Every now and then someone would ask me for recommendations of where to go wine tasting in Napa. Here are my current favorites: St. Clement, Ballentine, Miner, Robert Sinskey, and Domaine Carneros. There are obviously many places you could try (and please submit your comments), but these places are fun, accessible, not too crowded, and very beautiful. Use this custom google map to find them.
- St. Clement – This is a beautiful winery in St. Helena (just north of Napa on Highway 29). They have a wide variety of wines to taste and the setting is one of the most beautiful ones in the valley. My sister-in-law (Danielle Cyrot) is the winemaker.
- Ballentine – Just across the street from St. Clement, also in St. Helena. You will easily miss it if you drive by, but try it out. The facilities are definitely not as 'posh' as St. Clement's, but it is functional and welcoming. The staff are very friendly and they have a very wide selection of wines to taste. You should definitely try the Chenin Blanc (very refreshing… you *will* buy some!), all their Zinfandels, and also the Cabernet Franc. My brother-in-law (Bruce Devlin) is the winemaker.
- Miner – On the Silverado Trail. They have a very classy tasting room and you can sit outside in comfortable chairs with a great view of the valley while tasting. I like their Pinot Noir. Watch out though, they can get quite busy, and then you have to fight for very small tastings…
- Robert Sinskey – Also on the Silverado Trail, just south of Miner. Not a wide selection, but pleasant tasting room and good wines.
- Domaine Carneros – On the western side of Napa, towards Sonoma. Great way to start your tasting, or end it with Sparkling wine at sunset. They also have pretty good Pinot Noir, in my opinion.