Napa Valley Wine Tasting Itinerary

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napaItinerary.jpgHave friends visiting and need a tried and true Napa Valley wine tasting itinerary?  Don't spend hours researching online or connecting dots on the map. Download the trip below and let the fun begin!

Stop 1 - Alpha Omega
It's fitting that this is the first wine tasting stop on the itinerary given its name.  Alpha Omega makes some really good wines. Of particular note is the Proprietary Red which has the smooth yet complexity of a slightly aged Cabernet Sauvignon. The Chardonnay is light and refreshing for any white's fans. Their Late Harvest is just plain delicious, but they are currently out of stock!  After tasting, go around back (or front depending on your internal gps) and revel in the gorgeous view of their pool with sprawling vineyards as backdrop.
Tasting Room: 1155 Mee Ln St Helena Hwy; Open daily 11 am - 6pm
Tasting Fees: $10/person
Lunch - Taylor's Refresher
Hands down the best burger in the Valley. As you are already past their 3rd location in downtown Napa, drive further up Hwy 29 to the original location in St. Helena. A slew of burger choices so if you're undecided you can't go wrong with their Bacon Cheeseburger or the Western Bacon Blue Ring Burger. Add one of their signature milkshakes and either garlic or chili cheese fries. Believe me, it's worth the heart attack! For those shying away from beef - their chicken sandwich and fish selections are pretty good as well.  And of course, they have a wine list - "only in Napa Valley" is the refrain heard you'll hear from most people in line.
Location: 933 Main Street, St. Helena,
Hours: Daily 10:30 am to 8:30 pm

Stop 2 - Louis Martini
Only stop here if you are a red's fan, in particular Cabernet Sauvignon since it's their primary focus.  Download the 2 for 1 Tasting Coupon and splurge on the Red's Tasting Flight for only $18 for two people. It features their 2003, 2004, and 2005 Cab. Though if you get a friendly staff member, ask for a complimentary taste of their Chardonnay and Amabile. I'm also told their Gnarly Vine Zinfandel is great too. Basically - you can't go wrong!
Tasting Room: 254 South St Helena Hwy; Open daily 10 am - 6pm
Tasting Fees: varies, $10 to $18/person

Stop 3 - V. Sattuii
This is a favorite for most folks in any tasting party, especially for first-time tourists and younger crowds. Stop for the fresh artichoke cream cheese and other delectable treats in their deli.  You can taste 6 wines out of 9 for only $5 which considering the rising costs of tasting fees in Napa Valley is quite economical as well.
Tasting Room: 1111 White Lane, St Helena Hwy; Open daily 9 am - 6pm
Tasting Fees:  varies, $5 to $10/person

Stop 4 - Peju Provence
Very fun winery. Typically a great last wine tasting stop since it will be later in the day and not as crowded. In case there is a slight wait, Peju offers miniature spoon tastes of their wine infused chocolate sauces and spicy mustards to keep you busy. If you can, ask for Robert who is one of the friendliest and relaxed staff members at the winery.  However, he has a popular following, so be sure to request him when you first arrive to see if he's available.  The wines are great. Don't be surprised if you leave with a couple of bottles on your hand especially the 2005 Fifty/Fifty and 2003 Zinfandel Port!
Tasting Room: 8466 St Helena Hwy,  Open daily 10 am - 6pm
Tasting Fees: $10/person

Dessert - Bouchon Bakery!
No trip is complete without a mad dash run into Bouchon Bakery before they close (7 pm daily) for one of their "Chocolate Bouchons". Absolutely delicious and definitely on my "If I were to die, what would thy last meal be" List. They are that good.
Location: 6528 Washington Street, Yountville, California 94599
Hours: Daily 7am to 7pm

For other Napa Valley Itineraries Click Here:
Yountville Itinerary
Stags Leap District Itinerary
Carneros Itinerary
Calistoga Itinerary
Merlot Lovers Tour

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This is a really good itinerary, I've been to all these wineries and have sampled the delights of Taylor's Refresher and Bouchon Bakery and agree these places are all definitely worth a visit! I enjoyed Louis M. Martini winery the most, but must admit I'm a tinsy bit biased because I recently joined their wine club!

I have thought about joining the Louis Martini wine club as well. What was cool about the last time I visited is that they weren't pushy about signing up. And they emphasized the events! I may have to reconsider...

Do NOT visit Peju if you want to have a good time. They are so snobby and the wines are not great and very overpriced. The "greeter" was so rude, like we privledged to be visiting their winery, so instead we went to another winery and bought our two cases of wine. Peju was a joke.

I too had a bad experience on my first visit to Peju Winery. It was about a year ago and the one member we had on the tasting room staff to serve my friend and I wine was horrible. He pretty much ignored us and only talked to the other folks. I don't know if he thought we were young or weren't going to buy. But I had sworn off Peju as a result and had not been impressed with their wines.

Fortunately, I was with another group of friends late last summer (again all of us young) and their favorite winery was Peju so I was forced to visit. And it was a completely different experience. We had another member of the tasting staff named Robert who is just wonderful AND who also let us taste some of the wines not on the tasting flight list. And the stereotype that young people just go winetasting to get drunk is not true! There were about 6 of us and we all ended up getting 3 bottles each. I highly recommend their Zinfandel Port - delicious!

Jennifer - I would definitely give them another chance. And go ahead and tell them how your first experience was too if you get the opportunity.

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