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Photo courtesy of Benziger Family Winery

The Best Wineries To Visit In Northern California

Picture of Lavinia Lumezanu
Lavinia Lumezanu
Updated: 28 September 2016
Northern California has some of the best wines in the USA and people come from all over the world to enjoy the incredible taste that this area has to offer. Here are some of the best wineries to visit for a taste or a tour.

 

Clos Pegase

Designed by the well-known architect Michael Graves, Clos Pegase winery has a postmodern design that merges modern and ancient architecture in a celebration of luxurious Napa Valley lifestyle. Viewed as one of the true architectural landmarks of the Napa Valley, Clos Pegase gives visitors the opportunity to experience it firsthand with a variety of tour and tasting options, including the Cave Tour, which culminates in a seated tasting of current and library wines in underground caves. Clos Pegase also features a variety of sculptures, fountains and other pieces of art on display from renowned artists so visitors not only get to learn more and experience wine, but they also get exposed to beautiful modern art.

Clos Pegase Winery and Tasting Room, 1060 Dunaweal Lane, Calistoga, CA, USA + 1 707 942 4981

Photo Courtesy of Clos Pegase

Photo Courtesy of Clos Pegase

Quivira Vineyards

A certified organic and biodynamic vineyard, Quivira Vineyards features an extensive produce garden on the property in addition to the wide-spread vineyard, which supplies local restaurants with fresh harvests. The biodynamic/organic garden can be experienced on a self-guided tour and includes an extensive array of produce as well as heirloom chickens, honeybees and farm animals, where guests can meet Ruby, the friendly pig and a local favorite. Quivira also generates most of its own power through solar energy and has long been involved in the Coho salmon habitat restoration of Wine Creek and Dry Creek, which run through the property.

Quivira Vineyards, 4900 West Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg, CA, USA +1 707 431 8333

Photo Courtesy of Quivira Winery

Photo Courtesy of Quivira Vineyards

Swanson Vineyards

Swanson Vineyards has a one-of-a-kind tasting experience that feels like an intimate gathering in a 19th-century Parisian salon. The Swanson Salon experience is lead by a skilled salonniere, featuring caviar, artisan cheeses and bonbons paired with Swanson wines, and they lead an entertaining tasting at the small country winery in Rutherford. The whimsical Swanson Salon has touches from some of the world’s finest talents, including interior designer Thomas Britt, renowned California painter Ira Yeager and chocolatier Katrina Markoff of Vosge Haut Chocolate.

Swanson Vineyards, 1271 Manley Lane, Rutherford, CA, USA +1 707 754 4018

Photo Courtesy of Swanson Winery

Photo Courtesy of Swanson Vineyards

Mumm Napa

One of California’s top sparkling wine houses, Mumm Napa has a little-known fine art photography gallery that is open to the public. The gallery has two exhibits, an ongoing Ansel Adams exhibit with 30 original Adams prints, including some of his most famous works, as well as a rotating exhibit.

Mumm Napa, 8445 Silverado Trail, Napa, CA, USA +1 707 967 7700

Photo Courtesy of Mumm Napa

Photo Courtesy of Mumm Napa

Benziger Family Winery

Benziger Family Winery is a leader in biodynamic, organic and certified-sustainable farming and is dedicated to crafting authentic wines that are true to the grape variety, vintage and vineyard. They believe that natural and carefully cultivated farming yields wines with more flavors, aromas and site-specific character. The Partners Wine Tour provides a behind-the-scenes look at Benziger’s biodynamic estate vineyard and wine caves, finishing with an exclusive wine tasting.

Benziger Family Winery, 1883 London Ranch Road, Glen Ellen, CA, USA +1 888 490 2739

Photo Courtesy of Benziger Family Winery

Photo Courtesy of Benziger Family Winery

Imagery Estate Winery

Imagery Estate Winery is all about breaking away from the conventional and experimenting with new varieties, exploring little-known grape regions. The winery is best known for its one-of-a-kind artwork on its wine labels. Imagery Estate Winery throws a fabulous Fête en Blanc for wine club members and the public. Taking place on June 4, 2016, attendees are encouraged to don their brightest whites and head to the lawn at Imagery for a soiree, while winemaker Joe Benziger pours newly released wines and a live band plays.

