Napa’s Hidden Wineries


Written by:

Joe Becerra

Last updated:

At the base of Howell Mountain
At the base of Howell Mountain

Believe it or not, there are some hidden wineries in Napa Valley. It is hard to escape the crowds when visiting Napa Valley, especially on weekends. However, Napa’s hidden wineries are sure to be less touristy. Some of these wineries are open by appointment only but don’t let that discourage you. They love to have visitors and will make you feel at home. Don’t try to visit all of these wineries on one trip to Napa Valley. Please read our descriptions and use the Hidden Napa Valley Wine Map to plot your journey.  Call the wineries and book your time slot.

For more traveling advice, consult the Napa Valley Wine Country Planning Guide.

Hidden Wineries in the Napa Valley

• Amizetta Winery – Cabernet Specialist, beautiful vistas
• Buehler Vineyards – Great views, family winery since 1976
• Hendry Ranch Wines – One of the best education wine tours in Napa
• Kelly Fleming Wines – Amazing caves and Cabernet. Very quiet
• Nichelini Winery – Oldest continuous family winery in Napa Valley. Bocce
• Round Pond Winery – Terrace setting with wine and food tasting, olive oil
• Smith-Madrone – The Smith Brothers, a throwback in Napa Valley time
• Tres Sabores – Certified organic vineyards, Julie Johnson makes great Zin

Dining and Lodging Recommendations

Restaurants      Premium Lodging      Budget Lodging      Wine Map

More information on hidden wineries of the Napa Valley. Back Lane Wineries of Napa Back Lane Wineries of Napa

Amizetta Winery

Combine a visit to Buehler Vineyard with Amizetta Winery. It is only about another mile along this same road. Watch for the signs. Amizetta is another beautiful family-owned winery. The emphasis at Amizetta is Cabernet Sauvignon made in small lots. The owners are Spencer and Amizetta Clark, but two of their sons, Perry and Edward, are taking the helm at the winery. They are making wine and leading tours and tasting. Be sure to call ahead for your appointment. Make a day of it with your picnic lunch and visit both Amizetta and Buehler.

Buehler Vineyards

You won’t find too many visitors at Buehler because the winery is open by appointment only, and the winery’s location is at the base of Howell Mountain, some six miles in from the Silverado Trail. Don’t let this stop you from visiting, the views are breathtaking, and the wines are a great value. The winery has 55 acres of hillside vineyards planted with Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. The Cab and the Zin are very reasonable in price and taste twice as good as many Napa wines at twice the price.

Chappellet Winery

Chappellet Winery is one of those wonderfully hidden wineries and a secret place that remains an undiscovered treasure in the Napa Valley. The location is off the beaten path on the eastern mountains of the Napa Valley and opens by appointment only, so visitors tend not to flock to the Chappellet Winery. Chappellet is near Hennessey Lake on Highway 128, about three miles east of the Silverado Trail. The views are fantastic. Chappellet is best known for its Cabernet Sauvignon grown on the estate hillside vineyard known as Pritchard Hill. If you would like to visit Chappellet, call the winery or visit their Web site to reserve a scheduled tour spot.

Hendry Ranch Wines

Hendry Ranch is a family-owned small winery, a throwback to another era. Owner George Hendry and his nephew operate this small winery. The winery is open only by appointment, but George Hendry loves to have visitors come and taste his delicious wines. The vineyards in small plots, each a microclimate. Each parcel grows whatever grape George concludes will do best in this area of his vineyards. The results are delicious wines. To get to the Hendry winery, take the Redwood Road exit off Highway 29. On Redwood Road, go to the left when the road splits (about one mile). Continue another 1.5 miles. Watch on the right for the tiny Hendry sign at 3104 Redwood Road. You will need to call several days before your trip to make an appointment to visit this beautiful winery.

Kelly Fleming Wines

Heading up the Silverado Trail, Kelly Fleming Wines is near Calistoga. After passing Dunaweal Lane on the left, look for the next right turn at Pickett Road. Drive to the very end of the road and look for the Kelly Fleming signs. The address is 2339 Pickett Road. This winery is by appointment only, so call in advance. No drop-ins. We like the caves here because they are exposed rock, and water vapor is pumped in for the correct humidity. It gives the caves a mystical look. The two red wines are beauties, and both are over the $100 mark. Becky George is the winemaker, and Celia Welch is the consulting winemaker.

Nichelini Family Winery

At the top of Sage Canyon Road on Highway 128 is Nichelini. It is the oldest, continuously-run family winery in the Napa Valley. Nichelini even operated during the Prohibition. The staff loves to explain the history during Prohibition. It is a small operation with an annual production of 1800 cases. The winery has reasonably-priced wines and is best known for its Zinfandel wines. Some of the Zinfandel comes from vines planted in 1928. Behind the tasting room and down in a patio is a picnic area and Bocce court. To get to Nichelini, head to the Silverado Trail and take the Conn Dam/Lake Berryessa turnoff. At the Y, stay to the right and take Highway 128 five miles to Nichelini.

Round Pond Estate

Round Pond Winery. I do not believe that any other winery in the Napa Valley offers as wine experiences and activities for the wine country visitors. The winery employs a full-time chef and a full-time vegetable gardener. The two combine to provide a food menu that changes with the seasons. To get to Round Pond from Highway 29 in the Napa Valley, take 128 East/Lake Berryessa/Rutherford Rd. Follow Rutherford Rd for 1.2 miles; Round Pond driveway will be on your left-hand side. 

Smith-Madrone Winery

It all started in 1971 when the Smith Brothers purchased land on Spring Mountain to begin their incredible story of making wine in the Napa Valley. You won’t find a fancy tasting room or barrel room, or any merchandise for sale. The only thing you will find is just pure, honest, old-fashioned conversation and a passion for making good wine. Yes, Smith-Madrone represents the good old days of the Napa Valley. Visitors are welcome at Smith-Madrone, but call ahead to make sure someone is there to show you around. It is a beautiful ride up Spring Mountain and even more appealing to experience this style of the Napa Valley.

Tres Sabores

Julie Johnson is the owner and winemaker of this secret and hidden winery near the base of the Mayacamus Mountains. You will need to call ahead to make an appointment, and chances are Julie will lead you on a vineyard tour and have you taste her beautiful wines. Julie’s Cabernet and Zinfandel vineyards are certified organic. You will see bat and owl houses, cover plants, and other sustainable farming practices — this a great trip out to the ranch and something you will not soon forget.

Hidden Napa Valley Wineries – Map

Additional Napa Valley Wine Routes to enjoy

Tips for your Napa Valley Wine Tour

  • 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.

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