Sweet Whites: A Napa Valley Itinerary

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girlsDrinkingWhiteWineOutside.jpgby Courtney Cochran

If you enjoy a crisp, off dry Muscat (aka "sweet wines") on a warm afternoon or kicking back with girlfriends, this itinerary's for you. Come along as we visit three Napa Valley wineries offering pours of sweeter whites, and learn about shopping excursions and nightlife options, too. Here's to enjoying a sweet day in wine country!

sterlingVineyardsTramRide_websitePhotoGallery.jpgSterling Vineyards
Views on High: First-time Napa visitors thrill at the spectacular valley views from Sterling's aerial tram. A glass of wine is proffered when you alight 300 feet above Calistoga to embark on a self-guided tour affording views into the winemaking process - especially diverting for beginners - alongside expertly-curated art installations. Pours of white sweeties like Malvasia Bianca and Muscat Canelli are on offer in the tasting room, and though the price of admission is somewhat chère, guests find it's more than worth it.
1111 Dunaweal Lane, Calistoga * (800) 726-6136 * sterlingvineyards.com * Special Offer

>>Mini Break
On your way down valley for your next visit, stop into postcard-cute downtown St. Helena for souvenir foraging and - should your appetite call for it - a snack.  Options for both abound, and you can also order an expertly made latte, dip into an olive oil tasting or gaze at world-class art.  

V. Sattui
vSattui_PicnicGrounds1.jpgItalian Renaissance: Stop next at V. Sattui, a sprawling, lively compound dedicated to all manner of vinous and gustatory delights. Like Sterling, V. Sattui offers self-guided tours - in this instance showcasing the winery's stone buildings, underground cellars and museum - which make a terrific extracurricular for first-time visitors and budding enthusiasts. Score pours of sweet whites like Late Harvest Riesling and sweet Muscat in the tasting room or, even better, nab a bottle and gourmet bites from the adjacent deli and head outside to enjoy an alfresco picnic on the spot's 2 ½ acres of tree-shaded grounds.  
1111 White Lane, St. Helena *  (707) 963-7774 * vsattui.com * Special Offer & Video

robertMondavi_Tastings.jpgRobert Mondavi Winery
Valley Classic: Just a bit further down valley you'll find Robert Mondavi Winery, a classic destination for newbie and seasoned visitors alike. Founded in 1966 by the spot's namesake valley pioneer, the striking Mission-style structure recalls early California architecture and offers a full slate of tours, concerts and tastings throughout the year. Take in the winery's inspired outdoor art collection before heading into the tasting room to sample tastes of sweeter whites like Moscato D'Oro and similarly fruity rosé and fumé blanc. A great spot to nab souvenirs, too.   
7801 St. Helena Highway, Oakville * (888) 766-6328 x1
* robertmondavi.com * Special Offer

>>After Dark
Just because you've finished tasting for the day doesn't mean you have to call it a night! Napa offers plenty to keep you engaged from cocktail hour through last call - with special events like concerts, comedy shows, special film screenings and more offered throughout the year in keeping with the valley's rep for cultural excellence. Party on!  

Check our Napa Valley Nightlife Guide for more on what to do when the sun goes down.

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