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Napa-One Day Visit

Chicago, Illinois
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Napa-One Day Visit

My boyfriend and I will be arriving in Napa midday on a Wednesday in May. We will probably arrive around 1 or 2 pm and will be leaving the following afternoon. I've been to Napa once before and visited a few wineries, but I'm not sure where to begin. I would love to do a wine tour, but I haven't been able to find any options that start midday on a Wednesday. We like a variety of wines (with the exception of sweet) and would love to visit wineries or go to a tasting room.

1) How late are most wineries open during the week?

2) Is it better for us to go to a tasting room or drive around and visit the wineries? Obviously with our limited time this is of a concern. We would be fine visiting 2 or 3 wineries if able.

3) Any recommendations on tasting rooms? Specials?

4) We have not yet booked our hotel. Is there an area that is better to stay in if you are on a budget? I'm trying to stay around $150 a night, but would like to be somewhat near things to limit our driving?

I appreciate any help!


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1. Re: Napa-One Day Visit


If you're trying to do an actual tour, you're probably looking at 1.5-2 hours. If you're looking at just going to tasting rooms, you can be in and out in 30 minutes. Most of the wineries close between 4:30-5:00 PM, so depending on what time you are able to start, whether you want tours or tastings only, you may be able to make only one or as many as three that afternoon. Try this website: www.winecountry.com, which is a great resource for Napa wineries. Many of the wineries are close together, so if you pick 2-3 that are reasonably close, you should have no problem. DO NOT DRIVE UNDER THE INFLUENCE, HOWEVER--the local gendarmes are not very forgiving!

Your budget is probably going to put you in the town of Napa, as opposed to something further north in the valley. I've never stayed there, but one of the locals or Destination Experts can offer great advice on what would work for you.

Napa, CA
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2. Re: Napa-One Day Visit

"I haven't been able to find any options that start midday on a Wednesday"

Are you asking about commercial group tours like Platypus? If so, I'm not aware of any that start in the afternoon. It wouldn't be worthwhile for any company to do that.

Now, if you are talking about winery tours offered by wineries, there are many that are given in the afternoon. If you can get there by 2pm, I would recommend the tour at Hendry Ranch:


This is an excellent tour that takes about 2.5 hours and you get to taste a lot of wine.

If you can't make that one, you could drive further up the mountain and take a 3:30 tour at Hess Collection which is a favorite with many people who like wine and art.

For lodging, take a look at google maps and do a search for Napa lodging. A lot of hotels will turn up and if you hover your mouse over the letters that come up, you can see the lodging's name and approximate price per night. It doesn't include all the hotels but it's a start.

A good place to start is with the properties in north Napa along Hwy 29. Here you will find the chain motels like Marriott and Hilton Garden, Ones that don't show up on the map are a Best Western and a Quality Inn. You can find them on other hotel booking sites.

I hope this helps and have a wonderful visit whatever you decide to do.

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3. Re: Napa-One Day Visit

Tracee - We have never been to Napa but planing a trip in March. We are staying at the Embassy Suites in Napa for three nights. Got a 150$ rate from their website. We plan to stop at Domaine Carneros and possibly Artesa on the way into Napa ( tastings but no tours) before making our way to the hotel and checking in. Another option since you are getting there early enough is Del Dotto at 3 or 3:30. That is on our must do list. Also, check out Maisonry in Yountville. Apparently it stays open later than the wineries and earns good reviews for tastings from its "partner vintners". Also, I recall reading that there is a Napa Tour Company (not sure which one as I have looked at so many!) that offers a 4 hour midweek limo special of $299 if you could get there in time to start at 1.

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Domaine Carneros
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4. Re: Napa-One Day Visit

Another option is for your to check-in with the Napa Welcome Center concierge staff ... they have access to the schedules for some of our local private tour guides.

I do know that - if the guide isn't booked for the day - many would welcome taking you out on a half-day "Get Oriented" tour in the afternoon at a reasonable, half-day price.

Contact the Welcome Center at: (707) 251-5895

Edited: 1:38 pm, January 22, 2013
5. Re: Napa-One Day Visit

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