It seems that everyone who comes from out of town always asks me where to wine taste in Napa! For starters, Napa is not the only place close to San Francisco. I also love Sonoma County which includes Healdsburg (read my Top 10 Healdsburg Tasting Rooms here) , Sonoma (read my Top 10 Sonoma Wineries list here), The Russian River Valley (read my Russian River Valley Top 10 list here) & more. So be sure to check out both Napa & Sonoma during your upcoming wine country travel. If you do head to Napa though, here is a list of my favorite St. Helena Wineries and here is my Napa Valley Top 10 list. Read more below!
Ovid Napa Valley
Ovid Napa Valley may be the toughest winery on this list to get into (they only see a small number of visitors per day and prioritize mailing list customers), however if you can snag an appointment you will not regret it. The building is spectacular, designed by my favorite architect Howard Backen and the tasting experience is just as impressive. Ovid produces four red wines: their flagship Ovid, a Cabernet Sauvignon, Hexameter a Cabernet Franc, Loc. Cit another Cabernet Sauvignon and an estate Syrah. 9558, 255 Long Ranch Rd, St Helena, CA 94574.
The spectacular views of Napa Valley from Ovid Winery.
The interior of the incredible tasting room.
Charles Krug is one of the most historic St. Helena Wineries dating back to 1861, founded by Charles Krug, a Prussian immigrant, teacher, revolutionary, and visionary. After his death, the winery was held in proprietorship through Prohibition. Italian immigrants (and parents to Peter Sr. and Robert) Cesare and Rosa Mondavi purchased the winery in 1943 and rebuilt it to accommodate modern winemaking.
The tasting room which was remodeled a few years ago and is incredible!
One of the many St. Helena Wineries that I just recently had the privilege to visit is Alpha Omega. Established in 2006, Alpha Omega was created to offer handcrafted wines that blend the Old World with the New World. Founded by proprietors Michelle and Robin Baggett, it is unlike your typical Napa Valley winery. Robin Baggett possesses a proclivity for cowboy boots, cowboy hats and big, Western belt buckles. Michelle Baggett, originally from Georgia, is just that—a fabulous hostess with that lovely southern hospitality. This down-to-earth, approachable, and talented couple relocated from San Luis Obispo to Napa Valley in 2006 to found Alpha Omega. 1155 Mee Ln, St Helena, CA 94574.
The interior of the tasting room with picturesque views of the vineyards and the stunning water feature guests can enjoy while visiting Alpha Omega.
The fire pit which was my favorite spot to relax during my first visit there. It’s hard to leave with beautiful vineyard and Highway 29 views and amazing wines that keep coming and coming. This team is incredible when it comes to hospitality!
Me and my most amazing hosts, Alpha Omega Owners Robin and Michelle Baggett, during their Winter 2018 Alpha Omega Winery pick-up party that I attended (this was quite a party, I hope to go back again because it was such a blast).
Alpha Omega Winery did a toy drive at their pick-up party where members donated toys to the children impacted by the recent Campfire Fire in Northern California. What a lovely way for the winery and their members to help those impacted by the horrible wildfire.
Views from one of the private tasting rooms
The Alpha Omega Winery VIP Tasting Building that I have toured and tasted in with proprietors Michelle and Robin is spectacular. It is super luxe yet also comfortable and feels homey in a luxurious yet warm way. I suggest you do a tasting here if you visit Alpha Omega.
Joseph Phelps Vineyard
Another incredible must see among the St. Helena Wineries is Joseph Phelps. This is one of the most historic wineries in Napa Valley founded by Joseph Phelps, which is now family run by his four children. After a recent renovation, Joseph Phelps Winery & Tasting Experiences is beyond stunning. With some of the most beautiful vineyard views on this list, Joseph Phelps will delight you with stunning scenery, amazing wines, rich history, and a lovely tasting experience to be enjoyed. 200 Taplin Rd, St Helena, CA 94574.
For a guided, hands-on guest experience paired with delicious biodynamic wines, Raymond Vineyards is a must-see. Raymond Vineyards not only offers guests delicious wines, they also have various tasting experiences, such as Winemaker For A Day, which I have done and was a lot of fun. See a full list of the wine tasting experiences available at Raymond Vineyards here. It certainly belongs on my list of top St. Helena Wineries! 849 Zinfandel Ln, St Helena, CA 94574.
Most Cabernet Sauvignon drinkers have heard of Duckhorn Vineyards or possibly their sister brands, Decor or Paraduxx or Goldeneye, which, if you’re enjoying this post about top St. Helena Wineries, you can read about on my Top 10 Anderson Valley Wineries post here. Duckhorn is another staple in St. Helena that I suggest all Cabernet Sauvignon drinkers visit. The tasting experience here is lovely; I suggest the Food & Wine pairing (of course, wine is always better with some cheese and nibbles). You really can’t go wrong with whatever tasting you pick! 1000 Lodi Ln, St Helena, CA 94574.
The fabulous cheese & wine tasting experience I enjoyed and recommend you try!
Ehlers is one of the many St. Helena Wineries that I’ve had the pleasure of visiting a few times, most recently to enjoy their breakfast tasting experience, which shares their wines paired with Bouchon Bakeries pastries. What a fun way to start the day! Ehlers has a very historic tasting room that feels like an old barn. Their wines are spectacular; they actually made me adore Merlot Wines so I suggest you check out Ehlers Estate when planning a visit to St. Helena. Read more about Breakfast at Ehlers Estate on the blog here. 3222 Ehlers Ln, St Helena, CA 94574.
Orin Swift Cellars
Orin Swift is a tasting room located in downtown St. Helena which is great. They have a huge assortment of wines and the setting is very cool, modern, and sleek. 1325 Main St, St Helena, CA 94574.