A Day in Napa Series: #4
Some of the most striking wineries, are set atop the rolling mountains and hills of Napa. Not only does this provide for first-class views, but it also adds an air of peace and relaxation to your trip, and who could complain about that? The following wineries are a few of my favorites to visit because of their excellent locations, divine wines, and they all offer something unique to their visitors. Today we will venture into two of the areas of Napa Valley that I frequent most, St. Helena and Rutherford.
The stunning Kuleto Estate, is probably my favorite winery that I have visited to date. Once you make it past the windy drive to the top, it feels like you have entered a secret and magical place. I can not say enough about the views and the overall friendly, inviting, and relaxing feel of the place. It felt like a few hours just hanging out with friends! You can choose to do a tasting for thirty dollars a person or a tour for forty five dollars a person. Their hours are from 10a.m. to 4p.m. and you must make an appointment. I highly recommend the tour, which starts off as a casual stroll around the estate, glass of wine in hand, which overlooks the dazzling blue waters of Lake Hennessey. If you are a dog lover, you will also love the little added bonus of getting to meet some of the dogs that live on the estate. At the end of the tour, you are seated on their gorgeous terrace for a wine and cheese pairing, which always makes tastings a little more fun! Learning which cheese goes best with what wine is never a bad thing either. It is the perfect end to a perfect tour. If you are hungry and have a little extra time, they invite you to have a picnic lunch on one of their patios overlooking the surrounding mountains. Please do not miss this winery, or you will be missing out on a wonderful time!
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The beautiful hillside Chappellet winery boasts another spectacular location. It is located on Pritchard Hill, which is an area in St. Helena, known for producing amazing Cabernet Sauvignon. The rolling vineyards, overlooking the lake, help set the mood for what is sure to be a wonderful visit. It is another winery that just makes you want to sigh in awe at all of the tranquility and beauty surrounding you. Not only is the location amazing, but the building itself is great as well, being that it is a fancy pyramid. The interior of the building also feels very elegant, and it is a great place to enjoy your tasting. You can choose to do either a seated tasting or a tour. The fees range from forty to ninety five dollars a person, and you must make an appointment. As far as the wine goes, everything here is excellent, and I can't say enough good things about all of it. Their Cabernet Sauvignon really is particularly good though. Chappellet is another tasting and location that should definitely not be missed.
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Now we are moving right on along to the delightful Rutherford Hill Winery, located in none other than Rutherford. This is such a fun place to visit because of the variety of experiences that they offer, and you are really able to just relax and take in the views from multiple areas on the property. You can choose to unwind on their lovely terrace, and do a tasting for twenty five to forty dollars a person. Their hours are from 10a.m.-4p.m. You can also choose the cave tour, and their cave is spectacular! Cave tours are always a good time and very informative, especially if you get to sample right from the barrel as you do here. If you choose to do the cave tour, it is forty dollars a person and you should try to make reservations ahead of time. Their wines are very good, but the Merlot is especially good.
Something that makes Rutherford Hill extra fun, is that you can have a picnic here. Surprisingly, there are actually not many places in Napa which allow this. Rutherford Hill's lovely hillside picnic grounds are surrounded by beautiful trees and amazing views. It is the perfect location to enjoy a good lunch, while drinking in the sight of Napa Valley with a glass of wine in hand. If you choose to picnic here, the cost is seventy five dollars, but that price gets you two bottles of wine to enjoy. Visiting Rutherford Hill is a wonderful way to spend the day in Napa Valley.
The last stop of the day is to the charming St. Clement Vineyards in St.Helena. St. Clement is only open Thursday through Monday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., so keep those days in mind if you plan to stop by. When you visit you will find a lovely victorian house, set on a little hill, overlooking Napa Valley. You learn about the house's history during your tasting, and that is one of my favorite parts about visiting the older places. St. Clement offers a tasting on their fabulous terrace or in the victorian house's cozy little nook for thirty five dollars a person. Both areas have amazing views, and reservations are not required here.
This is another of Napa's wineries that offers a quaint little picnic area with big views. It is available from 11a.m. to 4p.m. and you should make reservations. You must purchase a bottle for every two guests to be able to use the picnic grounds, but it is well worth it. St. Clement is such a delightful and adorable place to visit and unwind from a long day, so stop on by and enjoy!