Sparkling Wine Trail in Carneros and Napa Valley
Are you a sparkling lover? Do you want to taste some of the finest sparkling wine in the entire world? The Sparkling Wine Trail travels through the beautiful Carneros and Napa Valley wine regions. Visit one or more of these five premium makers of California sparkling wine. Enjoy a glass of the bubbly and take a tour to learn how these wineries make sparkling wines in the Methode Champenoise, the traditional French method of making sparkling wine. Book a reservation for a tasting well in advance of your wine country getaway.
Visit these wineries for sparkling wine
• Gloria Ferrer – Great terrace view, family makes wine in Spain – In Carneros
• Domaine Carneros – Spectacular French Chateau, beautiful views of Carneros
• Domaine Chandon – Fabulous gardens, a variety of sparkling wine choices
• Mumm Napa – See robot Bob in action, don’t miss the Ansel Adams photo gallery
• Schramsberg – Historic (1862), oldest caves, reservations required for tours
We recommend visiting no more than three wineries in one day. Take time to enjoy the wine country.
Dining and Lodging Recommendations
Restaurants Premium Lodging Budget Lodging Wine Map
Gloria Ferrer is a very beautiful and elegant winery set back on a lovely hillside. At Gloria Ferrer, the beautiful tasting room or the outdoor terrace is so enjoyable for tasting Gloria Ferrer sparkling wines and still wines. Table service offers a variety of tasting options. The terrace is the place to be on a beautiful day. The views are wonderful and so are the choices for tasting bubbly.
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. Check the Domaine Carneros Website for selecting a tastings option including food pairings. On a beautiful day, the terrace outside the tasting room is the place to be. With a glass of fine sparkling wine and a remarkable view, life can’t get much better
In the early 1970s, the great French Champagne house of Moet & Chandon made a decision to start making sparkling wine in California. They chose the Carneros and Mount Veeder regions of the Napa Valley as the ideal climate and soil to produce fine sparkling wines made in the French tradition. The name Domain Chandon was established and the winery produced its first vintage in 1976. Today Domain Chandon is world famous for its quality of fine California sparkling wines. The sparkling wines are not the only attraction to this famous and historic winery. The landscaped grounds and the architecture are spectacular. No reservations are required for a regular tasting for parties under 8 people.
There is more to do here than taste Champagne. The beautifully decorated fine art gallery is a “must see.” There are two exhibits, one housing various collections on rotating basis throughout the year. On our last visit, the art gallery exhibit was the “Legends of Rock”, a spectacular collection of rare photographs of the giants of rock ‘n roll. The other gallery has a collection of Ansel Adams prints on loan from the Ansel Adams Family. The sparkling wine tour is terrific and if your timing is right you might get to see a most interesting robot. They have named the robot Bob. Bob is a workhorse in the bottling area. If Bob is not working, you will be able to see him in action on video. For tasting, a visitor has a menu of excellent choices of good tasting bubbly. Weekends can be very crowded, so the best time to visit is early in the week. Read about our December trip to Mumm Napa.
No Champagne 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.
Do you want to know about how Sparkling wine is made before your visit. A little knowledge will make your visit more enjoyable. Learn about sparkling wine.
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
- We list premium lodging and budget lodging.
- Pace yourself and make a day of wine tasting. Don’t forget to take some photos.
- 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.