This is indeed the winery of the famous Mario Andretti of Indy race car fame. Mario Andretti founded the winery in 1996, and it has since has become a public company trading shares under the name Andretti Wine Group. This beautiful Tuscan style winery is tucked away on Big Ranch Road near the Silverado Trail. Since is it off the beaten path the winery remains largely hidden from the tourist frenzy and traffic on Highway 29 and the Silverado Trail. The countryside on Big Ranch Road is beautiful and serene.
The tasting room is very inviting done in Tuscan style colors. The outside area has a great view of the vineyards and there is an appealing set of picnic tables in view of the tasting room. However, as inviting as those tables are, we were told that the area cannot be used for picnicking but only for tours and tastings by appointment. That is very unfortunate because the area is so beautiful and peaceful looking.
The tasting fee is $10 for a choice of four wines, but the fee cannot be applied to a purchase. We were a little put off by our server, so we decided to share one tasting. Maybe it was the bad start but none of the wines seemed outstanding and not worth the price they were charging for the wines. We were in and out of the tasting room in about 10 minutes. We did spend much more time outside gazing at the Tuscan winery and the surrounding vineyards. The scenery is very enticing and brought back many memories of our 2005 trip to Italy.
The winery offers winery and vineyard tours by appointment and wine and food paring classes. To get to the Andretti Winery, the easiest route is to head up the Silverado Trail and turn left on Oak Knoll Ave. Turn left on Big Ranch Road and go about Â¾ of a mile to the winery. You can also pick up Oak Knoll Ave. on Trancas St. in Napa.
The Good: Lovely Tuscan style and setting throughout, Andretti race memorbilia
The Bad: Tasting fee too high, wines a bit overpriced