When you plan your wine country vacation to the Napa Valley, we suggest that you visit at least one of the Napa Valley's 100-year-old wineries. The Napa Valley is a treasure of wine history and one way to discover the Napa Valley past is by visiting one of these wineries. These wineries have wonderful stories to tell visitors. Take yourself back in time with a visit to one of these remarkable wineries. The Inglenook winery, in the photo on the left, is the most magnificent of the 100-year-old wineries. For more traveling advice consult the Napa Valley Wine Country Planning Guide.
Visit a few of these 100 year old wineries
• Beaulieu Vineyards –Founded in 1900
• Beringer – Famous Rhine House completed in 1884
• Charles Krug – Founded in 1861 by Charles Krug, owned by Peter Mondavi
• Chateau Montelena – Established in 1882 by Alfred Tubbs.
• Inglenook – Chateau dates back to 1879
• Nichelini – Founded in 1890. The same family owns it today
• Schramsberg – Founded in 1862, present owners purchased winery in 1968
• Trefethen Family Vineyards – Winery built in 1886, Trefethen begins in 1968
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Dining and Lodging Recommendations
A fabulous book on the Napa Valley by a famed American Photographer: Napa Valley: The Land, The Wine, The People
You may also like this Napa Valley wine country information
Beaulieu was 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 past 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, 10am to 5pm
(707) 967-5200, Beaulieu Vineyards
Beringer Vineyards was 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 is currently owned by Treasury Wine Estates.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, 10am to 5pm
(707) 963-8989 ext.2222, Beringer Vineyards
Charles Krug Winery
This famous winery was established by Charles Krug in 1861and subsequently purchased by Ceasar Mondavi. It is probably more noted for the family feud between brothers Peter and Robert Mondavi. Robert Mondavi went on to open his own winery and become the most famous name in Napa Valley history. Today Peter Mondavi, Jr., and his family run the Charles Krug Winery. The winery is located at 2800 Main Street in St. Helena.
Tasting Room open daily 10:30am to 5:00pm
(707) 967-2229; Charles Krug
The winery is located just off the beaten path in the town of Calistoga. It’s a very beautiful and old winery, producing outstanding vintages. The chateau was built in 1882. Get a look at the chateau from below by walking down from the parking lot. You will also notice an interesting man-made lake and grounds landscaped with a Chinese theme. Chateau Montelena brought worldwide attention to its wines in 1976 at the now-famous Paris blind tasting of French and California wines. The 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay was judged first above all of the French White Burgundies. The winery today continues to make outstanding wines. To get to the winery, don’t turn right at the stoplight at Highway 29 and Calistoga. Continue straight ahead for two miles. Turn right on Tubbs Lane. The winery is located at 1429 Tubbs Lane.
Tasting Room open daily 10am to 4pm
(707) 942-5105, email: email@example.com, Chateau Montelena
Francis Ford Coppola, of “The Godfather” movie fame, purchased this winery in 1975. In 2011 Francis Ford Coppola purchased back the Trademark name of Inglenook and changed the winery name from Rubicon back to its original name, Inglenook. The Chateau is perhaps the most beautiful structure in the Napa Valley. Tasting and tours are given daily. Inglenook is located in Rutherford on Highway 29.
Tasting room open daily, 10am to 5pm
(707) 968-1100, email: Submit email through their Web site, Inglenook Estate
The Nichelini Family has had 121 consecutive harvests and is the oldest continuous family-owned winery in the Napa Valley. This is a small-production winery, only 4000 cases per year. The winery is off the beaten path, some 15 minutes from the valley floor atop Sage Canyon Drive. If you head up there be sure to pack a picnic lunch, weather permitting, and perhaps if you have time you might want to play a game of Bocce on the Nichelini court. As long as you are up this far, you can also visit Rustin Winery and Somerston Winery which are both nearby.
Tasting Room is open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 11am to 5 pm and by appointment Monday to Thursday Nichelini
No Sparkling Wine 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. 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.
Trefethen Family Vineyards
The original winery built in 1886 was known as Eshcol and continued to make wines until 1940. At that time the winery closed and it was not until 1968 that the Trefethen Family purchased the winery and brought it back to life. The oringal winery facility is still used today. The lower portion is used to age wine and houses the estate tasting room. This is the closest winery to the town of Napa and is an easy one to visit. The winery is located at 1160 Oak Knoll Ave. Trefethen
Tasting Room is open daily 10am to 4:30pm. (866) 895-7696 Trefethen
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.