Napa Valley Appelations Map

Napa Valley Appelations MapWhat is the difference between a winery tour and wine tasting?

A winery tour is typically a 60-90 minute walk-thru of vineyards, caves, and up- close and personal visits with winemakers.  Your host will explain the different stages of wine making. This includes tastings during or at the end of this type of unique experience.  Sometimes, these tours are done in groups at the more famous wineries.  Tours can be from $25 - $100.

Wine tasting is just a simple, 'pull up to the bar' and taste the different wines presented that day.  The fee's range from $10 - $40 depending on the winery. Some wineries are very busy, lively and noisy.  Often, wineries can offer a more private experience including sit-down/food pairing.  This would typically take a reservation, prepaid by credit card. Please read the winetasting advise below.  



Tasting Room Etiquette - some friendly advise:

If possible, it best not to

  • wear heavy perfume or colognes and refrain from smoking if possible - it can negatively impact the wine sensory experience for everyone there.
  • argue or haggle about tasting fees
  • bring out of control children - hire a babysitting service - you and the children will be much happier.
  • overdo the drinking. - it's best not to squeeze in six or seven tastings and, as a result, rush the experience and ability to adequately evaluate wines.
  • ABOVE ALL - DON'T Drink and drive - hire me to take you!

However - it's a good idea to:

  • bring your I.D., even if you're over 40!
  • do tastings on a full stomach. Keep satiated and it's good to drink equal amounts of bottled water with wine; you avoid a possible sick stomach this way.
  • be polite, courteous and patient with the tasting room staff.
  • pace yourself. Don't get drunk on tastings.  Save that for your purchased bottles!
  • purchase bottles or cases of wine you like!
  • Swirl, Sip, Savor - How to Taste Wine
Source: Wine Spectator & Gateway to Wine

Sample Itinerary:

9:45am- P/U Yountville
10:00am- Keever Family Vineyards- Small producer of high-end Cabernet, Sauvignon Blanc. $50/pp. Best view of Yountville.
11:30am- Stags' Leap Winery- 1920's French Chateau tour/tasting, known for Petite Sirah as well as carry Cabernet, Chardonnay. 90 min $65/pp
1:00pm- Auberge du Soleil Bistro- Lunch at Patio. Great hillside view of Rutherford. 
2:00pm Newton- Mountain views (looking South), English garden, many estate wines that are unfiltered for extra body and complexity $50/pp tour/tasting.
3:30pm- Arrive back at Yountville



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