With more than 400 wineries across the Napa Valley region, it’s impressive how wine lovers are always thirsty for more. That’s why guided tours are so popular, since professional chauffeurs can steer you towards the latest and greatest.
Here are four more new spots to explore:
Piazza Del Dotto
The third Napa Valley winery for the Del Dotto Family Wineries & Caves group, the Oakville estate features 8.5 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon vines. Done in an Italian-inspired “barchessa” or barn style, the tasting room is magnificent, with 100-year old Douglas fir beams, a grand chandelier made in Florence, and antique Italian paintings and furniture. The property also boasts al fresco tasting cabanas, vegetable gardens, 17th century fountains and – get this – an aviary with turkeys, peacocks, pheasants and doves. For the most opulent experience, go for the Delicacies food and wine pairing, bringing seven wines matched by five small plates of luxuries like Petrossian caviar, Hudson Valley foie gras, Snake River Farms beef and vegetables sourced from the Estate garden. To wrap it up – port and a cheese or dessert pairing. Be sure to tour the cave, as well, it’s more beautiful than most people’s homes.
7466 St. Helena Hwy., Napa, 707-963-2134, deldottovineyards.com.
Ashes & Diamonds
Napa has never had such an architectural statement as this, in California mid-century modern design with a zig-zag roof on one building and wall portholes on another. Expanses of glass, retro furniture, a vintage turntable and whimsical colors of lemon yellow and teal add extra style. Winemakers Steve Matthiasson and Diana Snowden Seysses produce Bordeaux varietals in a Burgundian approach, to be sampled in the lounge area, at the tasting bar or on an outdoor patio next to the estate vineyards. Still, the best way to explore is with the bar and light-lunch pairings from chef Emma Sears. The dishes are brilliant, be it chicory-radish salad, mushroom tortellini in butter sauce, or wilted kale with egg.
4130 Howard Lane, Napa, 707-666-4777, ashesdiamonds.com.
The gorgeous 1890’s building on Saint Helena’s historic Main Street, was once The Bank of Italy. Now, as a wine lounge, it showcases wines from around the world, plus pairings of cheese, charcuterie and caviar. Big names include Opus One and Joseph Phelps; there are plenty of craft beers, too.
1351 Main St., Saint Helena, 707-302-5130, thesaintnapavalley.com.
Formerly the pre-prohibition ghost winery estate VMadrone Vineyard and Winery, the property on Highway 29 still offers VMadrone Cellars cellars wines alongside their own bottlings. Tours include riveting stories, ranging from the site’s orginal use as Native American hunting grounds, to becoming home of one of the first female winemakers in California. Admire the towering redwood grove, and ask about the barrel tastings, too.
3199 St. Helena Hwy N., 707-302-8181, axrwinery.com.