VINOGRAPHY®: a wine blog
If you are looking for an intimate, off the grid, winery experience then look no further. The valley is full of small production, family-owned, boutique-style wineries. 95% of Napa Valley wineries are family owned and 67% of Napa Valley wineries produce fewer than 5,000 cases annually.
It was a hard task to narrow this down, but if we had to choose, these are the best small wineries to visit (be sure to make an appointment before you go):
1. Crocker & Starr Winery
Found in St. Helena, Crocker & Starr produces a very small production of wines from their historic organic vineyards that they have been farming since the 1870’s. Try their Al Fresco tasting experience that includes vineyard views with cheese and charcuterie.
2. Chateau Lane Winery
This newly opened winery is hidden deep within the Coombsville District. They feature a beautiful outdoor terrace with spectacular vineyard views. Take a horseback ride through their vineyards prior to your tasting or try the cigar and wine pairing.
In the heart of Stags Leap Appellation on Silverado Trail right outside of Yountville, taste your way through their delicious wines in the beautiful tasting room and terrace. Take a full tour to see the caves and learn how the family makes their wines.
4. Judd’s Hill Winery
The Finkelstein’s started producing wine in the 1970’s and now their son Judd and his wife Holly are at the helm as they continue to handcraft their delicious Napa Valley wines. You can find them right on Silverado trail in Napa.
5. Eleven Eleven Wines
This modern yet unconventional tasting room is nestled in the town of Napa among the vines. Come taste through their wines with a little cheese pairing and enjoy their beautiful new tasting room.
6. Salvestrin Winery
The Salvestrin’s have been growing grapes on their historic St. Helena vineyards since 1932. They produce organically farmed grapes and quality, handcrafted wines. Currently three generations are living on the 26-acre property.
7. Holman Cellars
This small winery at the southern end of Napa produces a limited number of wines ranging from Cabernet Blends to unusual 100% varietal selections. Taste wine with the owners and learn about the beauty and the challenges of small production wines where all wines are processed by hand.
8. Elizabeth Spencer
This small red brick tasting room on Rutherford road features a beautiful outdoor terrace for seated tasting among their gardens. Sample through a variety of their wines or try their Cabernet Appellation tasting to sample through their five different Cabernet Sauvignons.
9. Nichelini Winery
This serene, rustic winery was established in 1890 and is one of the oldest family-owned wineries in the valley. Nichelini wines are so rarely offered to the public, that purchasing their small lot wines from the property is a very special treat.
10. Villa Ragazzi Winery
Specializing in Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon based wines, this winery is sure to impress. Right off Silverado trail, be sure to make an appointment to try the Sangiovese wines, which isn’t often found in the valley.