The peaceful Napa Valley countryside is home to more than 400 wineries, each beautiful in their own way. Whether it’s cozying up for a candlelit cave tasting or sipping from a private pavilion while taking in sweeping views of the rolling hills, you’ll find stunning scenery at nearly every Napa Valley winery. But since we are so often asked, “what are the most beautiful wineries in Napa Valley,” we thought we would pose the question to our biggest fans- our social media followers! We asked, you answered, and without further adieu, here are the most beautiful wineries in Napa Valley:
The Top Ten
1. HALL Rutherford – While the winery offers stunning views of the Maycamus Mountains from the main level, the 14,000 square foot cave below is the gem of HALL Rutherford. And the Chilean red chandelier by artist Donald Lipski that hangs from the ceiling in the cavern tasting room is its crown jewel- hundreds of Swarovski crystals adorn the piece, which hangs above an equally stunning handcrafted cherry wood table inlaid with white onyx. You’ll find rotating works of art displayed in alcoves throughout the expansive caves and outside the winery as well.
2. Newton Vineyards – Often referred to as “Napa Valley’s Secret Garden,” Newton Vineyards boasts one of the valley’s most spectacular outdoor spaces. The winery was designed and built to blend into the mountain and includes elements of the founders’ native lands interwoven with the California environment — roses, a pagoda, a Chinese red gate, lanterns, a London phone booth, and English gardens all blend together to create a visual symphony.
3. Castello di Amorosa – As the only authentic medieval Tuscan castle and winery built in America, it’s no surprise that Castello di Amorosa appears in the top three. With over 136,000 square feet of space, “The Castle” features 107 rooms (90 of which are devoted to winemaking and wine storage), an enormous Great Hall with replica Tuscan frescoes and a 500-year old fireplace; 8,000 tons of hand-chiseled stones, a drawbridge, dungeon, torture chamber, and even a medieval church.
4. Far Niente – A visit to Far Niente is like stepping into a fairy tale. The great stone building was designed as a ‘gravity-flow winery’ by architect Hamden McIntyre in 1885 and was abandoned after prohibition for more than sixty years before being restored in the early 1980s (the winery now claims a spot on the National Register of Historic Places). The 13 acres of meticulously-maintained gardens that surround the winery are nothing short of jaw-dropping, and include the largest planting of azaleas on the west coast. More than 100 Autumn Gold gingko trees line both sides of the road leading up to the winery, and in fall months their bright gold foliage is an Instagrammer’s dream.
5. Sterling Vineyards – Perched 300 feet above the town of Calistoga, Sterling Vineyards offers unparalleled panoramic views of Napa Valley. An aerial tram carries visitors up the hill to the winery, whose architecture was inspired by the Greek Island of Mykonos. Terraces and verandas surround the winery, so visitors can take in 360-degree views of the valley. The brilliant white stucco stands out dramatically against the rugged Mayacamas and Vaca mountain ranges that flank each side of Napa Valley, creating the perfect backdrop for an epic selfie.
6. Frog’s Leap – Country farm meets Napa Valley vineyard at Frog’s Leap, where visitors can enjoy picturesque views of the Maycamas Mountains from rocking chairs on the front porch of the farmhouse, stroll through fruit and vegetable gardens, chatter with the chickens, and soak up the simpler pleasures of farm life in Napa Valley. In the springtime, Frog’s Leap comes alive with fruit trees bursting into bloom, mustard flowers carpeting the vineyards, and wildflowers lining the roads leading up to the winery.
7. Shafer Vineyards – Named one of the top 25 vineyards in the world by Wine & Spirits and “one of the world’s greatest wineries” by wine critic Robert M. Parker, Jr., Shafer is an off-the-beaten-path winery worthy of attention. In addition to world-renowned wines, expansive views of the Stag’s Leap district from the tasting room provide a backdrop like no other at this Napa Valley hidden gem.
8. Chateau Montelena – A stone castle carved into a hillside overlooking a Chinese garden, peaceful Jade Lake, and vineyards reaching out to the base of Mount St. Helena, Chateau Montelena is a favorite stop for Napa Valley regulars and first-timers as well. Rare among Napa Valley wineries, the Chateau resembles an English Gothic castle gatehouse complete with rusticated stone walls, battlement with crenels and merlons, narrow arched windows, a large arched door in the place of a portcullis, and bartizans with faux arrow slits.
9. Chappellet Winery – Hard to find, but tough to beat, the views from atop Pritchard Hill at Chappellet are second-to-none. If you’re willing to venture off the main roads and into undiscovered Napa Valley, a vineyard tour at Chappellet rewards with sprawling views of the wild rolling hills and Lake Hennessey in the distance. (Chappellet is featured in the main image.)
10. Quintessa Winery – Tucked away in the heart of Rutherford off Silverado Trail, Quintessa is a 280-acre estate focused on organic and biodynamic winemaking. A private pavilion awaits you on top of Dragon’s Hill, immersed in the landscape and surrounded by vineyard-covered hills with a jewel-like view of the estate – it’s a ‘quintessential’ vista in the Napa Valley.
By: Janette Maack
Courtesy of: www.visitnapavalley.com