My Self-Guided Tour Through Napa Wine Country
Expert Winery Tour Tips
Most wineries in Napa open at 10am and close at 5pm. Plan your itinerary accordingly and look up each wineries hours to make sure they will be open when you plan to visit them.
When participating in a tour, the tour company receives the best prices and you just pay one package price. When you are on your own, you have to do all of the deal searching for yourself. There are plenty of websites and apps that offer coupons for wine tastings. Everyone says their wine tasting coupons are the best or some even entice you to pay a fee for the coupons! Don’t fall for these; instead, Google “(winery you are going to visit) wine tasting coupons” and pick the free coupons.
If you want to enjoy your day at a comfortable pace, I recommend picking 3-4 wineries per day. I have heard of people fitting up to 6 wineries in a day, but I can’t imagine how they could’ve enjoyed each winery, where they fit time in to eat, or how they could still drive after all those tastings.
You need to pace yourself for 3 reasons:
- Take the time to enjoy each winery. Walk their beautiful grounds, slowly taste your wine flights, and learn some history of the vineyard from the winemaker himself or the knowledgeable people behind the bar pouring your wine.
- If you are driving yourself or others, drink responsibly. Some people spit their wine, which is totally acceptable, but if you plan on drinking the wine as part of the experience, take your time and know your limits.
- Plan a lovely lunch somewhere along your journey. This is the perfect time to “carb up” and fill your belly with something other than a liquid diet. Take a moment to reflect on the wineries you have tasted at and then regroup for which wineries you plan on ending your day with. This is also a good time to budget for how many more wines you will allow yourself to buy for the rest of the afternoon.