Taste of Purple feature a patented aeration notch to give your drink a burst of air with every swirl.