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A two day wine tasting and dining itinerary for the Napa Valley novice

by TrevR on July 7, 2009

We were recently asked to put together a two day wine tasting itinerary for a few people who had never been to the Napa Valley.

We weren’t given any details as to their wine preferences and all we knew is they would be staying in downtown Napa and wanted to taste a lot of wine and see a good portion of the valley.

So what was our strategy?

We did our best to find a balance between the well-known, large (touristy?) wineries and the slightly lesser known, smaller scale wineries to give our guests a frame of comparison between the two. Another important item for us was selecting places that offered different experiences–a beautiful view of the valley, a well-done cave tour, gorgeous grounds to stroll through, amazing wines (of course), etc.

We also did our best to balance between the valley’s various regions, starting out in the south in Carneros and winding up in Yountville on Day 1. Did we mention we included dining suggestions as well? We then started Day 2 with a trip up north to St. Helena before weaving our way back down the valley alternating between Highway 29 and Silverado Trail.

Check out the itinerary for yourself–it includes notes on each and every place and as always, clicking on the “Get Directions” link on either of the maps will give you turn-by-turn driving directions for the day’s events.

Among the places we’ve recommended are Artesa Winery, Robert Mondavi Winery, Rutherford Hill Winery and Paraduxx.

If given the very same assignment, we’d be curious to know what type of Napa Valley itinerary you’d put together…

[techtags: Napa, Napa Valley, napa wine tasting, napa itinerary, napa valley itinerary, two day napa valley itinerary, two day napa itinerary]

About the Author

has written 716 posts on The Cork Board. He was born and aged in the Napa Valley and has a passion for wine, writing and social media, which led him to co-found this blog in early 2007. Follow him on Twitter @TrevR.

  • K

    Interesting list. I would probably put Cakebread and Trefethen on the list. Trefethen because they have a good variety of reds and whites, there are lots of wines in an affordable range, and I think the tasting room is a little more sophisticated than a lot of the other super commerical places . And Cakebread because I think their basic $10 tasting and tour is excellent…makes the higher end stuff a little more accessible.

  • K

    Interesting list. I would probably put Cakebread and Trefethen on the list. Trefethen because they have a good variety of reds and whites, there are lots of wines in an affordable range, and I think the tasting room is a little more sophisticated than a lot of the other super commerical places . And Cakebread because I think their basic $10 tasting and tour is excellent…makes the higher end stuff a little more accessible.

  • http://www.uncork29.com/ TrevR

    Both very good suggestions K. We too love Trefethen.

    Given all the feedback we’ve received so far on this itinerary, we’re likely to create and publish another one based solely on reader input. Stay tuned…

  • http://www.uncork29.com/ TrevR

    Both very good suggestions K. We too love Trefethen.

    Given all the feedback we’ve received so far on this itinerary, we’re likely to create and publish another one based solely on reader input. Stay tuned…

  • http://www.uncork29.com TrevR

    Both very good suggestions K. We too love Trefethen.

    Given all the feedback we’ve received so far on this itinerary, we’re likely to create and publish another one based solely on reader input. Stay tuned…

  • Jen Foster

    Thanks so much for this itinerary. Though I’ve been tasting in the valleys about 5-6 times now, I’m always looking for recommendations are where to go.

    One note on the comments, Cakebread has always been one of my favorites, but a relative of mine who just visited had serious concerns over the quality and enthusiasm of the folks in the tasting room. Not a good review, in my book. Once that kind of feedback begins, it’s hard to repair the damage.

    One other note to add to the list–if you can make it there, Mumm or Chandon are always fun to try the sparklings and enjoy sunshine on the patio.

  • Jen Foster

    Thanks so much for this itinerary. Though I’ve been tasting in the valleys about 5-6 times now, I’m always looking for recommendations are where to go.

    One note on the comments, Cakebread has always been one of my favorites, but a relative of mine who just visited had serious concerns over the quality and enthusiasm of the folks in the tasting room. Not a good review, in my book. Once that kind of feedback begins, it’s hard to repair the damage.

    One other note to add to the list–if you can make it there, Mumm or Chandon are always fun to try the sparklings and enjoy sunshine on the patio.

  • Dallas Traveller

    Thanks for posting the Thanksgiving tour itinerary… gives us a place to start with and know who is open on the holiday :) -Dallas Traveller

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