Have you ever thought about where the wines you love come from…or sat down with a glass of wine and wondered about its origins? With over 400 wineries, Napa Valley is home to some of the most famous wine brands in the world. Here’s a roundup of five of the best Napa Valley wineries to visit for your next wine tour. By: Aphua Larbi-Amoah
Castello di Amorosa
Fit for a king, Castello di Amorosa is a real-life castle, complete with a moat, drawbridge, defensive towers, an interior courtyard, a torture chamber, a chapel, a knights’ chamber and a great hall with a 22-foot coffered ceiling. First opened to the public in 2007 and located near Calistoga, a visit to this winery is a treat to anyone interested in seeing a proper castle in this age.
If you’re a lover of sparkling wine, then this winery is the place to go. Founded in 1973 by Moet & Chandon, it was the first French-owned sparkling wine producer in the Napa Valley. The tours provided are educational, fun and provide light-hearted explorations of the history of the winery, grape-growing regions, the winemaking process and their distinctive wines. With vineyards in several Napa Valley locations including Mt. Veeder, Yountville AVA, and Los Carneros, they offer wine tastings that offer insight into the world of sparkling wines and the grapes used to make them.
Complete with an aerial tram that’s the only one of its kind in the Napa Valley, Sterling Vineyards offers its visitors stunning views as they ride up to the winery. Every visitor is treated to a glass of wine along with an motion-activated flat screen television for a personal tour allowing guests to follow the winemaking process from grape to glass while they stroll through art galleries, overlooks, and elevated walkways. A combination of extraordinary Mediterranean-style architecture, unique aerial tramway, stunning location, historic bells, and attention to visitors make Sterling Vineyards a top destination in Napa Valley.
Darioush Winery is noted for its Bordeaux style estate wines. The 22,000 square foot Persian Palace themed winery, the first in America to combine architecture, design and Persian culture, provides a unique and exhilarating experience in California’s most renowned wine destination. Located on the Silverado trail, guests are greeted to a state-of-the-art facility with six outdoor water features, offering a unique one-on-one experience to taste the complete line of signature wines.
This winery was established by Robert Mondavi in 1966 when he chose the To Kalon Vineyard as the home for the winery. This winery has a long tradition of offering tours of the winery and its surrounding vineyards including evening walking tours in Mandarin Chinese. A visit to Robert Mondavi also lets the visitor enjoy the wines paired with a variety of small bites ranging from chocolate, cheese to charcuterie. If you love quality Sauvignon Blanc, this is the winery to visit.