25 Absolute Best Wineries In Napa Valley

Wineries around the world have undergone quite a transformation in the last few years. For most, the pandemic required that they readjust their approach and how they did business, with many winemakers offering virtual tastings and 3D winery tours. But in Napa, California, the constant and devastating wildfires created a heightened amount of pressure. In addition to potentially losing their vines, vineyards were concerned with smoke affecting the quality of their grapes. They couldn't catch a break — yet still, many of them are cheerfully pouring glasses and welcoming visitors

Now is a great time to visit Napa Valley, to help vineyards rebuild and finally understand why America's most popular wine region has rightfully earned that title. If you're able to take a visit to Napa, here are 25 must-visit vineyards. And if you can't visit, many of them offer virtual tastings and can ship wine across the country. 

Domaine Carneros

No longer is sparkling wine relegated to just special occasions, and as a producer of traditional method sparkling wine — as well as pinot noir — no one knows that better than Domaine Carneros.

The winery grounds are quite breathtaking, with a majestic château providing a striking backdrop to enjoy a glass of wine. Founding winemaker Eileen Crane practiced great care with each step of the process, and although she stepped down in 2020, after 42 years in the wine industry, Domaine's reputation had been set. The grapes are harvested in the middle of the night to ensure they don't take on any bitterness, and there are 18 clones of pinot noir to achieve the perfect complexity and balance throughout their wines. And Domaine Carneros is committed to sustainability, having achieved a Napa Green certification.(via Domaine Carneros).

Master of Wine Dr. Liz Thach described the 2013 Estate Pinot Noir as "a delightful pinot noir with classic Carneros raspberry and red cherry, complemented with subtle spicy oak and a touch of earthy mushroom. Medium-bodied, well-balanced with silky tannins."

Visitors will enjoy a variety of tasting options, including flights starting at $40 and food options including cheese, charcuterie, caviar, and even a vegan cheese board. All visitors must make a reservation, which can be done online or by calling the vineyard.

Far Niente

Nestled in Oakville, California, sits an estate with sprawling gardens, manicured vineyards, and wine caves. This is Far Niente, and it is just as dreamy and idyllic as it sounds. The estate is known for its cabernet sauvignons and has been vinifying them since 1982. The brand also grows chardonnay.

The roots of the vineyard date back to 1885, when it was founded by John Benson, who came to California to strike it rich during the gold rush. During prohibition, the grounds were closed, but the winery was revived 60 years later (via Far Niente)

The winery began using solar power back in 2008 and is proud to be a net-zero user of electricity. They produce more energy than they consume and organic farming is practiced across the vineyards. In describing the tasting experience, American Winery Guide wrote, "Tastings are intimate at Far Niente, a winery that sees so few people on a daily basis that our names and those of other guests appeared upon a chalkboard sentry that greets visitors inside the front doors. In a quaint, elegantly decorated side room, our tasting was conducted. There, we tasted through a couple different vintages of creamy, delicate chardonnay, a couple more of rich, bold cabernet sauvignon, and finally, dolce, each paired with exquisite cheeses that truly helped to bring about the best in every wine."

The winery even offers personalized virtual wine experiences so you can enjoy the Far Niente experience from anywhere in the country. Because of the majestic gingko trees that line the drive to the estate, this would be a wonderful visit during the fall to see the leaves changing colors.

Brown Estate

As Napa Valley's only Black-owned wine grower, producer, and bottler, Brown Estate has high expectations. Thankfully, the pressure is nothing for the family. They have built up a loyal following with delicious wine and unmatched hospitality.

The land was purchased in 1980 by Southern California doctors Bassett and Marcela Brown, who were looking for a summer home. After buying the old walnut orchard, they fixed the structures, planted the vines, and for a decade were merchants, selling their grapes to local négociants or winemakers who bottled the grapes under their own name (via MBE). Fifteen years later, their children, Deneen, Coral, and David, took over the vineyard and decided to try their hand at winemaking.

