Napa Valley Planning Guide
Napa has a special place in my heart. Not only am I a self-diagnosed oenophile, but Hassan and I spent the first part of our honeymoon in Napa Valley exploring the hillsides and sipping some of the best wines I've ever tasted. My palate has shifted in the last few years and I now favor Cabernet and sparkling wine. With so many options to choose from when planning a weekend getaway, it's a forgone conclusion that you will not scratch the surface of what the region has to offer.
In that spirit, it's important to do a few things when planning a trip to the region: 1) narrow your tours down to no more than 2 or 3 wineries a day (we did three per day and it was pushing it); 2) in order to best determine what you like and don't like, stick with similar varietals on the same day. This will help your taste buds compare like for like and avoid palate confusion; 3) hire a driver - TRUST ME on this one. It was the best money we spent on the trip. We were able to avoid the hassle (and danger) of navigating the back roads while under the influence. Plus, this let us get in some prime smooching in the back of our vehicle while the driver giggled at us from the front seat! I recommend My Napa Valley Driver. They are cost-effective and extremely knowledgeable about the region.
The toughest thing to do is determine which wineries to visit while in town. Planning in advance is key because tastings book up sometimes months in advance. You will also want to determine what your intention is for visiting wineries. For instance, are you going for the best tasting wine or the best views in the valley? There are some helpful guides that will help you narrow down your picks. Check out this article from Food and Wine Magazine that gives a comprehensive list of wineries to try in alphabetical order. Also, click the links below to explore some of my favorite wineries.