Napa Wine Tasting

Maximize Your Napa Valley Wine Tasting Experience


Napa Valley wine tasting

First Things First: Napa Wine Tasting Tips

  • Make a note to yourself to pick up The Preiser Key before you embark on your Napa wine tasting odyssey. Distributed for free to 300 area locations, the The Preiser Key is billed as “the first modern comprehensive guide to wineries and restaurants in the Napa Valley.” In it, you’ll find information about 640 wineries and 170 restaurants, as well as detailed maps – a must if you’re going to places like GPS-averse Spring Mountain. The Preiser Key is updated every four months.
  • If you fall in love with a wine, ask where else you can get it. Many Napa Valley wines are sold only at the wineries, meaning you’ll regret it if you don’t buy it on the spot.
  • Take “appointment only” with a grain of salt. It’s a formality required by Napa County of wineries opened after 1990. Most will accept drop-ins, with the rare exception. That’s for Napa wine tasting only; many tours, on the other hand, do require reservations.
  • Don’t taste on an empty stomach, and don’t taste to get drunk. Merriment is wonderful, but when it crosses the line into obnoxiousness, you’ve just committed a major Napa wine tasting faux pas. Carry a bottle of water to avoid a headache.
  • If your Napa wine tasting trip is in the summer, bring along an ice chest. Wine left in the car to overheat will spoil.
  • Think twice about hiring a limo. Napa Valley wineries are known to frown upon guests who arrive in one. If you must, do it for the right reason. Not because you want a party on wheels, and not because you want to impress people.

The Place to Start Your Napa Wine Tasting Adventure

Before you head “up valley” (as the locals say), purchase a Downtown Wine Tasting Card for $30 and get access to 12 downtown Napa wine tasting rooms – all within walking distance of one another. A dime per taste is all you pay to choose among thousands of wines. You can buy your card online at:

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