"Mom and Dad did not intend for us to break into the wine business," Deneed Brown told MBE. "They were continuing to run their medical business in Southern California and expected all of us to get our MDs and join their practice ... After we'd been growing and selling grapes for about five years, we understood that our fruit was something special based on how it was being handled by the producers who were buying it. We literally had a, 'We should bottle it and sell it ourselves!' moment." 

Today, the Brown Estate tasting room is located in downtown Napa. It's a welcoming environment and the wines, particularly the zinfandel, are worth a try. Reservations are required. A two-wine flight is $50 and you have the option to add on a cheese board for an additional fee. Bookings can be done on the website.

Inglenook Estate

Inglenook has existed in some form since 1879, when ship's captain Gustave Niebaum purchased the estate. Niebaum made the purchase fully intending for it to be a vineyard and winery. When the château was completed in 1887, it featured a state-of-the-art winemaking facility, California's first grape-sorting table, and also the state's first bottling line.

Director Francis Ford Coppola and his wife, Eleanor, purchased a segment of the property in 1975, and in 1995 they purchased the rest so that the château could once again return to its former glory. Inglenook isn't the oldest estate in Napa, but it has an unmatched glamour.

Tastings are offered from Thursday to Sunday and are $100 per person plus tax for the Estate Library experience. There are other tastings as well, starting at $60 per person plus tax, and offer various flights. If you'd like the full experience, you can always opt for the Private Library tasting and tour, which is $125 per person and comes with a cheese and charcuterie board. Tastings are by appointment only.

Napa Wine Project put it best when they said, "It is what a wine estate should look and feel like — visually stunning while containing layers of history and depth of stories collected over its 140+ years."

Beaulieu Vineyard

As a wedding backdrop, Beaulieu Vineyards is stunning. That means it's also an equally beautiful setting to enjoy a glass of wine. Beaulieu, after all, translates to a beautiful place, and it's what Fernande Latour exclaimed when she paid a visit to the site. The vineyard is one of the longest continually operated wineries in Napa Valley and has been in operation for more than 100 years (via BV Wines).

The vineyard currently offers a Cabernet Collector Tasting, which starts at $50 per person. There are a few more in-depth tastings based on your preference and budget. Beaulieu specializes in wines made from cabernet sauvignon, but you'll be able to taste their other wines like chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, and pinot noir.

In addition to crafting high-quality wines, Beaulieu Vineyards also works with some cloned grapes. If you want to geek out and learn the more scientific side of wine, this is a great vineyard to visit.

St. Clair Brown Winery & Brewery

If you're interested in checking out a woman-led winery in Napa, don't miss St. Clair Brown. The winery — which is also a brewery — is located in the Rail Arts District of Napa and the tasting room is just across the street. Because the wines are made in such limited quantities, they are not available in stores. You're definitely in for a treat by stopping by.

Elaine St. Clair is a 30-year Napa Valley veteran and a UC Davis graduate, so she has more than enough winemaking chops to craft a beautiful wine. But as the only woman in the country to hold a commercial title of winemaker and brewmaster, she takes the term "trailblazer" to another level.

President and co-owner Laina Brown, formerly director of marketing at Domaine Carneros Winery, joined forces with St. Clair to create a place where their passions could be expressed.

The wines of St. Clair Brown run the gamut from bold reds like the Estate Syrah, which is bursting with dark fruit and smooth tannins, to a bright, crisp sauvignon blanc. Pay the pet-friendly winery and brewery a visit to partake in a $45 wine tasting or a $18 beer tasting. Reservations are required.

J. Moss

Like so many wineries post-COVID, the J. Moss tasting room in Napa is available by appointment only. But a visit to this family-owned and operated winery is more than worth it.

Husband-and-wife duo James and Janet Moss, both seasoned wine industry professionals, bought some plots of land in 1998 and began to make small batches of cabernet sauvignon (via Skurnik). James is the winemaker and proprietor and Janet, who worked for a decade at Domaine Carneros, is the managing director. As James tell Skurnik, "As far as the day-to-day business, it all starts with Janet."

