Pokey’s Picks: 5 Places to Wine Taste (and Stitch) in Napa Valley

Pokey’s Picks: 5 Places to Wine Taste (and Stitch) in Napa Valley

Winery Sign

Above photo courtesy of Trefethen Family Vineyards

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.

 1. Hartwell Vineyards

5795 Silverado Trail, Napa, CA 94558
(707) 255-4269


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
(707) 255-5280

Jarvis is as exclusive as it is majestic, and you’ll wonder if you’ve stumbled onto the set of “Game of Thrones.” Carved out of a mountainside with a series of caves, waterfalls, and tunnels, you’ll think one of Khaleesi’s dragons is going to jump you. If you are able to book a tasting, do so with your friends or extended family. Without giving too much away, it will be an experience none of you will soon forget!

3. Trefethen Family Vineyards

1160 Oak Knoll Avenue, Napa, CA 94558
(866) 895-7696Trefethen
Trefethen can boast something that many vineyards cannot: they grow all of their grapes right on their estate. Secondly, they are right off Highway 29, which means it’s easy access and less than 10 minutes away from downtown Napa. Trefethen suffered a direct hit in the August 2014 earthquake; it literally shook the tasting room, a historic barn built in the 1880’s, off of its foundation, but that devastating event hasn’t dampened their spirits.  They are in the process of restoring this historic barn and in the meantime, have a temporary tasting room with enthusiastic guides who will retell in great detail what it was like to experience that quake.

4. Frog’s Leap

8815 Conn Creek Rd, Rutherford, CA 94573
(707) 963-4704
Frogs Leap

Photo credit: Tori Williams

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.

5. The Wine Thief

708 1st Street, Napa, California
(707) 363-7530

Wine Thief

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!

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