Those familiar with Napa’s Wine Country, know of Carneros. It is the only American Viticultural Area (A.V.A.) that is in both Napa and Sonoma. It’s also the first A.V.A. you reach if you’re heading towards Napa from San Francisco. I have spent some time in this region enjoying the fabulous Carneros Wineries and really have gotten to know various wineries, winemakers, and restaurants. I know how much you guys appreciate a good Top 10 list, so here are the Top 10 Carneros Wineries I recommend you visit and get to know. For those of you who are not local, visit their respective websites and try some of their wines at home. Also, these are in no particular order, they are all fabulous, so check them out and see for yourself!
Donum Estate is the perfect mix of incredible Carneros wine and a spectacular estate. They have one of the most amazing art collections I have ever seen. They are currently building a new tasting room which should be complete by early Fall of 2017 so depending on when you visit you may get to experience the new tasting room during an afternoon exploring some Carneros Wineries. Read my full Donum Estate blog post here.
Etude Winery is another magical Carneros Winery I highly recommend you visit. For any Pinot Noir lovers, this is a must try as, not only do they have incredible Napa Pinot Noir wines from Carneros, they also have wine from various other regions in California. Read my full blog post about Etude Winery here. 1250 Cuttings Wharf Rd, Napa, CA 94559
If you’re looking for a more casual, laid back setting, Starmont Winery is just that. With an incredible outdoor seating area and an upbeat, bright, modern tasting room this is another Carneros Winery I recommend you explore. Not only do they make Pinot Noir and Chardonnay (typical varietals of the Carneros region), but they have a bunch of other great wines I suggest you taste as well. Read my full blog post about Starmont Winery here. 1451 Stanly Ln, Napa, CA 94559.
Schug Winery is another fabulous Carneros Winery that has a very unique, historic feel to it. Situated a bit farther from the main road, Schug Winery will impress you with their stunning views of the valley, their rich history, and their delicious wines. I spent an afternoon visiting and getting to enjoy a barrel tasting with Winemaker Michael Cox, and I will always adore this winery, their wines, and all they have to share with their guests. Read my full blog post about Schug Winery here. 602 Bonneau Rd, Sonoma, CA 95476
For a more intimate winery experience and a brand that is still family owned and operated, I suggest you visit Truchard Vineyards. Proprietor’s Tony and Jo Ann Truchard have managed this vineyard for nearly 40 years, and, in 1989, the Truchards established a winery and began producing wines using only their estate-grown fruit. During my afternoon visit I toured the vineyards and enjoyed an tasting in their cool caves, a spot I recommend you see during your visit. 3234 Old Sonoma Rd, Napa, CA 94559.
This is pretty much my idea of a perfect winery visit. A cave tasting followed by a vineyard tour accompanied by a glass of Pinot Noir. Thank you Truchard for the lovely experience you shared with me.
Cuvaison has some of the most incredible wine country views I have yet to experience. I recommend visiting and enjoying a tasting on their patio while taking in the stunning Carneros views and enjoying their delicious Chardonnay & Pinot Noir wines. 1221 Duhig Rd, Napa, CA 94559
The picturesque patio with incredible vineyard and rolling hills views.
Andy Warhol’s limited edition Cuvaison gift set. What could be better than this delicious wine with such a stunning label.
You could not have a Top 10 Carneros Vineyard post with out including the legendary Hyde Family Vineyards. I have gotten to know Larry and his son Chris Hyde over the years, after having their grapes in various other winery’s production, and I adore the family just as much as their high quality, flavorful, and lovely grapes. The Hyde’s are really a staple in this region and, although their winery is not open to the public at this time, they are opening a new tasting room! Stay tuned for more on that and you can plan to visit and experience Hyde Vineyards then!
The legendary Larry Hyde. I have met Larry multiple times and he’s amazing. Always smiling, happy to share his incredible wines, and answer any questions I have had about his wines, vineyards, and history. Such a Carneros legend!
Larry’s son Chris. Chris is also amazing, and it’s so incredible to see the second generation of Hydes grow into the business. Pretty soon Hyde Vineyards is opening a new tasting room which I can’t wait to visit and experience.
Liana Estates is a winery that also offer some great culinary pairings differentiating them from some of their neighbors. When I visited, I enjoyed a tasting in their tasting room, but was also tempted to return to enjoy some of the other pairings such as the Cupcake pairing ($60 per person), Local Wine and Culinary Picnic ($120 per person), or Garden Graze Tasting on Saturdays, where you can enjoy bites on the garden between 11:30 – 3:00pm (prices vary by small bite and wine selections). 2750 Las Amigas, Napa CA.
Enjoying some delicious Liana Estates Carneros Pinot Noir during my visit to the tasting room!
This newly opened outdoor terrace with a bocce ball court and lots of tables for relaxing and hanging out was probably my most favorite part of the visit. You really want to have a glass or bottle of wine, camp out, and never leave this heavenly winery…
Cheers to this bright and fresh Liana Estates Sparkling Wine.
Dunstan Vineyards & Estate
Any serious Pinot Noir or Chardonnay lover knows about Durell Vineyards. They make some of the most highly sought after grapes in the region. I have had the pleasure of visiting Durell Vineyards and I fell in love with the beautiful rolling hills and Dunstan Estate which is located on Durell Vineyards. Dunstan Estate has a charm that is hard to describe. Offering delicious, high quality wines with an intimate boutique feeling, Dunstan Estate is a spot you must check out. Note- it is not open to the public, so make an appt or find a friend that’s a wine club member and join for their seriously fun, high-end, delicious, pick up parties! 1945 Felder Rd, Sonoma, CA 95476