Napa Valley Wine Tasting Tours: Explore this Region in Northern California

Jill on a windy day at the Golden Gate Bridge

by Jill Loeffler  •

Updated: January 19, 2023

Napa Valley wine tasting tours offer you the chance to get to know this world-famous wine region. During a visit, you will sample the wine, talk to winery staff, and taste for yourself why this region is so popular.

There are three types to consider. The first are guided trips that start in Napa Valley and take you to three to four places for tastings.

The second type are those that start in San Francisco and bring you up to the region just for the day to taste at a few places.

The third type are those that are specific to one winery.

For these, you will need to have your own transportation, and many require that you call ahead to book an appointment.

Napa Valley Wine Tasting Tours

Disclaimer: I receive a small commission from some of the links on this page.

Napa Valley Wine Tasting Tours Starting in Napa

These Napa Valley wine tasting tours are perfect for those spending a night or two in the region. They will pick you up at your hotel or a designated location.

Your guide will then take you to a few places for tastings, tours, and a chance to learn all about the region.

Napa Valley: Guided Wine Tour with Picnic Lunch

Spend the day exploring this beautiful Northern California wine region. This tour includes stops at three smaller boutique wineries in the valley.

Throughout the day, you'll learn all about this region including its wines and history. You'll sample hand-picked wines at each location (tasting not included in the price) and hear more about each one as you taste.

You'll also enjoy a tasty boxed picnic lunch at one of your stops (included in the price). 

It's a wonderful way to experience the region and its award winning wines! 

This tour is offered most days at 10 am.

>> Find out more about this tour and ticket availability for your dates

Napa Wine Train: You can also visit these wineries on a package deal via the Napa Wine Train. Find details here

Wine Tasting Tour by Open-Air Trolley

Another tour you might enjoy is the Wine Tasting Tour by Open-Air Trolley.

On it, you will visit three of the following wineries: Cosentino, Napa Cellars, Freemark Abbey, Rutherford Ranch Winery, or Monticello Winery. There is another similar tour that includes an additional visit to a castle.

Rombauer Vineyards

On this one, you will cruise through Napa Valley in a replica of an open-air San Francisco cable car (make sure to dress appropriately for the weather). The trolley will pick you up at Oxbow Market, in downtown Napa, and take you through the valley.

Your professional guide will give you information about the wineries and the region during each step of the tour. It also includes a catered picnic lunch by an award-winning chef in a scenic location.

This is one of the Napa Valley wine tasting tours that will conclude back at the Oxbow Market after your 6-hour journey. You must be 21 or older for this tour.

The trolley tour with lunch is offered most days, starting at 10 am. Wine tasting fees and gratuities are not included in the price of the tour.

>> More about this tour and availability on GetYourGuide

Small Group Wine Tasting Tour

This is a great option for those looking for a personalized experience without the large price tag.

This fun tour lasts around 6.5 hours. It includes stops at three backroads wineries with amazing wines (and ones you probably wouldn't have tried on your own!).

Tasting at all three locations is not included in the price and is usually around $20 to $25 per person at each winery. 

It also includes a picnic lunch (included in the price) at one of the wineries. 

It starts and ends at Main and 5th Streets in downtown Napa. They also offer hotel pick-up for certain locations around the valley.

>> Find out more about this fun tour

Hot Air Balloon Tours: You can also head high above the valley on a sunrise Hot Air Balloon Ride. Find out what to expect before you book and tips to prepare for your journey.

Best Napa Wine Tours from San Francisco

If you are staying in San Francisco and just want to head up for the day, then these are the perfect options for you.

These Napa Valley wine tasting tours will pick you up at your hotel in San Francisco, drive you up to the region for tasting, and then take you back to SF all in one day.

Napa and Sonoma Valley Wine Tour

This is one of the most popular Napa Valley wine tasting tours that includes a stop in Sonoma as well. You will visit three different wineries and enjoy touring them and tasting their wines.

Another great reason to take this tour is that your coach will make a stop at the Golden Gate Bridge, where you will get great views and can take photos of Alcatraz Island (weather permitting).

On the rest of the hour-long ride, your professional guide will tell you all about locations, and the history of, Napa County.

Since you'll be traveling, tasting wine, and going on guided tours, you'll probably get a little bit hungry. That's when you'll want to grab something to eat around Sonoma Plaza, where the tour will take a 1.5 hour break.

If you want to do a little shopping, you will find many boutique stores to choose from here. The tour price starts at $169. This includes all the tasting fees but does not include lunch or gratuities. 

>> Find out more about this tour and check availability during your stay

Wine Tours from SF

Small-Group Napa Valley Tour from SF

This small group tour will also allow you to check out Napa Valley with a limited number of other wine lovers.

If you really want to explore this wine country in Northern California, this really is a can't-miss trip. Once you are picked up from your hotel, you'll be able to relax while also getting ready for some wine tasting fun.

This 10-hour tour will make you think you are in heaven. And, since you are wine tasting in Napa Valley, well, you sort of are!

During this tour, you will visit three of the top wineries and have lunch in the beautiful town of Calistoga.

One of the real treats of this tour is that you to taste at and explore the unique medieval castle at Castello di Amorosa and take a picture at the famous Napa Valley Welcome Sign.

