There are two sides to Carneros, the Sonoma side and the Napa side. The Carneros wine appellation is renowned worldwide for its fine Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and sparkling wines. The Chardonnay and Pinot Noir vineyards located here thrive on the mild summer days and the cooling afternoon breeze from the San Pablo Bay. The Carneros wine region spans both Napa and Sonoma Counties. In this wine trail, we feature what we think are the most interesting wineries for wine country travelers to visit on the Napa side of Carneros. There are other wineries, but having scouted the entire Carneros region, these wineries on the Carneros Napa Wine Trail are our favorites. Carneros Wine Map.
Carneros Napa Wine Trail | Top Wineries to Visit
• Domaine Carneros – An icon on the Carneros Highway, wonderful sparkling wines
• Cuvaison – Sit-down wine tasting, enjoy the vineyard view
• Bouchaine Vineyards – Chardonnay & Pinot Noir specialists on hidden backroad
• Artesa Vineyards – spectacular architecture, fountains, views. Amazing art by Gordon Huether
• Truchard Vineyards – Old Carneros winery, run by husband wife team of Tony & Jo Ann Truchard
We recommend that you visit only three tasting rooms in one day. Check out our favorite wineries in the Carneros Sonoma Wine Route.
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Dining and Lodging Recommendations
Winery Descriptions, Driving Directions, Tasting Room Hours
Directions: The Carneros wine region can be approached from either the Golden Gate Bridge or the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. Usually, the Golden Gate Bridge route contains fewer traffic problems or issues. These tour directions are from the Golden Gate Bridge. Please refer to our map of the Carneros wineries. From the Golden Gate Bridge, take Highway 101. Exit 101 to Highway 37 towards Vallejo. Turn left onto Highway 121 towards Sonoma and Napa. This route takes you by the famous Sonoma Raceway.
Take Highway 121/12 and head east about four miles and turn right on Duhig Road. Domaine Carneros was founded by Champagne Taittinger, the great Champagne house of France. The Chateau-style winery has become a familiar Carneros landmark on Highway 121. Its fine sparkling wines have become a symbol of the character and quality of wines produced in the Carneros region. Domaine Carneros offers tours throughout the day. The tour takes visitors behind the scenes to view the stages of producing a sparkling wine. The tour includes tastings. Reservations are required for tours. Another option is to sit on the Domaine Carneros terrace and sip sparkling wine while taking in one of the best views in wine country. Reservations are also required for the terrace tasting.
Tasting room open daily 10am to 5:30 pm. Reservations required.
Phone: (707) 257-0101, e-mail: email@example.com, Domaine Carneros
Cuvaison opened this beautiful new tasting room in April of 2009. The tasting room is open and airy with beautiful views of Carneros vineyards. Guests are treated to a sit-down wine tasting and the pace is slow and relaxing. Cuvaison has some 400 acres in Carneros and produces a range of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines from this property. The family owners at Cuvaison also own Brandlin Vineyard, which produces Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. These wines can be tasted alongside the Cuvaison Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines. Cuvaison is also on Duhig Road, and the entrance is just across from Domaine Carneros. Reservations are required for tasting wines at Cuvaison.
Tasting room open daily 10am to 5 pm.
Phone: (707) 257-0101, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Cuvaison
From Domaine Carneros or Cuvaison, turn west on Duhig Road and drive for two miles. Turn left at Las Amigas and then drive one mile to Buchli Station Road. Bouchaine sits on the southern tip of the Carneros region very near to where the Napa river empties into San Pablo Bay. It is an extraordinarily beautiful spot. A relaxed atmosphere pervades the tasting room. The back deck area looks out onto a beautiful vineyard and is one of the most enjoyable spots in the wine country for wine tasting. The winery produces high-quality Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines from their estate, 100 acres in the Carneros Appellation, and from contracts with various growers in the region.
Tasting room open daily 10:30 to 5:30 pm from March 14 to October 31; 10:30 to 4:30 November 1 to March 13.
Phone: (800) 654-WINE, e-mail: email@example.com, Bouchaine Vineyards
Artesa Vineyards and Winery
To get to Artesa from Bouchaine, backtrack to Highway 121 and then turn right. In just a short distance will be Old Sonoma Road. Turn left and head for Dealy Lane. Dealy Lane becomes Henry, and then follow the visitor signs to the entrance to Artesa. Artesa is certainly one of the more spectacular looking wineries. Its architecture, fountains, and beautiful view are worth the trip to this popular destination spot for wine country travelers. Artesa produces four distinct labels of wine. The wines are produced from the estate acres in the Carneros region as well as from grapes obtained from growers in several other wine regions of California. The reserve line reflects the very best selection from these vineyards. These are limited-production wines. The tasting area is absolutely beautiful. There is also a terrace where you can sit and sip your wine and take in a fabulous view of the Carneros wine region. Tours are also offered at specific times during the day.
Tasting room open daily 10am to 5 pm.
Phone: (707)254-2140, e-mail: Info@artesawinery.com, Artesa Vineyards and Winery
This is a wonderful family winery to visit. It is open by appointment only, so that means you will get lots of attention and enjoy some excellent white and red wines. Truchard is one of the earliest wineries to produce wine from the Carneros wine region. Tony Truchard and his wife Jo Ann founded the winery in 1974. Originally, the winery had 20 acres of land. Over the years, they have expanded their holding in Carneros to 160 acres. To get to Truchard, get back on Old Sonoma Road and drive up the road for about one-and-a-quarter miles. It is a small sign, so watch carefully. The address on Old Sonoma Road is 3234.
Tours & wine tastings Monday through Friday – By Appointment Only
Phone: (707) 253 7153, Truchard Vineyards
Advice for your Caneros Wine Tour:
You are encouraged to have a designated driver | Consider a limousine or van service
First time to a winery? Find out what happens in a typical tasting room.
Are you wondering about how to taste wine? Wine Tasting Techniques
Pace yourself and make a day of wine tasting.
There are other Carneros wineries on our wine tour; if you see one that strikes your fancy , drop in and tell us what you think.
Plan for a picnic lunch at one of the wineries.
Use our Trip Planner to map your wine trail
More Information on Sonoma Wineries
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