Their winery offers a pleasant alternative to the corporate-run vineyards and wineries that are all over the region. While there's space for both in Napa Valley, the smaller, family-run operations offer a level of hospitality that just can't be duplicated. James, himself, often hosts the tastings.

While J. Moss has a true passion for cabernet sauvignon, the brand also produces chardonnay and merlot.

Stag's Leap

A visit to Stag's Leap vineyard will result in a thorough tour with great stories. That's because this is the winery that won the 1976 Judgement of Paris Cabernet Sauvignon competition. The competition pit French and Californian wines against one another in the ultimate showdown. Stag's Leap's 1973 S.L.V. Cabernet ranked higher than several other well-respected Bordeaux wines, proving once and for all that California was a wine region to start taking seriously (via Stags Leap).

Considering its history, it's no surprise that Stag's Leap will be a bit more traditional tasting experience. If you opt for a tour through the grounds you'll be able to get even more insight into how the wines are made. One TripAdvisor reviewer said, "The beauty, views, and landscape of the grounds are simply awe-inspiring. Entering the grounds, the first views are the perfect lines of the grapevines. The landscape detail created a welcoming environment leading up to the villa. The villa's covered, outdoor patio offers a relaxing environment."

Tastings start at $50 per person and must be booked in advance.


Heitz Cellar dates back to 1961 when it was founded by Joseph Heitz. The winery has been organically farming since 1984 and biodynamically farming since 2019 (via Heitz Cellar). The property itself dates back to 1871, and while it's not the grandest in Napa, it captures a charming slice of history and makes for a lovely visit.

In 2018, the winery changed hands, with the Lawrence family taking over the Heitz legacy and making some minor, but impactful changes. As Eric Asimov of the New York Times wrote, "The changes have been small tweaks, aimed at improving the texture of the wine and working in a less formulaic way, depending on the needs of a particular wine." It's an exciting time to taste Heitz Cellar's wine.

There's currently only one tasting option available, the History Winery Tasting, which goes for $95 per person. Reservations are required and may be booked on the Heitz Cellar website.


You should walk into Darioush Winery with high expectations — and those expectations are warranted. According to the Darioush website, "In the late 1990s Darioush and winemaker Steve Devitt made an unorthodox choice, to commit to southern Napa Valley — choosing its cooler microclimates to develop their unique style. While the focus was in the north, Darioush was headed south."

Darioush produces wines in many different styles, across many different lines. Its Signature Series, comprises their flagship wines such as merlot, cabernet sauvignon and shiraz, while the Duel line blends unexpected grapes such as cabernet sauvignon and shiraz.

Not only are the wines unique, but the entire experience is as well. Every detail of the winery is decked out in elegant Persian décor, and guests can expect to have a more immersive experience at Darioush. With its stately pillars and lush landscaping, it's evident that the Darioush team values aesthetics. As for the experiences, there are several options, ranging from signature wines along with light fare, to a full-on dinner with wine pairing. All reservations can be booked directly on the Darioush website.

Cain Vineyard & Winery

Cain Vineyard & Winery's message is loud and clear: Do one thing, and do it well. That's why they've dedicated their entire operations to three cabernet sauvignon blends — Cain Concept, Cain Cuvee, and Cain Five — and one syrah.

We love that each of the wines has its own personality and biography. Cain Cuvée is creative and striking, while Cain Five blends five grape varieties and somehow manages to have qualities of each shine through. As a vineyard that has grappled with loss after 2020's Glass Fire, Cain Vineyard has proved that even if structures are gone, if the vines and passion remains, then there is still hope.

To visit Cain, you must book an appointment. Tastings are $65 per person and are actually held in their downtown Saint Helena tasting space. While you won't get to stroll through their vineyard, you'll have plenty of space to enjoy Cain's wines. This will definitely be a more intimate experience, so if you are looking for fantastic wines away from the crowds, make a stop at Cain Vineyard & Winery.

