In early June, Stephanie and I had the chance to go on a wine tour in Napa.
We were taken to three different stops and had so much fun, so I thought even though it happened a while ago, I would share it with you all!
We were living in Davis at the time, so the drive to Napa was about an hour away. Of course, we didn’t do any driving that day so we could enjoy all the wine 😉 I would definitely recommend booking a wine tour–that way they can organize everything for you and drive you around!
Our first stop was Bell Wine Cellars. Out of all the places we went to, this was the most intimate. We were greeted with a glass of champagne and the ambience was beautiful–fireplaces and mood lighting.
First we were given a tour and history lesson of the property–but I just wanted to get to the tasting!!
We did their sensory tasting which was something totally new for the both of us. Basically, it involved four blind wine tastings.
The wines were in black wine glasses, so we couldn’t let the sight of it influence our tasting. We were given a piece of paper and pen and wrote down what aromas we thought we smelled. This part was pretty cool because there were also wine glasses full of fruits and spices. So, for example, if I thought I detected grapefruit in the wine I could then smell actual grapefruit and see if it really matched.
Out of the three stops we made in Napa, Bell Wine Cellars definitely had the best wine. The wine was amazing, but as someone who hasn’t been in the wine tasting game for very long, the experience was a little bit overwhelming. There were points where I wanted to stop talking about the wine and just taste it! Bell Wine Cellars has great service and the woman working with us was very attentive–but there were points where I felt like I was in school lol. I think if you’ve had your fair share of wine this could be a really fun thing to do, but if you’re a beginner–maybe hold off on this tasting for a while!
Next, we stopped off at Velo Vino for a lunch and another wine tasting. I think this was the least “special” stop of all the places we went to. The atmosphere was nice and casual–but after being at Bell Wine Cellars it was a bit of a let down. Still, the food was great and reasonably priced and the tasting was fun and relaxed! The people working there didn’t really explain much about the wine and just sort of poured. I think this would be a great spot to go to with your girlfriends for a lunch and tasting–and it was the most affordable option!
Finally, we went to my favorite spot, Castello di Amorosa. The tour started off with a tour of the castle and an overview of its history. This tour was definitely the most interesting for me! The history behind the castle is kind of crazy–to make a long story short, there was this very wealthy man and he wanted to have a castle–so he built one. The castle isn’t very old but it evokes the sense of a real castle and is very picturesque. It felt like being in a fairytale! We were able to explore all throughout the grounds and the wine cellars. Bell Wine Cellars still had the best wine in my opinion–but Castello di Amorosa was pretty good. And the tour guides were really fun!
So, if you had to choose just one spot to wine tour in Napa, I would definitely go with Castello di Amorosa. It gives you the best of both worlds–a fun day around a beautiful area, and great wine! You don’t feel any embarrasment with taking loads of pictures since it is sort of a touristy attraction, and the tour is really fascinating. The grounds in general were just beautiful and once your actual tour is over, you can still hang around the castle! If you’re really in it just for the wine and tasting experience, then I say go with Bell Wine Cellars. And finally, if you’re looking for a more casual wine tasting, go with Velo Vino.
Hope that helps any of you looking to wine tour in Napa!