I started the Napa Valley Wine Tasting Fee Index last March in 2014. The idea behind the Napa Valley Tasting Room Fee Index is twofold. It gives our Wine Country Getaways readers a ballpark dollar figure of what it costs to taste wine in the Napa Valley. Secondly, I thought it would be interesting to compare Napa Valley tasting fee inflation rates to that of the United States economy. This index is by no means scientific. It is a sampling of ten popular wineries among some 400 wineries in the Napa Valley. You get the picture; the index is more for fun than for the Wall Street Journal types.
Most wineries in the Napa Valley offer a mix of tastings. These tastings can be labeled Estate, Reserve, Library, Food and Wine Pairing, etc. Whatever the name for the tasting lineup, I chose the lowest fee option at each of these ten wineries. A year ago the average cost for the lowest tasting fee at a winery’s tasting room was $18.50. The index for 2015 has changed somewhat. One winery, Provenance, has a lower fee, but upon checking it went from four wines to three for the lowest tasting fee option. Four wineries increased the tasting fee by $5. The rest of the wineries, five in fact, remained the same. The Napa Valley Wine Tasting Fee Index for 2015 is $20. That amounts to an 8.1% increase from the 2014 index. The U.S. inflation rate for 2014 is just a shade under 2%.
Napa Valley Tasting Room Index 2015
These wine tasting fee represent the entry level tasting.
- Alpha Omega – 2014 $25, 2015 $30
- Beaulieu Vineyards – 2014 $15, 2015 $20
- Beringer Wines – 2014 $20, 2015 $20
- Grgich Hills – 2014 $20, 2015 $20
- Louis Martini -2014 $15, 2015 $15
- Peju Province – 2014 $20, 2015 $25
- Provenance – 2014 $25, 2015, $20 (new set of tastings – 3 wines)
- Rutherford Grove – 2014 $15, 2015 $15
- Sequoia Grove – 2014 $15, 2015 $20
- Whitehall Lane – 2014 $15, 2015 $15
These wineries are all open to the public without an appointment and no reservations are required. If a traveler is on a tight budget, there are a few ways to save on tasting room fees in the Napa Valley. Lodging establishment and Chamber of Commerce offices in each Napa Valley town have a set of coupons for a two-for-one tasting. Check the free wine country magazines for coupons. One can also share a tasting. There are also a few tasting room Apps for Smartphones that offer coupons and other savings. Check the App store and load one or more on your Smartphone.
Additional information on tasting wine in the Napa Valley
Napa charges what the market will tolerate. So much for goodwill. Look for coupons at many different places. Go to wineries you like and let them know it.