Stony Hill Vineyard

Stony Hill is yet another vineyard that reminds you that Napa doesn't have to be a congested experience. There are some places that are magical and serene — and offer remarkable wine to boot. 

This vineyard actually dates back more than 70 years, when husband-and-wife duo Fred and Eleanor McCrea established a place to explore their love of French white wines (via Stony Hill). So it's no surprise that the vineyard currently specializes in white wines and vinify a riesling, Gewurztraminer, and chardonnay, along with a cabernet sauvignon.

The hospitality is charming and the grounds are a relaxing place to sip on a glass of wine. American Winery guide said, "I've been to many tasting rooms in Napa and Sonoma, and I'm not sure there's a better place to enjoy good wine than sitting outside on the McCrea's back porch."

A visit to Stony Hill feels like you are visiting a distant relative ... one who just so happens to make really good wine. The vineyard offers 90-minute tastings for $95 per person, which can be booked on their website.

Castello di Amorosa

Can't make it to Tuscany? Pay a visit to Castello di Amorosa instead. It's owned by the same family as V. Sattui, but is a completely different atmosphere. If you want grand, sprawling, and ornate, Castello di Amorosa will not let you down. 

Construction for the castle began in 1994 and took 15 years to complete (via Castello Di Amorosa). According to the owner's wishes, it was built in true Medieval style — there's a moat, a chapel, a courtyard, a drawbridge, and even a torture chamber. 

There's no shortage of choice for wine lovers, but Catello di Amorosa has a special fondness for Italian grapes. Look out for several wines made from barbera, sangiovese and vermentino, along with California favorites pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay.

We love that they also produce and sell non-alcoholic grape juice so that if there are those who don't drink in your group, they can still partake in the tour and not feel left out. Reservations are required to enter the property. Tastings start at $45 per person for a six-wine tasting or you can add on a cheese board or a tour for an additional cost. 

Duckhorn Vineyards

Duckhorn Vineyards is the ideal place to visit to break up the Napa routine a bit. It's not monstrous in size, nor is it boutique, so you'll find yourself right at home if you're seeking something in the middle. They were founded in 1973 and were the first American winery to tout merlot as a luxury wine (via Duckhorn Vineyards). Today, you'll find a relaxed environment with fantastic wine.

In a review for The Infatuation Will Kamensy notes, "For wine tastings, they pour Duckhorn, instead of the cheaper bottles of Decoy [a Duckhorn brand] you see everywhere. If you can convince them to let you try their red blend called the Discussion, do it — it's incredible."

In addition to Duckhorn Vineyard's merlot, cabernet sauvignon, and their famous red blends, it also produces chardonnay and sauvignon blanc.

Tastings start at $50 per person and can be booked on the Duckhorn Vineyards website.

Hall Wines

Art is at the forefront of everything Hall Wines does. This is evident by the wines' labels. Jack's Masterpiece, for example, features a white square with colorful primary-colored paint splatters. The Hall Coeur label features overlapping mandalas of various colors. And that love of art trickles over to their winery grounds as well. They are perhaps best known for their large stainless-steel rabbit sculpture, Bunny Foo, but there are also mandalas and blown-glass sculptures hanging around nearly every corner.

This makes for a lively tasting experience and definitely not one that you've experienced before. Because the engaging setting is backed up by the wine, it makes for an all-around feast for the senses. The winery specializes in cabernet sauvignon, but the assortment also includes some sauvignon blanc and merlot for good measure.

Hall Wines' experiences range from $50 per person to $500, and while reservations are recommended, they're not required.

Joseph Phelps

Joseph Phelps winery was founded by its namesake in 1973. As one of the first California estates to experiment with  grapes from France's famed Rhône Valley, it's known for helping to increase the popularity of grenach, syrah, and mourvedre in the United States (via Joseph Phelps).

