I’m coming to you with a recap of our winery tour in Napa from a flight back to California!
I’m currently on my way to the IDEA World Fitness Convention in Anaheim, and I’m super excited to get back after taking a few years off from going to conferences. I’ll be back with a recap of the convention and trip soon!
For now, I’d love to finish highlighting the best part about my recent vacation in Napa Vally with our winery tour that took us to four local favorites in one day. And, in case you missed it, I recapped the first few days of our Napa Valley Girls’ Getaway Weekend!
Sipping on wine with views of sunshine and greenery is truly one of my happiest of places.
As you can probably imagine, the choice of what wineries to visit and how many to schedule in one day isn’t necessarily an easy one while in Napa Valley. Scott encouraged us to look up wine tours to help us narrow them down, so we turned to the recommendations of our hotel staff and decided to book Platypus Wine Tours that made four spots picked by the driver — we didn’t even know which ones until we were on the shuttle!
Our wine tour departed at 10:30 am and returned us back at the hotel by 5:30 pm. Our $110 tickets (each) got us a packed itinerary with stops at four different wineries and included shuttle transportation, waters, cheese and crackers to snack on between stops, and a picnic lunch between the second and third winery.
The ticket didn’t cover the individual wine tastings at each winery, but we came to find out that they were highly discounted. Where a tasting in Napa will usually run you about $40-50 a pop, we rang out between $15-20 at each location.
It was one hundred percent worth the expense to not have to figure out everything on our own and let a local guide us through the day!
Our first stop was the closest to the hotel at Silenus. It was our most structured location that included a sit down table experience with tidbits about the winery, the wines we were tasting, and history of the property before a pour. We tried a variety of small glasses including two bonus pours of rosé and merlot that were discounted prices. They had some type of outbound shipping issue which caused them to have an abundance of bottles in stock, so I snagged a bottle of premium merlot to bring home at a steal!
We took a few minutes touring the property after the tastings and loaded up in the shuttle shortly after. The weather couldn’t have been nicer to enjoy!
It wasn’t too far of a drive to our second stop at David Fulton Winery in St. Helena. Fun fact, it’s the oldest still in operation in Napa Valley! They are considered “smaller” by producing 10,000 cases per year (some produce up to 100,000!), and it proved to be a wonderful experience.
Also, the views on the patio are gorgeous and were the best surprise when we dished up our plates that our tour guide carefully crafted during our tasting. There was the perfect amount of shade to enjoy the sunshine without baking in it (unlike the day before — ha), and I could have spent more time just hanging outside if we had it in our day.
Feeling full and happy, our group loaded back on the shuttle for the next winery that ended up being my favorite!
Dutch Henry is located along the historic Silverado Trail in Calistoga. It offers a lot of unique experiences including a tour around their cavern and cats that you can pet throughout the property.
That’s right, this place has an actual cave that you have tastings in. Pretty cool, right?
The cave gives off a majestic feeling as soon as you enter, and it was neat to learn about how the cave helps with climate control and helps them save on their cooling expenses in a big way!
Our tour guide had been working there for over ten years and was very knowledgeable. He specially crafted a couple of infused wines for us to try at the sitting table that wasn’t even available to purchase yet. I just kept thinking how fun it would be to host a celebration here!
Meet me at the cave, y’all.
We circled back to the barn area and finished our time there with furry friends. They have cats, dogs and chickens on property which made our day even better. I would highly recommend a visit at Dutch Henry if you’re looking for wineries to get to!
After our third tasting, we honestly weren’t sure if we were up for another. It was a lot of wine, but it was all so good. We turned back to our cheese and crackers and prepped ourselves for the final stop at Ballentine Vineyards.
The estate is over one hundred years old and is one of the few family-owned wineries in Napa. The wedding photo in the background of the above photo displays the owners – Van and Betty Ballentine – who bought the land shortly after they got married and have run (now with the help of their children and grandchildren) for half a century! Isn’t that the cutest?
The wine was good, but the scenery is what made this last winery. The view of the hills and vineyards were stunning!
After a busy day of shuttling around town, I was ready to wind down versus wine down and relax at the hotel, but man, what a day. It was such a wonderful way to spend our last full day in Napa!
I’d love to return one day with Scott, maybe for an anniversary present down the road? Hitting every winery in Napa Valley seems similar to trying every unique restaurant in New York City — nearly impossible.
I was ready to return to my family after four nights away from home, but, at the same time, I wasn’t ready to leave my friends and part our separate ways. I absolutely love traveling with my lifelong friends and hope our trips continue for years to come!
You were too good to us, Napa … until next time!
Wine and mountains, Doesn’t get much better than that. I love to discover new place and who in the world don’t like wine.May be this Christmas I’ll able to visit Napa valley and taste some good wine there.
Jonathan Avila recently posted…Sonoma County Wine
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