Napa Valley Neighborhoods
Planning a trip to the wine country? With the Napa Valley spanning 30 miles from north to south and chock full of wineries and other things to do, planning an itinerary can seem daunting. But when you familiarize yourself with the neighborhoods, scheduling becomes much more manageable. Let’s explore!
At the base of the Howell Mountain, you’ll find one of the most storied wine-growing appellations in the world. The fog, mountain air and rocky soil force grapevines to root deeply, and this produces some intense wines. Cade, Ladera and Outpost call Angwin home, but there are plenty of other things to do if you want to skip the tours in this neighborhood. Angwin is a perfect place to enjoy the outdoors. In fact, the area hosts a 22-mile mountain bike race each year.
In addition to its highly reputed wineries, Calistoga is dotted with natural volcanic hot springs that are rumored to have healing powers. Consider visiting Bennett Lane, Chateau Montelena, Dutch Henry, and Castillo de Amorosa before heading to the springs for some relaxation.
This quiet Napa neighborhood is more residential than touristy. Most people steer clear of Deer Park during their visit, especially if it’s their first visit to wine country. If you do venture into this neighborhood, visit Burgess Cellars and Viader Vineyards. The benefit is that they are likely to be less crowded than the wineries Calistoga, Napa, Rutherford or St. Helena.
The namesake city of this wine country valley draws crowds to its downtown area where you’ll find hip restaurants and wine tasting opportunities. Consider scheduling a walking tour of the historic downtown area or spend the day shopping the area’s chic shops.
If you’re going to Napa for the wineries, which most people do, you’re going to want to stop in Oakville. It began as a simple water stop for steam trains, but it has grown to be so much more. Oakville is where many of the grapes are grown for the likes of Robert Mondavi, Plumpjack and others. Wine cellar tours, stunning gardens, wine museums and an open-air amphitheater are just a few of the things you can do while in Oakville.
Here, you’ll find some of the regions most famed Cabernets. The soil in this area is perfect for nourishing the grapes to create some of the best Cabs in the world. Much like fairy dust, the “Rutherford dust” that is present in wines from this area give them a mysterious, spicy element that you won’t find in wines from other regions.
St. Helena is located in the heart of the Napa Valley and some would argue that the region has its own pulse. Winemakers have been calling St. Helena home since the 1800s, and the area’s history is evident throughout. For a mix of the typical wine-tasting experience with a rich dose of history, visit Beringer and Charles Krug. You’ll also find juggernauts like Sutter Home and Louis Martini in St. Helena.
Yountville is one of the most popular places to stay in Napa Valley because it seems to have the best of everything. World-class resorts, top-notch restaurants, shops, bakeries and wine – all within walking distance. What more could you ask for? Here, you’ll find Domaine Chandon (perfect for a morning tasting), Chiarello Family Vineyards, Hill Family Estate and more.