Heading for a trip to Napa? Get ready for an amazing time of fine dining, gorgeous wineries, and amazing downtowns. Here are 10 MORE tips and tricks when visiting Napa to make your vacation superb! See my previous post of Napa Valley Tips & Tricks, for even more helpful tips.
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1. Napa mornings can start off pretty chilly and foggy, so grab a light jacket that you can shed when the sun comes out around 10-11am. I personally love these printed chiffon cardigans.
2. Bring sunscreen as most wineries have outdoor garden area of the tour, vacation sunburns are no fun. If you want to know how intense the sun is, make sure to check the UV index for guidelines on sun exposure.
3. How many wineries should I plan in a day? 1-3 wineries is the perfect amount, you can technically do 4 but don’t, I promise 3 is your max. It is a lot of wine is a short amount of time. Also every restaurant has an amazing wine selection, so you can always have more after a break.
4. Generally the more expensive tastings are worth it (better views, better wine, better service, more of tour, intimate setting, less people), so if it is breaking the bank, split a tasting.
5. Ask anyone local for recommendations on food, wineries, bars, activities etc. Many of them have tasted & experienced all the other wineries in the valley and can give amazing recommendations based on your tastes.
6. Sacramento is a perfect airport to fly in and out of. It is brand new and has great options for dining without being overwhelmingly large. If you take highway 128 make sure to bring Dramamine or ginger chews, it’s rough but beautiful.
7. Make sure to check out one of the markets or downtowns for amazing food, drinks & shopping. Some of my favorites are Oxbow Public Market, Oakville Grocery, Downtown Napa, and Yountville.
8. Most wineries will let you try wines that aren’t on the tasting menu, especially if you are interested in buying a bottle, so make sure to ask.
9. Try your wine without swirling it and then try it after, you will be amazed by how much adding a little air changes the flavor profile. We loved this decanter that was similar to the one Del Dotto uses to decant their wines. If you want a good looking decanter we absolutely love ours and it always makes a statement.
10. Look into each wineries tasting experience because they are all very unique. Some you will stand at a bar and wait your turn for your next pour. Others like Far Niente and Nickel & Nickel will give you a tour of the estate and give you snacks to pair with your wine, almost like an intimate dinner party. Caymus and Frog’s Leap let you enjoy their beautiful gardens with your party, while bringing you your next pour. Each one provides a completely different experience, so make sure to look into what kind of experience you would like.