Infinite Legroom

8 Best Tasting Rooms to Visit in California Wine Country

Sip, sip, sip

When you’re in the Bay Area, it’s almost a given that you’ll pop up to the valley to visit one of the many incredible wineries and vineyards. But where does one start, when collectively there’s well over 400 wineries in the region? We’ve been lucky to spend a lot of time this year personally exploring this stunning area and have a few favorites we think you should check out next time you’re in town. 

From more traditional and terroir driven, to more hip and hospitable, our favorite tasting rooms and experiences have something for all kinds of wine lovers and travelers. If you want to to pop in for a quick sample of their latest varietals or stay a while for a tour and full-on food and wine pairing — this region is ripe with opportunity and the right balance of incredible wines, delectable food, stunning locations and super knowledgeable and friendly staff to help guide you next tasting experience in the valley. 

Click through and explore our favorites in the 8 Best Tasting Rooms to Visit When in California Wine Country

Lead image credit: Ed Anderson Photography courtesy of Ram’s Gate Winery

Whetstone Wine Cellars

This awesome Napa Winery, run by husband and wife team Michelle and Jamey Whetstone, has their tasting salon set in a French-style Chateau, built back in 1885. The chateau is decorated in the perfect ‘man, I kinda wish I lived here’ style and the great lawn is topped with picnic tables — perfect for catching some of those Napa rays while you taste their delicious Viognier, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah. The super cute and friendly team here are willing to help you with recommendations in the area, and will also organize and ship any bottles you want to take with you.

Tasting $30 for four of their current selections, paired with savory rosemary almonds

Whetstone Wine Cellars
1075 Atlas Peak Road,
Napa, CA 94558
www.whetstonewinecellars.com
For last min tastings, call 707-254-0600.

Image credit: https://www.facebook.com/whetstonewinecellars

Scribe Winery

Imagine driving through the rolling hills of Sonoma before seeing a palm tree lined driveway up to the super hip Scribe Winery. Started by brothers Andrew and Adam Mariani, Scribe is the sort of place where you feel like you just walked out of hipster Brooklyn and into wine paradise in Cali. Everyone here is friendly, hip and helpful and after tasting and talking, you’re gonna want to make time for a turn on their rope swing which flies out over the hilly vineyard.

Tasting $25 for a tasting of four seasonal varietals. Included a tasting plate with crackers, cheese and something special from the Scribe garden. By appointment only and definitely plan ahead as they book out quick.

Scribe Winery
2300 Napa Road,
Sonoma, CA 95476
www.scribewinery.com
For bookings email, info@scribewinery.com or call (707) 939-1858

Image credit: https://www.facebook.com/scribewinery

St Francis Winery

This stunning vineyard and winery located in the Santa Rosa hills, is a great example of strong history, great quality wines and a great team delivering a memorable experience. Voted by OpenTable this year as the best restaurant in the U.S., (based on customer reviews), diners are delighted by the chef’s high end small plates, complimented by seasonal ingredients from the winery garden. The Charcuterie pairing is easier to book, while the full food and wine experience is so popular, you’ll want to book well ahead.

Tasting Get their Cheese & Charcuterie Plate, paired with a sample a flight of limited-production wines for $30. They also offer a more elevated full service food and wine pairing for $50, prepared by renowned Chef, Bryan Jones.

St Francis Winery
100 North Pythian Road,
Santa Rosa, CA 95409
www.stfranciswinery.com
For bookings, visit their website or call (707) 538-9463.

Image credit: St Francis

Failla Wines

Started by winemaker Ehren Jordan and his wife Anne-Marie Failla, this little gem is in the midst of bigger and sometimes over populated tasting rooms in the area. You can stop in and really feel like you are a part of the family, and Failla offers a tasting to suit all budgets. Perfect for this time of year, their tasting room has cozy furniture and even a small fire to keep you warm while you are trying their Syrah, Chardonnay, and well known Pinot Noir wines.