It's still family-run and operated today, and its St. Helena estate offers tastings, culinary experiences, and tours. Visit Joseph Phelps if you're into superb wine in a lovely setting. And for fans of architecture that leans on restoration, the Joseph Phelps site is a mix of old and new. Wooden beams alongside floor-to-ceiling glass windows are a nod to this. The winery has been renovated several times since it was originally built in early 1970s and still holds onto some vintage charm (via Napa Valley Register).

Tastings start at $90 per person and can increase based on options like a chef's tasting menu or a vineyard tour. You can book all experiences on the Joseph Phelps website.

Tres Sabores

Julie Johnson was one of the first Napa grape growers to get organic certification (via Travel Curious Often). She was a trendsetter then, and today she's still making her own path as Tres Sabores' owner and winemaker. It's one of the few Napa wineries that allow children and dogs, which gives the whole area a lighter, more casual feel. That's definitely not a bad thing. The whole team is warm and welcoming. 

One Yelp reviewer ranked Tres Sabores in first place after visiting several other wineries in the same day because they were wowed by the hospitality. At Tres Sabores, guests will likely have a more intimate experience and may even be able to taste pomegranate from the property's trees and taste the grapes used for winemaking. 

Come for the zinfandel, petite sirah and petit verdot, and stay for the experience! All reservations are $50 per person and you can make a reservation by visiting the website.

Quintessa Winery

Quintessa is a vineyard on 280 acres of beautiful Saint Helena land. They grow cabernet sauvignon, merlot, cabernet franc, petit verdot, and carménère ... all of which are farmed biodynamically. It's one of only a handful of Napa Valley wineries to make the claim. 

The grounds are dotted with modern buildings and furnishings. Less is clearly more with both winemaking and in décor. To be immersed in beautiful scenery and winemaking passion, Quintessa does not disappoint. As one reviewer on Trip Advisor wrote, "Visiting Quintessa was a great decision. From the aesthetically pleasing layout and design of the winery to the tranquil views, Quintessa provided a solid and well-rounded experience." In the "more-is-more" world of Napa, Quintessa's understated design and vibe is a welcome change of pace. 

There are a few different experiences to choose from, ranging from $95 per guest for a flight of four wines to $175 per guest for a winery tour and outdoor tasting. All tastings can be booked through the Quintessa website.

V. Sattui Winery

If you had to visit one place to give you a feel for what Napa is all about, it would be V. Sattui. That's not to say it's the best, or that others wineries are somehow a worse experience, but V. Sattui has a lively environment that is quintessentially Napa. It's also great for parties and large groups. 

The winery's namesake, Vittorio Sattui, started the winery in 1885. He had to shut down during Prohibition, and the winery was not operational again until 1976, when his great-grandson, Dario, brought it back to life.

Today, they produce a range or red, white, sparkling, and dessert wines. V. Sattui has an approachably-priced tasting at $50 per person on the patio, and there's an artisan deli and marketplace for quick bites that aren't too fussy. They offer picnic tables and a picnic area on more than 2 acres of shaded grounds.

It's laid back and a welcoming place to have a glass of wine while taking in the surroundings. V. Sattui shows that good wine is nothing without some good friends with which to share it. Reservations are strongly suggested for all tastings because of limited capacity.

Opus One

Robert Mondavi and Baron Philippe de Rothschild partnered up in 1998 to create Opus One, an unprecedented wine brand that aimed to combine knowledge from two renowned winemaking families.

Visiting Opus One is for those looking for a more serious, formal tasting and as Know Wines notes, there are a few things to consider before booking. If you're a fan of bolder Bordeaux-style blends, you'll fall head over heels for these wines. And if you're into architecture and art, you'll also fall in love with Opus One. It's not nearly as casual and fast paced as some of Napa's other wineries, and while it's definitely not your lighthearted tasting, the experience and the beautiful grounds make for a remarkable experience.

All experiences are by appointment only and may be enjoyed as a flight in the courtyard for $100 per person, or in a private room at a cost of $200 per person.

