The Fees to Taste Wine in Napa Valley


Written by:

Joe Becerra

Last updated:

napa valley tasting room fee index
Provenance winery and tasting room in Rutherford, Napa Valley

We established the Napa Valley Wine Tasting Fee Index in 2014. Each year we see an increase in what it costs a person to taste wine in the Napa Valley. Because of the COVID pandemic, we are not keeping an Index for the 2021 season. Tasting fees are in a fluid state. Walk-in tastings are almost a thing of the past. Most wineries require reservations. This means fewer visitors to the tasting room. That translates to higher tasting fees. Instead of standard tastings, wineries have more elaborate wine tasting along with food pairings.

Napa Valley Tasting Room Index 2020

We created the Napa Valley Tasting Fee Index in 2014. Our Wine Country Getaways’ Website contains useful planning information for those who wish to visit the wine country. Why not give these folks an idea of what it will cost to taste wine in the Napa Valley.

There was once a time when wineries in the Napa Valley did not charge visitors for sampling wine. They were happy to show off their wines, hoping visitors would buy a few bottles. Then the mobs came to the Napa Valley, and the wineries could not afford to give their wine away. Tasting fees became the norm.

For the Index, we are using ten wineries along Highway 29. Each of these wineries welcomes visitors without a reservation or appointment. Most wineries have different levels of tasting choices. For the Index, we are using the basic, or least expensive, tasting that the winery offers to visitors. Here they are as of February 22, 2020.

Many wineries in the Napa Valley have optional wine tasting experiences beyond the basic tasting. Wine and food pairings seem to be a favorite for many visitors. Then there are the tour-and-tasting packages. Some wineries offer a tasting of their Library or Reserve wines. These tasting choices are expensive. Here a few examples.

  • Beaulieu Vineyards – George De Latour Legacy Tour and Tasting – $125 per person
  • Louis Martini – Underground Cellar – wine and food pairing with Chef Jeffery Russell, 3 hours in duration – $250 per person
  • Alpha Omega – Library tasting of 4 wines – $75 per person
  • Grgich Hills – Wine and Cheese with 4 wines and a host – $50 per person
  • Beringer – Taste of Beringer Tour, one hour – $65 per person
  • Whitehall Lane – Cabernet Flight – $65 per person

The average tasting room fee is $32.50 per person in our unofficial survey of what it costs to taste wine in the Napa Valley. Back in 2014, when we first began the Napa Valley Tasting Fee Index, the average cost of a basic tasting was $18.50. That very much sums up how the Napa Valley wine scene has changed in the last several years. It has become a rich person’s paradise.

Other helpful hints on the Napa Valley

  • Joe Becerra

    Joe Becerra has been traveling to wine country and enjoying wine since 1965. He is a retired educator, and now have the time the opportunity to share his wine travel experiences through this Website.