After 4 yrs in a row of Napa trips and about to leave for our 5th, these are some of my best recommendations! Always check back! You never know who has been added!
We were referred to Amizetta from our driver, Napa Driver Tours. I highly recommend dropping my name when you make reservations. It might help to know a club member. The main highlights of the property are; its on the top of a hillside with views of Lake Hennessey, Pritchet Hill and if the sky is clear enough, San Pablo Bay. The terrace is so breathtaking, I could sip wine here everyday and never tire of it. Beyond the views and property, their wine is amazing. My favorites are their Petit Verdot, Reserve Cab and Sauv Blanc.
The first time we visited, we sat at the bar inside to taste our first wine. They have a stunning wine cellar with glass doors and the bottles are beautiful. We toured the property and went inside their cave. This is where the family has their own wine collection with a huge dining table to host the family for holidays and special occasions. When visiting I would ask for Perry, one of the sons because he is fun to look at, or Connor, also fun to look at and put up with our drunk antics. Plan to spend at least 90 mins here to enjoy the views. I recommend a driver as its a 30 mins drive up to the top of the hill and may be hard to get a uber.
I was referred to Mira by Brooke and Brent Lawson at Bud_Belief. Reach out to them via Instagram or their website to set up a visit. Our tasting was hosted by the owner, Bear, who was incredibly proud of his product. The building was beautiful and would be fun to taste inside but due to visiting during Covid, we had a wonderful table on the patio outlooking the gardens and vines. Every good wine tasting tour start with a glass in your hand. We started with the rose. Everything on the property revolves around the Fibonacci Sequence. Its a great story and is a part of every detail, including 2 interestingly shaped, rare egg wine barrels. Gustavo A Gonzalez is the wine maker at Mira and damn does he know his skills. My favorites were the Hyde Vineyard Syrah and Yountville Cab Sauv. If you enjoy the wines, make sure to purchase on site or get on the waiting list for their Society 610, which we finally made it into!!! We visited during harvest, so Bear grabbed us some grapes off the vine. Honestly, if you can visit Sept/early Oct, it is such an experience to taste the grapes pre barrel and to see them on the vines.
I recommend anyone who is a foodie to visit Del Dotto. I am a huge fan of their Delicacies Tasting, 5 course food and wine pairing. They have hosted us at their Italian style location; Piazza Del Dotto and our first visit was at their Venetian inspired Del Dotto Estate, full menu details and info on my “A Taste Of Napa” blog. I personally enjoyed the Piazza as their gardens are amazing and brought me back to our Italy trip, but seeing the small detailed architecture and design in the Venetian estate is something to see.
Both locations are stunning and have amazing caves, our first 2 times they invited us to a tour and barrel tasting. This past year with restrictions, we could only see the outside. Drinker beware; you will taste anywhere from 12-15 wines during the delicacies tasting so drink lots of water and eat!!!
BOYD FAMILY VINEYARD
Boyd was another fabulous recommendation from Brooke and Brent at Bud_Belief. Joan, the home and winery owner was a gracious host. Boyd is the personal vibe you want and the down to earth experience of Napa that I love. Once you arrive at the property, Joan, along with a few of the dogs, greet you. This hidden gem takes you to their back porch to over look the vines as you sip on amazing wine and eat fabulous cheese. Her dogs are so well mannered. One of them took a nap next to my feet, secretly hoping I would drop some cheese.
I really enjoy Boyd for the simplicity. They are not on social so finding this place is a true win in my books. I recommend the Big Ranch Cuvee, EntreCOTe, and Right Bank. You will not be disappointed visiting this location and please take a chance and trust me and have some shipped. Little PSA coming your way; after seeing so many wildfires decimate the area and COVID lockdowns ruin the livelihoods of so many, I urge you to take a chance, find some friends and order from these smaller wineries that don’t mass produce. I personally am excited to announce that I have not purchased wine from anywhere else except wineries.
*Update: Terra Valentine’s gorgeous property described below sadly fell victim to the 2020 Glass Fire. Don’t let this discourage you from visiting when they reopen in the future. I also recommend ordering wine directly from them to help support their craft and to rebuild.
Terra Valentine was about views and wine! Sam, the wine maker and proprietor, greeted us with his adorable dog. Sam walked us around the property and explained how Terra Valentine was created. We sat inside at the tasting table which was surrounded by windows on 3 sides. I could easily live here and never leave. The entire vibe was chill and relaxing. Just a group of people drinking great wine and enjoying fun conversation. My favorite wines from Terra Valentine are Marriage, Amore and Fortell Pinot Noir.
Napa will always have a special place in my heart. I love traveling and rarely do I re-visit a location but Napa has my favorite things; wine, food and weather. One of the best tips I can give you is purchase a bottle or 2 from every location and purchase a wine suitcase. It is much cheaper to check that than ship each winery individually. We use the app Cellar Tracker to keep record of everything we have purchased and when to drink it. We have wine in our wine fridge to enjoy for big future events for the next 20 years. Drinking them will bring back memories and laughter!