Napa wine tour: Top hotels and wineries to visit
Thinking of a trip to wine country this summer? Get the full Napa experience at these newly-opened hotels and wineries to visit…
Places to stay
A heated pool and spa, panoramic vineyard views and an on-site restaurant from a world-class chef – Las Alcobas is the perfect base for your Napa wine trour. Minimalistic, modern and high-tech rooms come with Japanese toilets and gas fire pits on private terraces.
The Acacia House restaurant, led by celebrity chef Chris Cosentino (former winner of Top Chef Masters), operates in a historic mansion that dates back to the early 1900s. Crispy pork schnitzel is the chef’s specialty. You’ll also find a myriad of other dining options less than a mile away in downtown St. Helena. Book now
1915 Main St., St. Helena, CA 94574
Calistoga Motor Lodge & Spa
A great budget-friendly option when visiting Napa Valley, this 1940s motor lodge on Calistoga’s main drag has been given a second chance.
Modernised, motel-style rooms wax nostalgia on the great American road trip of the 50s and 60s, equipped with camper banquet seating, analog games, hula hoops and road maps.
But by far the best feature of the property is the trio of geothermal pools; the healing mineral waters of Calistoga are the main tourist draw to Napa Valley’s northernmost town.
In between wine tasting and dips in the hot springs, recharge at the Moonacre Spa & Baths. The Perfectly Muddled ($70) treatment is a simplified, DIY version of Calistoga’s classic mud baths. Book now
1880 Lincoln Ave, Calistoga, CA 94515
Having recently completed a massive remodel, Vintage House in the heart of Yountville will have you at hello. From the moment you arrive, the ultra-luxurious lobby sets the bar high for your stay.
Cosy and contemporary abodes are playfully decorated with colourful, velvety furnishings and vintage art, but the pool deck is where you’ll want to spend the majority of your time.
A poolside cabana is the perfect place to nap off a day of wine tasting before walking over to dinner at The French Laundry or Bouchon. Book now.
1575 St. Helena Hwy, St. Helena, CA 94599
The Ink House
Dating back to 1865, this was once the home of a Napa Valley pioneer and later it became a B & B where Elvis stayed while filming Wild in the Country. Now it’s been reincarnated once more, this time into St. Helena’s most luxurious boutique inn.
There are only four rooms, but each has been individually and painstakingly designed as a tribute to a figure from the property’s past – the Elvis room has a blue suede bed.
With rates starting at $1,000 a night, a stay at The Ink House certainly constitutes a splurge, but your reservation does come with access to the Bentley car, a tour of the proprietor’s mountain vineyard estate with a wine tasting, as well as your own personal maître d’étage to attend to your every need. Book now
6541 Washington St., Yountville, CA 94574
Napa’s newest hotel is part of the downtown area’s recent resurgence as the heart and hub of the region. Rooms at the Archer Hotel are clean, simple and modern, but feature subtly thoughtful touches, like rubber ducks in the shape of a grape cluster.
The hotel’s sixth floor is home to Sky & Vine, a rooftop bar and lounge with 360-degree panoramic views, fire pits and innovative craft cocktails. Plus a guest-only spa, fitness centre and lounge pool with cabanas. Downstairs in the lobby, expertly cooked steaks await at Charlie Palmer Steakhouse. Splurge on the Tomahawk, it’s worth every penny. Book Now
1230 First St., Napa, CA 94559
Wineries to visit
Piazza Del Dotto
Tuscany meets Napa Valley at Piazza Del Dotto, the latest estate from the Del Dotto family, which also owns the Historic Del Dotto and the Venetian Estate Winery & Caves.
It’s decked out in the family’s signature opulence with a flair for ancient Rome — you’ll find marble floors and columns, Murano glass chandeliers and antique fountains flown over from Italy.
The Piazza draws guests outdoors to imbibe on their sunny patio or within their gardens. Delicacies ($125) is the winery’s star offering, featuring a selection of Piazza wines paired with gourmet small plates. The menu is curated by former French Laundry chef Joshua Schwartz and the lobster roll is a house favourite. Find out more
Open daily by appointment 10am-5pm
7466 St. Helena Hwy., Napa, CA 94558
Ashes & Diamonds
There’s not another winery in Napa Valley that looks anything like Ashes & Diamonds. The indoor-outdoor tasting room feels like a throwback to a 1960s party pad, with bright colours, mid-century modern furnishings and a record player.
The vintage vibe is meant to match the winemaking style; under the direction of illustrious California winemaker Steve Matthiasson, known for crafting ‘wines of restraint’; Ashes & Diamonds wines hark back to old Napa and the days before big and bold became de rigueur.
The new Vintage Experience ($250) features a tour and tasting of vintage and current wines paired with a multi-course meal inspired by the classic steakhouse. Find out more
Open daily 11am-7pm
4130 Howard Ln., Napa, CA 94558
Napa Valley’s first African American-owned winery has been producing stellar yet under-the-radar Zinfandel wines since the 1990s, but their rural off-the-beaten-track estate can only host a limited number of daily visitors.
Now with its new and central location in downtown Napa, Brown’s Zinfandels can get the palate exposure that they deserve. Located on the second floor of a historic, 1905 building, the loft-like space maintains a cool, industrial look with dark hues, exposed brick walls and steel beams. Find out more
Open daily 11:30am-6pm
1005 Coombs St., Napa, CA 94559
After 25 years operating the storied Araujo Estate, Bart and Daphne Araujo found the historic site of a pre-prohibition farm and winery, which planted its first vines in 1865.
From the orchards and gardens to the state-of-the-art winemaking facility and luxury hospitality centre, Wheeler Farms offers a true journey from soil to glass.
But more importantly, it gives visitors a chance to taste hard-to-find wines from some of Napa Valley’s top producers, like Arrow & Branch. Find out more
Open Thursday-Tuesday by appointment, 10am-5pm
588 Zinfandel Lane, St. Helena, CA 94574
Frank Family Vineyards
Frank Family Vineyards has stripped away the fluff and taken things back to simpler times with a total remodel of their tasting room.
The 1884 stone cellar – the third oldest winery building in Napa Valley – remains untouched, but the Franks have brought in a top local designer to reimagine the estate’s yellow craftsman house. They’ve created an array of tasting nooks where you can sample their portfolio of sparkling and still wines.
You’re also free to explore the classic tasting bar, two private rooms for seated tastings — the Hollywood Room pays homage to Frank’s first career as President of Disney— a VIP reserve room, glass-walled sunroom and a terrace with cocoon-shaped patio swings. Find out more
Open Daily, 10am-5pm
1091 Larkmead Rd., Calistoga, CA 94515
Trefethen Family Vineyards
In the wake of Napa’s 6.0 earthquake in 2014, Trefethen Family Vineyards’ historic 1886 winery suffered near-catastrophic damage and was left leaning four feet to the west.
After two-and-a-half years, the Trefethen’s finally completed their efforts to not just resurrect the winery, but also breathe new life into it.
From the outside, Trefethen 2.0 looks just as it always has, but on the inside it’s almost unrecognisable.
By adding an elevator, the family was able to open up the second floor of the gravity flow winery to the public.
The new tasting room is purposefully simplistic in its design to showcase the building’s original redwood walls and Douglas Fir beams, plus it boasts a birds-eye view of the sprawling estate vineyards. Find out more
Open Daily, 10am-4:30pm
1160 Oak Knoll Avenue, Napa, CA 94558