Imagery Estate Winery, 14335 Sonoma Highway, Glen Ellen, CA, USA +1 800 989 8890

Photo Courtesy of Imagery Estate Winery

Photo Courtesy of Imagery Estate Winery

Charles Krug

One of the most historic wineries in Napa Valley, Charles Krug was established in 1861 and has been a leader in quality wine-making ever since. In addition to producing a fabulous portfolio of Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux-style wines, Charles Krug Winery is committed to protecting the environment, and as such, has 400 acres of valley floor vineyards that are Napa Green certified. Visitors at Charles Krug have the opportunity to taste in the winery’s award-winning Redwood Cellar. Built in 1872, the Redwood Cellar Tasting Room is a warm, inviting space that blends heritage and contemporary design. This room is a National Historical Landmark and features redwood from the family’s original wine tanks, stone and open beam construction.

Charles Krug Winery, 2800 Main Street, St. Helena, CA, USA +1 707 967 2200

Photo Courtesy of Charles Krug

Photo Courtesy of Charles Krug

Clif Family Winery

The winery’s tasting room, Velo Vino, has a unique, laid-back atmosphere and a number of fantastic tasting options that will suit any visitor. Founded by Gary Erickson and Kit Crawford, the founders of Clif Bar & Company, the intent for the winery was to bring together their passion for food, family and adventure. Today, Clif Family Winery is focused on making high-quality wines that sustain the natural resources of the local community and bring awareness of organic and sustainable farming to others. When visiting Clif Family Winery, the guests can stop at the winery’s Bruschetteria food truck. Inspired by northern-Italian cuisine, Executive Chef John McConnell serves up a delicious, seasonal menu of bruschetta, spiedini, porchetta, farm fresh salads and more from the truck daily.

Clif Family Winery, 709 Main Street, St. Helena, CA, USA +1 707 968 0625

Photo Courtesy of Clif Family Winery

Photo Courtesy of Clif Family Winery

Cuvaison Estate Wines

In the heart of Carneros is Cuvaison Estate Wines, a certified sustainable winery producing distinct Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines for over 30 years. Dedicated to a philosophy of producing vineyard-driven wines, Cuvaison employs block-by-block farming methods and a half-crafted vineyard-to-bottle wine-making approach. The resulting wines are balanced and complex, showing distinctive characteristics of this cool climate estate. Boasting stunning, modern architecture, the Cuvaison tasting room is surrounded by waves of vineyards where visitors can choose between indoor and outdoor seating.

Cuvaison Estate Wines, 1221 Duhig Road, Napa, CA, USA +1 707 942 2455

Photo Courtesy of Cuvaison Estate Winery

Photo Courtesy of Cuvaison Estate Wines

Truchard Winery

Truchard Winery is a small family-owned winery in the Carneros region of Napa Valley known for its 400 contiguous acres of vineyards as well as various types of soil.  There is southern and western exposure that allows the grapes to capture the afternoon sun, which produces optimum ripening for grape varieties like Syrah, Roussanne, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc. Truchard provides an intimate experience where guests usually get to have a tasting experience with members of the family and hear about the history of the place.

Truchard Winery, 3234 Old Sonoma Road, Napa, CA, USA + 1 707 253 7153

Photo Courtesy of Truchard

Photo Courtesy of Truchard Winery

Lula Cellars

Lula Cellars is a premium, small-production winery located in the ‘Deep End’ of Mendocino County’s famed Anderson Valley. Winemaker Jeff Hansen, a thirty-year wine industry veteran, produces high quality, eminently drinkable wines and offers them at reasonable prices by selling directly to consumers. A little off the beaten track, Lula Cellars is a gem for the locals who know about it and enjoy the pet-friendly tasting room as well as the low-key sleepy atmosphere that allows them to disconnect from reality for a few hours.

Lula Cellars, 2800 Guntly Road, Philo, CA, USA +1 707 895 3737

Photo Courtesy of Derek Magdalik for Lula Cellars

Photo Courtesy of Derek Magdalik for Lula Cellar