Sterling Vineyards

The bad news is that Sterling Vineyards is closed for renovations until spring 2023. The good news is that they're planning to come back better than ever. It was, unfortunately, one of the businesses destroyed by the Glass Fire of 2020, which burned for 23 days and in the process destroyed more than 25 Napa Valley wineries, according to Napa Valley.com.

Sterling Vineyards was home to an aerial tram that was damaged during the fire and is one of the many things that must be replaced during their time of renovations. It's owned by Treasury Wine Estates, the company behind some other major wine brands like 19 Crimes, Penfolds, and Beringer.

So while it's not a small family-owned or operated business, when the aerial tram is up and running, it provides unmatched views. If you're a fan of heavier reds, you'll appreciate Sterling Vineyards' assortment, which includes wines like zinfandel, cabernet franc, malbec, and cabernet sauvignon. You can still support the winery by booking an online tasting or buying their wines online


Spottswoode is Napa Valley's first B Corp certified winery, a fact that really speaks to its dedication to environmental efforts. The multi-generational business has committed to a sustainable and transparent approach, and it's actually the first Napa Valley vineyard to achieve B Corp certification, which involves meeting baseline requirements and passing rigorous assessments.

This makes visiting their St. Helena vineyard that much more of an enchanting experience. The estates' grounds are well manicured with pathways and landscaping that feels more like 1920s France than 2020s California. The visit and experience are more intimate, so you'll feel as though you're part of the family.

All visits and tastings must be scheduled, which you can do on their website. Tastings are $75 per person, which is a small price to pay to walk the grounds and sip on wines like Spottswoode's cabernet sauvignon, sauvignon blanc, and syrah, which is exclusively offered to Spottswood wine club members.

Keenan Winery

A visit to Napa Valley will have you spoiled for choice. With so many different types of wineries, it's almost impossible to make the decision on which one is worth a visit. But if you're interested in sustainable farming, consider visiting Keenan Winery. This is Napa off-the-beaten-path. Not only is this winery solar-powered, but it's also sustainably farmed.

According to Discover California Wines, that means they must commit to providing a "healthy and beautiful environment for employees, neighbors, and wine country visitors." Specifically, it means that composting and recycling may be used to minimize waste and methods are put into place to preserve water, and local ecosystems and wildlife are considered and preserved.

Visiting this winery will give you a more intimate vibe as you taste your way through the offerings like cabernet sauvignon and merlot. Tastings start at $50 and reservations may be made on the Keenan Winery website. 

Robert Mondavi

There might not be a Napa as we know it without Robert Mondavi. For that reason alone, it's worth paying a visit to Robert Mondavi Winery. But when you add in the luxurious grounds and the lovely views, Robert Mondavi is a no-brainer. Not only was it the first major Napa winery to open post-Prohibition, but Mondavi was vocal about Napa Valley and all it had to offer (via Washington Post).

Tastings start at $65 per person, and the winery also offers lunch and dinner options, as well as customized virtual tasting options and you must book a reservation in advance. And if you're feeling more social, stop by one of the winery's ticketed events like a Pinot and Paella lunch.

After a tasting, you can wander around the grounds, where you may come across many art pieces (via Frommers). Mondavi's wine, such as cabernet sauvignon, pinot noir and chardonnay, combined with their stately grounds make it a true Napa experience.


While Caymus may not be the most buzzworthy name in Napa, it's got cred as a vineyard with longevity. Wine Spectator magazine has referred to it as "an icon among Napa cabernets."

And it's a Forbes' writer's top bottle. "Along the way, I have learned that there is no such thing as a 'best' wine, and each great bottle and varietal is suited to certain foods or occasions," says Larry Olmstead. "But that does not mean I can't have a favorite. I do, and it is Caymus."

But we don't go to vineyards solely for the wine. There has to be some level of ambiance and, above all, the hospitality should be warm and welcoming. Caymus, in Rutherford, checks all of those boxes. Also, their tasting fee is only $50, which is more affordable than some of the other big names in Napa. If you opt for a tasting, you'll be guided through five wines and hear the history of the Caymus vineyards. Reservations are required and can be made on the Caymus website.