Hello friends! As promised I'm back with a recent itinerary and review for my day trip to Napa. Now, I've been to Napa too many times to count, so each trip I try to include places that I know I'll like and a few new places. Just in case you're planning a trip, normal (not reserve wine) tasting fees range from free (very few of these) to $50. Most wineries will waive these fees if you A) purchase enough wine or B) join their wine club. Additionally, I think 3-4 wineries is a good amount if you're only going to be in Napa for a day. Otherwise, you'll be running/driving around like crazy. Napa is made for relaxing and enjoying the warm sun and beautiful scenery... all while drinking wine of course! During this trip, my mom and step dad were in town, so we stuck with 3 wineries to avoid feeling rushed.
We headed out of the city around 10am. Napa is around 1 hr away from the city depending on how far into Napa you're going and of course TRAFFIC. We went on a weekday, so traffic wasn't that bad. Our first stop was Peju which is an idyllic winery located in Rutherford. When you think of Napa, you'll probably imagine some place like Peju. They also have one of my most favorite wines - Carnival (I might have bought a few of those). I may be bias, but I definitely think Peju is a worthy stop! Their classic tasting is $35/per person and any group with 7 or less people does not require a reservation. You normally try 2 whites and 3 reds, but they will pour you additional varietals if you're nice. ;-)
Our tasting at Peju took about an hour, so afterwards it was lunch time! We headed up to Gott's Roadside in St. Helena for some delicious burgers and fries. There is always a line here, but it goes pretty fast. Worth the wait!
Next, we headed up the mountain to Neal Family Vineyards. While their tasting is free, you have to submit a request for a tour and tasting ahead of time. This is done through the order tab on their website. The tour was relatively short at around 15 minutes (perfect if you ask me) and then we tasted 5 different wines. We were the only people at the vineyards so it was very nice. The wine maker was there and he was very pleasant and knowledgeable. This was my first time at Neal Family Vineyards and I would recommended it. The free price tag is hard to pass up, but I think I'd look for some additional wineries up on the mountain next time because it was a trek! Also, they could use some seating for a more relaxed experience.
Our final stop was at Frog's Leap back down in the valley. I have also been here a few times, so I knew what to expect. We did their Signature Seated Tasting which can be reserved via Yelp. This tasting is $25 and includes 4 wines and a small plate of cheese and snacks. Frog's Leap is beautiful and has a large wrap around porch which is perfect for wine sipping. :-) I definitely recommend Frog's Leap! The only bummer thing is the grounds are so beautiful but they do not allow picnicking so make sure you've eaten.
On the way home, we stopped by Oxbow Market for some ice cream and souvenirs. Thankfully, traffic wasn't too bad on the way home and we got back to the city around 7pm. Overall, it was a great day in Napa! If you have any Napa related questions feel free to contact me. I've definitely been to my fair share of wineries!
Question of the Day?
Have you ever been to Napa? If so, do you have a favorite place?
Hi! I'm Amanda and I've been living in SF for the past 4 years. Originally from North Carolina, I love traveling, planning, exploring new places in SF, group exercise, and wine.