Napa Wineries You Can Walk To | Local Wally's Napa Tourist Guide | Yountville Mile of Wineries
Local Wally takes you on a Walking Wine Tasting adventure through Yountville, 2 for 1 tastings, FREE coupons, BEST restaurants.
Wine Tasting Without Driving in Napa
Napa on a Budget: Walking the Mile of Wineries in Yountville
What do you do when you're in Napa and you don't have a car, can't afford a driver or tour, but still a day of wine tasting? Simple. You put on your sneakers and and visit the wineries of Yountville. That's right, no driving, no risk of getting pulled over, it's a side of Napa just waiting to be discovered.
Park your car at the southern tip of Yountville in the morning and then put those keys away. The entire walk is about a mile with plenty of stops along the way for wine and food. And don't think that this walking agenda is only for those on a budget. It's a great introduction to the delights of Napa and perfect for your first day or afternoon in town.
And yes, many of these wineries accept the Wine Pass so get yours for 2 for 1's and VIP treatment.
Wine Passports, Phone Apps, Which One?
Don't be confused by other wine "passports" that limit you to a small section of Napa Valley. Only the Priority Wine Pass offers discounts at over 75 wineries in Napa and Sonoma as well as other popular wine regions. Good for a full year, just get one pass per couple and never pay full price for wine tastings again! To get your annual Napa and Sonoma wine pass with my discount go here - and seriously, at $39.99 it pays for itself after your second stop so there's no reason not to get it!
Stop 1: Bouchon Bakery
Start the Day with Coffee and Pastries - then wine!
Start your day early with a good cup of coffee and exceptional pastries from Bouchon Bakery, one of Thomas Keller's establishments. You know Keller, he's the chef responsible for The French Laundry located down the street, often considered the best restaurant - in the world! The baked goods will more than exceed your expectations - get some macaroons!
And sorry guys but I would be in big trouble with the wives if I didn't mention that across the street is V Marketplace, a historic winery turned into boutique shopping. But I got you covered - amongst all the frilly shops is V Wine Cellar where you can get a 2 for 1 with your Wine Pass - $25 value.
Stop 2: Cornerstone Cellars
Head South to Cornerstone Cellars
When friends tell you that the small wineries of Napa are not worth visiting just nod and let them stay in their crazy world - with crazy crowds. But you know that there's more to Napa than the big names found in supermarkets. Cornerstone Cellars is a prime example, a labor of love winery where big reds flow from the Napa Valley while chardonnay and pinots begin their journey to the bottle in Oregon.
Reservations not required for groups of 6 or less, drop in and have a seat at their bar or a cocktail table for a relaxed and education wine tasting experience. Wine Pass members get the standard tasting two for one, $25 value.
Stop 3: Addendum Ad Hoc
Get Some Thomas Keller Fried Chicken
I know you are thinking I might be a bit obsessed with Thomas Keller and it's probably true. After all, he does make some of the best food in the world, including some awesome fried chicken and BBQ. For those of you who can't afford a $1,000 tab at The French Laundry there is Addendum, a tiny food shack located behind the Ad Hoc restaurant. Open seasonally, it's an ultra casual eatery where you order at the window and grab a seat at a picnic table.
Check ahead to make sure they are open and if they are you must not miss this opportunity to sample some of the Keller magic.
Stop 4: Silver Trident
Taste in a Living Room Setting with Keith Richards
I'm telling you, this is one of the strangest yet appealing wine tasting experiences in Napa. Silver Trident Winery looks a bit like a high end furniture store decked out with Ralph Lauren everything. But make a reservation and you'll be invited into one of the various rooms to taste some of Napa's finest wines. Sit back on the soft, relax in a leather clad dining room chair, ahhh, how I wish this was my actual life!
And yes, you can actually buy the furnishings and items in the winery. As for Keith Richards, you'll typically find him lounging by the front door, the winery dog who greets you as you arrive. Reservations Required.
Stop 5: Hill Family Estate Wines
Visit an Antique Store and Taste Some Wine
Another interesting setting for wine tasting, Hill Family Estate Wines is part antique store and part winery. It's a cool setting and the experience made all the better by their enthusiastic and knowledgable staff. A place at the back kitchen table will make you think you're at an old friends house as the wines pour and the time slips away. Wine Pass members get a 2 for 1 tasting, a $20 value. No reservations required.
Nearby is another winery called Hope & Grace, a lovely tasting salon where you can get a food and wine pairing for $25 per person. Sorry, no discounts there but a worthy stop if you have the time.
Stop 6: Jessup Cellars
Art Gallery Meets Winery
Another interesting setting for a great wine tasting experience, Jessup Cellars is a mix of art gallery, sculpture art, and serious wine, all wrapped up in a casually lively setting. Browse the art and photography and then setting into a tasting that pairs a bit of cheese, nuts and chocolates with their wines.
White wine lovers should make Jessup Cellars an essential stop, their Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc are stellar examples of their winemaking skills. Reds equally impressive, Jessup is a family winery makes ultra premium wines served in one of Napa's friendliest tasting rooms. Bring your Wine Pass as you get a two for one here, a $25 value.
Stop 7: Ma(i)sonry Napa Valley
Oddly Eclectic and Instantly Appealing
Ma(i)sonry looks more like a type of store you might find in hipster Portland with its high end and often random items for sale. It's part art gallery, part retail, and a highly inviting wine tasting experience. Located in a historic stone building built in 1902 that was first a wine maker's home then a hotel, the building is reason enough to drop in.
But make an appointment and taste in the lovely backyard where a rustic farm table awaits you with a multitude of tasting options, from wine & cheese to full meals with a vintner. It's a high end tasting and there are no discounts but it's well worth a stop if only to check out the surroundings.
Stop 8: Ding Ding Dinnertime
Ciccio or Redd Wood, Locals' Favorites
The end of the line, the end of the day, your feet are tired and you're hungry. Lucky you, right next to your last winery stop are two of Napa's best restaurants favored by locals, Ciccio and Redd Wood. Both offer casual Italian fare (well, hot wings are sort of Italian, right?) in comfortable settings. More importantly, both are chef driven restaurants that live up to the Napa dining standards.
We're talking gourmet pizzas, amazing pastas, creative salads, all at moderate prices. Want a delicious steak? Redd Wood serves up a rib eye for mid-$30's that beats Ruth's Chris and is big enough to share. Cocktails, beer, ambiance, it doesn't matter which you choose if you're deciding between the two.
Is the Priority Wine Pass Worth It?
Without the Wine Pass the tastings today would cost you $240 per couple. With the pass you save half - $120 - and the card is good for a year so you can use it again and again. Don't listen to those who claim the Wine Pass only works at wineries you don't want to go to. Let those people pay full price and wait in lines at the mega wineries while you enjoy an experience favored by locals and those "in the know".