Are you a sparkling lover? Do you want to taste some of the finest sparkling wine in the entire world? The Sparkling Wine Trail travels through the beautiful Carneros and Napa Valley wine regions. Visit one or more of these five premium makers of California sparkling wine. Enjoy a glass of the bubbly and take a tour to learn how these wineries make sparkling wines in the Methode Champenoise, the traditional French method of making sparkling wine in the bottle. For more traveling advice consult the Napa Valley Wine Country Planning Guide.
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Our Sparkling Wine Trail – Great Bubbly
• Gloria Ferrer – Great terrace view, family makes wine in Spain
• Domaine Carneros – Spectacular French Chateau, beautiful views of Carneros
• Domaine Chandon – Fabulous gardens, only Napa winery with a restaurant
• Mumm Napa – See robot Bob in action, don’t miss the Ansel Adams photo gallery
• Schramsberg – Historic (1862), oldest caves, reservations required for tours
We recommend visiting no more than three wineries in one day. Take time to enjoy the wine country.
Dining and Lodging Recommendations
Directions: From the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge, take Highway 101 north. Exit 101 to Highway 37 towards Vallejo. Turn left onto Highway 121 towards Sonoma and Napa. Travel about 6 miles to Gloria Ferrer. Gloria Ferrer is on the left side of the road.
Gloria Ferrer Champagne Caves
Gloria Ferrer is a very beautiful and elegant winery set back on a lovely hillside. The tasting room is set up like a wine bar. You pay by the glass for a very healthy taste of wine. You can sit and relax either inside or outside on the deck. In addition to their sparking wines, Gloria Ferrer also produces a Chardonnay, Merlot, and Pinot Noir. The terrace is the place to be on a beautiful day. The views are wonderful and so are the choices for tasting bubbly.
Tasting room open daily 10:30 am to 5:30
Phone (707) 996-7256, E-mail: email@example.com, Gloria Ferrer
About a mile past Gloria Ferrer there is a major intersection. Take Highway 121 to the right. Stay on the Carneros Highway (121) for another 7 miles and watch for the entrance to Domain Carneros on the right at Duhig Road.
Domaine Carneros was founded by Champagne Taittinger, the great Champagne house of France. The Chateau-style winery has become a familiar Carneros landmark on Highway 121. Its fine sparkling wines have become a symbol of the character and quality of wines produced in the Carneros region. Domaine Carneros offers 30-minute tours throughout the day. The tour includes a 10-minute video and a walk along an observation area where the bottling operations can be viewed. For a tasting, visitors can choose from a menu of sparkling wines and Pinot Noir selections. On a beautiful day, the terrace outside the tasting room is the place to be. With a glass of fine sparkling wine and a remarkable view, life can’t get much better.
Tasting room open daily 10:00 am to 5:30, reservations required
Phone: (707) 257-0101, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
From Domaine Carneros, continue along the Carneros Highway east to the major intersection and stop light at Highway 29. Turn left and travel along Highway 29. Take the Yountville/Veteran’s Home turn off. Turn left under the freeway and watch for the signs leading to Domaine Chandon.
In the early 1970s, the great French Champagne house of Moet & Chandon made a decision to start making sparkling wine in California. They chose the Carneros and Mount Veeder regions of the Napa Valley as the ideal climate and soil to produce fine sparkling wines made in the French tradition. The name Domain Chandon was established and the winery produced its first vintage in 1976. Today Domain Chandon is world famous for its quality of fine California sparkling wines. The sparkling wines are not the only attraction to this famous and historic winery. The landscaped grounds and the architecture are spectacular. Domain Chandon has a gourmet, world-class restaurant if you would like to dine.
Tasting room is open daily 10 am to 6, (707) 944-8844.
e-mail: email@example.com, Domaine Chandon
Continue north along Highway 29 and at Oakville, turn right at Oakville Cross Road.
Oakville Cross Road ends at Silverado Trail. Turn left on Silverado Trail and drive approximately 2 miles and turn into Mumm Napa Valley on the left side (west) of the road.
Mumm Napa Valley
There is more to do here than taste Champagne. The beautifully decorated fine art gallery is a “must see.” There are two exhibits, one housing various collections on rotating basis throughout the year. On our last visit, the art gallery exhibit was the “Legends of Rock”, a spectacular collection of rare photographs of the giants of rock ‘n roll. The other gallery has a collection of Ansel Adams prints on loan from the Ansel Adams Family. The Champagne tour is terrific and if your timing is right you might get to see a most interesting robot. They have named the robot Bob. Bob is a workhorse in the bottling area. If Bob is not working, you will be able to see him in action on video. For tasting, a visitor has a menu of excellent choices of good tasting bubbly. Weekends can be very crowded, so the best time to visit is early in the week. Read about our December trip to Mumm Napa.
Tasting room open daily 10 to 6 pm, last seating is at 5:45 pm.
Phone: (707) 967-7700, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Mumm Napa
Tours are: 10, 11, 1, & 2 pm. The tour is $20 and includes a tasting. Check Website for changes.
Continue north on the Silverado Trail and turn left at Rutherford Road or the next left, Zinfandel Lane. Both of these roads cross the valley to Highway 29. Take Highway 29 through St. Helena. After passing the entrance to Boethe State Park look for Peterson Road on the left. As soon as you enter Peterson, take the road to the right. It is a mile up the road to Schramsberg.
No Champagne tour of California wineries would be complete without a stop at Schramsberg. The original winery, complete with miles of wine tunnels and the beautiful Victorian home, was constructed in the late 1800’s. Jack Davis and his wife Jamie purchased the historic property in 1965 and set their minds on making the finest sparkling wine in the Napa Valley. Today Schramsberg is known worldwide for its quality sparkling wine. The best way to discover Schramsberg is to take the tour and tasting for $35 per person. Be sure to call days before you trip to reserve your spot on one of the tours. This is a very popular destination in the Napa Valley. The caves are very interesting and so is the traditional method of hand riddling done by one person at Schramsberg. Each day, Schramsberg’s riddler turns an unbelievable 35,000 bottles of aging sparkling wine. Read about our December trip to Schramsberg.
Do you want to know about how Sparkling wine is made before your visit. A little knowledge will make your visit more enjoyable. Learn about sparkling wine.
Additional Napa Valley Wine Routes to enjoy
- Boutique Wineries on Highway 29 – small and fascinating
- Best Silverado Wineries – less traffic and less crowds
- Calistoga Wine Route – northern end of the Valley
- Hidden wineries of the Napa Valley – get away from the crowds
- Historic Napa Valley Wineries – these made the Napa Valley
- Wine and Art Wine Route – wineries with art collections
Tips for your Napa Valley Sparkling Wine Tour
- You are encouraged to have a designated driver. Consider hiring a limousine or van service.
- First time to a winery in Napa? Find out what happens in a typical tasting room.
- Are you wondering about how to taste wine? Wine Tasting Techniques
- Almost wineries in the Napa Valley charge a tasting fee. Expect to pay $10 or more to taste. Two people can always elect to share a tasting.
- Some ideas for which wineries to visit.
- Plan a picnic lunch. This ’s greatest pleasures.
- If you cannot picnic, enjoy a delicious lunch at one of Napa Valley’s many fine restaurants.
- We list premium lodging and budget lodging.
- Pace yourself and make a day of wine tasting. Don’t forget your camera.
- Visiting three wineries in one day is enough to you keep you busy and content with the slow and easy pace of wine country.
- Please read our Disclaimer Document on the information contained on Wine Country Getaways.