Tasting The basic tasting experience is a great price at $20 for a sample of four wines. Buy two bottles and one tasting fee is waved. For those wanted a more elevated experience, they also offer a cave tour for $30 or a six wine pour and personalized spotlight tour for $50 per person. (You can get your tasting fee waved for that one, if you purchase 6 bottles)

Failla Wines
3530 Silverado Trail North,
Saint Helena, CA 94574
www.faillawines.com
Book via their site, or for day off appts, call 707-963-0530.

Image credit: www.faillawines.com

Saintsbury

If Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are your favorites, then this is a must stop visit for you in the Carneros area, down at the south of the Napa Valley. Started back in the early 80’s, Saintsbury has consistently produced some of the finer wines in this area. Offering tastings and tours by appointment only, you’ll either enjoy your vino in the English-style gardens or on the east side of the cellar, overlooking the vineyards.

Tasting $25 includes a sample of five wines from their cellars ranging from Carneros Chardonnay to Vineyard Series Pinot Noir.

Saintsbury
1500 Los Carneros Avenue,
Napa, CA 94559
www.saintsbury.com
Book via their website or email tasting@saintsbury.com or phone 707.252.0592.

Image credit: bachtobacchus.blogspot.com

Ram's Gate Winery

When you drive up to this stunning Sonoma Estate, you’ll feel like you’re walking into a dream, with chic architectural details that perfectly mimic the landscapes that surround. Inside it’s the perfect spot to sit back and let the wine and food take over — vintage designer furnishings, mixed with a more modern urban style, but be careful getting too cozy, you may honestly never want to leave!

Tasting Whether you want to sip on wine in their tasting hall or gallery, they have a few options for you. Wine flights start at $20 per person and can be enjoyed with ‘The Board’ with cheese, charcuterie and chefs accompaniments for an additional $28. Those who want a more indulgent food and wine pairing can select the ‘Palate Play’ a winery tour and then seating pairing for $60 a person. This includes tastes of four wines with a chef prepared small bite for each.

Ram’s Gate Winery
28700 Arnold Drive,
Sonoma, CA 95476
www.ramsgatewinery.com

Image credit: Ed Anderson Photography courtesy of Ram’s Gate Winery

Brown Estate Vineyards

Known so much for their rich, chocolatey Zinfandels, they have a loyal following and even a cool #BrownZin hashtag to match. Ya dig? Set on beautiful grounds near St Helena, this is the first Black-owned estate winery in the whole region and the Brown family strive to really connect with their customers, all the while producing some of the regions most delicious Zins, Cabs, Petite Sirahs and Chardonnays. Pop by for a visit and you will definitely feel like by the time you leave, you are truly a part of the family.

Tasting Though currently renovating for the winter, the tasting room will be back and open by late March, early April 2015 for your tasting pleasure. For information before then, contact Susan on 707.266.3061.

Brown Estate Vineyards
3233 Sage Canyon Road,
Saint Helena, CA 94574
www.brownestate.com

Image credit: https://www.facebook.com/brownestate

Schramsberg Vineyards

Who wouldn’t want to tour a wine cave and then taste some of America’s most delicious sparkling wines? This classic American Sparkling house has been making some of the most complex, rich and luscious bubbles for years, using classic methods and a unique oak barrel fermentation. Definitely a wonderful end to your wine country adventure, and certainly a spot where you’ll want to take more than a few bottles with you.

Tasting This is more of a touring event than just a tasting, so don’t let the $60 fee fool you. You’ll tour the wine caves for an educational background of the winery, history on the classic method of making sparkling wines and then a sample of 4 different wines from the Schramsberg Vineyard.

Schramsberg Vineyards
1400 Schramsberg Road,
Calistoga, CA 94515
www.schramsberg.com
You can book online or call 707-942-4558 to schedule a tasting.

Image credit: www.schramsberg.com
← Previous Slide Next Slide → Click To Start

Follow Us

Newsletter

ADVERTISEMENT