Having recently moved to Napa Valley to launch Crafting a Life LLC, it probably comes as no surprise that I have partaken in a few wine tastings around the valley. There are countless wineries to visit—all stocked with wine experts and world-famous vintages, but some wineries additionally offer amazing views for picture-taking, sketching, and stitching while you enjoy your flight. Below is a short list of my favorites. Make sure to book your tastings in advance as all of these vineyards require appointments.
5795 Silverado Trail, Napa, CA 94558
The view of the valley from the top of Hartwell is unparalleled. With a limited wine production, this winery is all about quality, and you will learn a lot about wine-making when you take your wine glass to tour the cave and sample everything from Sauvignon Blancs to Cabernets straight from the French Oak barrels. (When booking, ask to tour with “Bob” and tell him Pokey sent you!)
2. Jarvis Wines
2970 Monticello Rd, Napa, CA 94558
4. Frog’s Leap
|8815 Conn Creek Rd, Rutherford, CA 94573
I have been going to Frog’s Leap for more than a decade, ever since I first told the Wide Mouth Frog joke (a story for another day). I especially love the Cabernets that Frog’s Leap produces, but the tasting is an experience unto itself. Guests are more than likely be treated to a tasting on the breezy back porch, with a panoramic of the valley and numerous gardens and animals. After your tasting, you are welcomed to follow the gravel paths and tour the grounds, including the chicken coops, pool-sized koi pond, the red barn, and the flora and fauna that abound.
708 1st Street, Napa, California
Walk-ins are welcomed at this new swank tasting room in downtown Napa. This is the perfect place to try some boutique wines while taking in the shops and enjoying Napa’s world famous cuisine just blocks away. I’m pictured here with Andy Renda, co-founder of The Wine Thief who knows a thing or two (or 200) about wine. He is also a card, so stop by, say hello, and enjoy the limited-produced wines you won’t find back home!