St. Helena Specialty
455 Bella Vista Ct., St. Helena
With only 8 acres (they only produce 1,000 cases per year), Anomaly is probably the smallest vineyard on our list. A visit to the boutique winery (which will likely be led by owner Steve Goldfarb) is always intimate, and the cabs are sophisticated but really approachable.
987 St. Helena Hwy, St. Helena
Female winemaker Cathy Corison is sort of a legend when it comes to women in the wine business, and she runs her namesake vineyard with her husband, William Martin. Although the tasting experience is laid-back and casual, the wine is an incredibly elegant, old-school Cabernet Sauvignon.
Dean & Deluca
607 S. St. Helena Hwy, St. Helena
The Rudd family has deep roots in the area (they're also the owners of Clos Pegase and Rudd Winery), so it's no surprise that the only Dean & Deluca on this coast is in St. Helena. The space is especially large, and you’ll find their typical selection of international foods as well as local treasures: Unsurprisingly, the wine shop is pretty out-of-this-world.
3524 Silverado Trail N., St. Helena
While there's no land to see on this visit (Hunnicutt is exclusively a winery, not a vineyard), the team possesses a real artistry when it comes to wine-making, putting it near the top of our list. In addition to the classic Napa Cabernet Sauvignon, we love the Zinfandel and Chardonnay—and if sitting on their sunny porch for your tasting isn't hands-on enough, sign up for a tour and tasting in their newly-finished caves.
Joseph Phelps Vineyards
200 Taplin Rd., St. Helena
Family owned, and still run day-to-day by the Phelps family for the last sixty years, this Napa wine hero boasts over 130 acres of rolling vineyards alongside olive groves, fruit orchards, and bee hives—you’ll struggle to find a more picturesque setting to settle into for an afternoon of tasting. Start off with Phelps’ Insignia Blending Seminar Settle in for a full afternoon (or two) of culinary delights (Insignia is not only the vineyard’s signature wine but is California’s first proprietary red Bordeaux-style blend). This is a hands-on, but highly refined way to learn about terroir and varietal selections as you smell, taste, and experiment with blending the six Insignia components for a sensorially perfect glass of vino. All that tasting builds an appetite and Phelps have created a truly interactive food experience—named playful plates—where guests can continue the tasting experience (led by a seasoned wine educator) but accompanied by delicious, seasonal bites all chosen to complement the wine.
1357 Main St., St. Helena
Okay, we know it's random, but Model makes the best English muffins (yes, they're that good). Oversized and layered with cornmeal, they're insanely light and often-copied. Model has been an institution in the area for almost 100 years, which means you can also trust them for great bread if you’re putting together a picnic with other items from downtown St. Helena's shops. There's also a location in the Oxbow Market.
2555 Madrona Ave., St. Helena
Founded by and Englishman (and an avid gardener) and currently owned by LVMH, it's no surprise that Newton Vineyard boasts one of the most beautiful grounds in the region. The lush parterre is planted above the Chardonnay cellar, which keeps the underground space cool naturally. The vintners here are known for excellent unfiltered wines.
1601 Silverado Trail S., St. Helena
Without question, Quintessa is one of our favorite wine tasting experiences in the valley—it's also one of the locations where we recommend springing for a tour. The grounds are truly breathtaking (they include a calm, clear lake surrounded by vines), and you'll finish up at a perfect hilltop perch, taking in a grand view of the valley while you sip on one of Quintessa's red blends. Photos: KAZ2.0
Robert Mondavi Winery
7801 St. Helena Hwy, St. Helena
There's nothing original about recommending a visit to Robert Mondavi's Oakville estate, but considering his pivotal role in making the valley into the celebrated wine-making region it is today, a Napa trip isn't really complete without paying homage. Although the experience can be a little over the top, the visitor center and tastings are well thought-out and informative, and the wine is fantastic.
1310 Conn Valley Rd., St. Helena
Like many of the vineyards in this area, Seavey is a family-owned business: All five of the Seavey children are involved with the business in some capacity. Winemaker Jim Duane is an alumnus of Mondavi and Stag's Leap, meaning that this is a man who knows his way around a Cabernet Sauvignon. Opt for a tasting that includes cheese and chocolate to balance out the big wines.
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