After your tastings, your tour will stop for a photo op at the Golden Gate Bridge on the way back to San Francisco, where you'll also get views of Alcatraz Island. 

This tour is offered most Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays and begins early at 7:20 am. The price starts at $299, with tasting fees but meals not included. 

>> Discover additional details about this tour and check for availability 

Hotel Deals in Napa

If you plan to spend a night or two or three in Napa, make sure to check out these great hotel deals before your stay. You will find deals all around Napa.

TripAdvisor: What's the #1 hotel in the Napa Valley? Read reviews & find hotel deals on TripAdvisor! Save on your Hotel in Napa with, Planet Earth's #1 Accommodation Site. No booking fees ever!

VRBO: Another great lodging option is VRBO. You can stay at a local's house, apartment, or even just rent a room. It's a great way to feel more like a local while visiting. Find a great place to stay on VRBO.

5 Fun Wine Tasting Tours at the Wineries

You will find several Napa Valley wine tasting tours at individual wineries. These are five to consider during your stay. You will find details on how to book and what to expect for each one in their description below.

1. Jarvis Estate Tasting Tour

Located in the mountains above Napa, Jarvis Estate's claim to fame is being the first winery in the US to be built entirely underground. The 90-minute tour takes you through a massive 45,000 square foot cave and is a uniquely stunning place to visit. 

You'll get up close to a collection of a dozen huge oak vessels assembled in the traditional style by French coopers. 

You'll also see an underground waterfall that keeps cave temperatures and humidity in just the right conditions for the barrel aging process. 

The tour concludes with a seated tasting experience of six of the winery's delicious wines. I love their Merlots, Cabernet Savignons, and Chardonnays.

>> Visit their site to book this tour and discover additional options

2. Cakebread Cellars: Sustainable Wines & Vines Tour

Opened in 1972, Cakebread has one of the most fascinating origin stories of any winery you will ever imagine.

While Jack and Dolores Cakebread were shooting photographs for Nathan Croman's Treasury of American Wines, they found Sturdivant Vineyards and decided they wanted to buy it and start their own winery.

The Sturdivants sold them the vineyard, and, two years later, their winery was born.

Cakebread is known for having many different varietals so everyone visiting will have a wine to fit their palate. Their winery is very beautiful and worth a stop there just to see it, but it is even better when you take their in-depth touring experience. 

The Sustainable Wines & Vines Tour includes information on how the winery uses reclaimed materials and technology that conserves water and energy. It also includes an explanation of how the wines are made, a tour through the vineyards, and a tasting of some of their best wines.

This tour lasts approximately 90 minutes. Alternatively, there is a shorter tour as well as a family tour option available. 

>> Find out more on their site

3. Del Dotto Winery & Caves

The Del Dotto family has been making wine in Napa Valley since 1990, but winemaking has been in the family since the 1400s. 

Tasting in Napa

They currently have two locations you can tour. The Piazza is an Italian-inspired barn surrounded by picturesque vineyards, fountains, vegetable gardens, and resident turkeys, pheasants, peacocks, and doves. It's the quintessential bucolic experience.

The Estate in St. Helena takes a different approach, where the opulent Venetian architecture takes center-stage and guests can marvel at the cathedral-like structure.

You'll get a cave tour with tastings of their wines with a sample of their house-made sourdough pizza. 

These tours are by appointment only, so call ahead. Either of these tours is well worth the visit.

>> More information about the Piazza Tour and the Estate Tour

4. Rutherford Hill: ATV and Cave Tour

Just off the beaten path lies the Silverado Trail where Rutherford Hill is located. I can talk more about their great wines, but truly notable is that they are ranked as having one of “The Most Unique Wine Tours in Napa Valley”. 

On their ATV and Cave Tour, you'll first have the chance to explore the estate, riding up the hill to take in the views and learn about their sustainable farming practices. 

Then you'll ride back down to tour their mile-long wine caves. You'll finish by tasting reserve-tier wines paired with cheese and charcuterie. 

The tour is offered twice a day from Wednesday to Monday. Reservations are suggested as this two-hour experience is limited to five people.

>> Get your reservations here

5. Schramsberg's Cave Tour & Tasting

Schramsberg Winery is the perfect stop if you love sparkling wines and cave tours. Their caves are over 125 years old and you will feel like you've been transported to the Champagne region in France.

There are a few options for wine tastings with your cave tour: all sparkling (five), sparkling and red (three and three), or reserve wine with cheese pairing. 

Tours are by appointment only and all visitors must be 21 years or older. This is one of the Napa Valley wine tasting tours you will not want to miss!

>> Visit their site for more details and to book your tour today

>> Discover more of my favorite wineries near Calistoga

Wine Tasting Deals

You will also find some great wine tasting deals on Groupon. These are just a few of the top options available right now. Click the links below for details.

  • Vintage Sweet Shoppe: Chocolate and Wine Pairing Package for Two or Four at Vintage Sweet Shoppe (Up to 44% Off), check for availability
  • Envy Wines: Wine Tasting for Two or Four with a Take Home Bottle of Wine (Up to 50% Off), check for availability

*Note: Most deals last for 120 days after purchase, so make sure to check the exact terms before purchasing.

Comments? Questions? Suggestions?

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You can ask questions, get advice for your upcoming stay, and then share your photos and advice with others when you return home. It's a great community and the fastest way to get answers to those nagging questions about your visit!

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