Famous Napa Valley Wineries
This Getaway of Napa Valley wineries will take you up Highway 29 from Yountville, just past the town of St Helena. The eight famous and historic wineries on this list represent wineries that have been instrumental in giving Napa Valley wineries their worldwide recognition. You may want to plan a restaurant stop for lunch in St. Helena or at the northern end of the valley in the town of Calistoga. Charles Krug is the only winery that currently has a picnic area. Always book your lodging in advance. Use the Napa Valley Wine Country Planning Guide to help organize your getaway.
A selection of Historic Napa Valley Wineries
• Robert Mondavi Winery – The symbol of the Napa Valley, take a tour
• Inglenook Estate – Magnificent & grand estate of Inglenook Fame
• Beaulieu Vineyards – BV wine George de LaTour
• Louis Martini Winery – 1933 start in the Napa Valley
• Charles Krug Winery – The historic Redwood Cellar built in 1872
• Beringer Wines – The Rhine House building, oldest continuous winery
We recommend that you visit no more than three wineries in one day. Savor the moment!
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Dining and Lodging Recommendations
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. We recommend taking the tour, which is very informative and worth the time. To get to Chandon, turn off Highway 29 at the Yountville exit. Travel to the west and look for the winery on the right after you cross the railroad tracks.
The tasting room is open daily 10 am to 6, (707) 944-8844.
E-Mail: email@example.com, Domaine Chandon
Robert Mondavi Winery
The influence of Robert Mondavi and his winery have been instrumental in establishing worldwide attention for Napa Valley wines. The winery is perhaps the most visited and certainly one of the most recognized wineries in the world. The winery was established in 1966 when Robert Mondavi departed the family owned winery of Charles Krug. Robert Mondavi’s vision was to use innovative winemaking techniques to create wines of high quality and distinction. Because of his success and leadership, many consider Robert Mondavi to be the father of California wine. A visit to this winery will give you a better feel and understanding of the Napa Valley. If you are interested in a tour, call ahead to check on availability. The Robert Mondavi Winery is located about one mile north of the town of Oakville on the west side of the highway.
Tasting room open daily, 10:30 am to 5, (888)766-6328 ext. 2000
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Robert Mondavi
Francis Ford Coppola, of “The Godfather” fame, purchased this winery in 1975. In 2011 Francis Ford Coppola purchased back the Trademark name of Inglenook and then changed the winery name from Rubicon back to its original Inglenook name. The emphasis at Inglenook is in the production of very high-end wines made from their estate Napa Valley vineyards. Entrance to the winery is $25 per person which includes tasting, an optional tour, and valet parking. Production of the other Coppola wines will take place at their newly-acquired facility in the Alexander Valley in Sonoma County called Francis Ford Coppola Winery (formerly Chateau Souverain).
Tasting room open daily, 10 am to 5, (707) 968-1100
Email: Submit email through their Web site, Inglenook Estate
Beaulieu is one of the oldest wineries in the valley founded in 1900 by Frenchman George de Latour. The winery has long been famous for fine reserve wines, particularly its estate George de Latour Cabernet Sauvignon. BV, as it is commonly called, established innovative winemaking techniques by its founder George de Latour and its renowned winemaker Andre Tchelistcheff. When the heirs of George de Latour sold the winery to the Hublein Corporation, it created quite a stir in the Valley. Today, the winery continues the tradition of making high-end wines. In addition to these wines, BV also produces several other wines from vineyards in the Central Coast of California. In addition to a regular tasting room, the winery has the George de Latour Private Reserve Room where for $25 you can taste five very special wines, including at least one of their older wines (library wines). This winery is worth a visit because of its history and influence on the Napa Valley. Beaulieu Vineyards is located in the town of Rutherford on the east side of Highway 29.
Tasting room open daily, 10 am to 5, (707) 967-5200
E-mail: email@example.com, Beaulieu Vineyards
Louis M. Martini Winery
Just before you enter the downtown area of St. Helena heading north, you will find the Louis M. Martini Winery on the eastern side of the road. The Winery is one of Napa Valley’s institutions with a founding date of 1933. In 2002 the winery was sold to another famous Italian winemaking family, the Gallo Family. The traditions of the Louis Martini Winery remain today. Some upgrades have been made, which include several tasting options for visitors. Just outside the tasting room is a beautiful picnic area. Pack your lunch and enjoy a glass of the many delicious reds produced at Martini. We like any of the wines made from the famous Monte Rosso Vineyards. The head winemaker is Michael Martini, the grandson of the founder Louis M. Martini.
Tasting room is opened daily 10 – 6, (707) 968-3362
Joe and Alice Heitz established this iconic winery in 1961, and it soon became famous for its Martha’s Vineyard Cabernet. Joe Heitz was one of the first to designate a vineyard-specific bottling of Cabernet Sauvignon. The Martha’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon was highly acclaimed and sought after by wine enthusiasts. In a sense, the wine became the first “Cult” Cabernet of the times. The current tasting room in St. Helena opened in 2002, and the winery is now in the hands of the family’s third generation.
Tasting room is open daily 11 to 4:30 pm. 436 St. Helena Highway 707-963-3542
My how things have changed at the Charles Krug winery. In November of 2013, the Charles Krug winery opened their historical Redwood Cellar built in 1872. It serves as the tasting and hospitality room. Visitors can see the great barrel room while they taste from a variety of tasting stations. Just added to the Redwood Cellar is a deli featured delicious picnic items. Visitors and purchase goodies and a glass of wine and take it outside to the beautiful picnic area. Charles Krug offers tourists a variety of tasting include tours and barrel tasting.
Tasting Room is opened daily 10:30 to 5, (707) 967-2200
The last winery on this historic trek of wineries is Beringer Vineyards. Founded in 1897, it is the oldest continuous winemaking facility in the Napa Valley. The main building, now the reserve tasting room, is called the Rhine House. It is a classic German style chateau. This is an impressive building and very much worth a visit. Beringer makes many wines, with collections for a wide pocketbook range. In addition to the regular tasting room, there is also a tasting room in the Rhine House where you can taste the Reserve wines. You might also consider the tour here. The Beringer winery was recently purchased by Foster’s, the famous Australian beer company. The winery is located just as you leave St. Helena to head north. The turnoff comes up quickly on the left as you begin to enter a grove of beautiful trees lining either side of the highway.
Tasting room is open daily, 10 am to 5, (707) 963-8989 ext.2222,
Additional Napa Valley Wine Routes to enjoy
- Boutique Wineries on Highway 29 – small and fascinating
- Best Silverado Wineries – less traffic and fewer crowds
- Calistoga Wine Route – northern end of the Valley
- Hidden wineries of the Napa Valley – get away from the crowds
- Napa Valley Sparkling Wine Route – a toasty set of wineries
- Wine and Art Wine Route – wineries with art collections
Tips for your Napa Valley 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 is one of wine country’s greatest pleasures.
- If you cannot do a 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 leisurely pace of wine country.
- Please read our Disclaimer Document on the information contained on Wine Country Getaways.