In Napa Valley, the great outdoors is even better when paired with a lovely view, a glass in hand and an excellent guide introducing you to delicious wines. The panoramic vistas and hospitable ambiance of Sky & Vine® Rooftop Bar at Archer Hotel in downtown Napa is adored by guests and locals alike. Of course, outdoor tastings in Napa Valley are each uniquely memorable. If you haven’t yet experienced outdoor tastings in Napa — or if you have and are looking for more great outdoor tastings to experience, you should give one (or all) of the following wineries a twirl.
1. CADE Estate Winery
Napa Valley’s first LEED Gold certified estate winery, CADE Estate is nestled above the valley on Howell Mountain Road. The 54-acre property includes 21 acres planted to vine — 19 of which are dedicated to cabernet and two acres to merlot grapes. CADE also produces two sauvignon blanc wines.
Along with tasting experiences on the outdoor courtyard patio and winery terrace, tours and tastings include a modern tasting lounge and custom-built cave. Make reservations for an outdoor tasting in Napa Valley by emailing [email protected] or calling 707.965.2746.
2. Frog's Leap Winery
Originally a frog farm in the 1800s but now four decades strong, Frog’s Leap has been farming organically since 1988. Their focus on balance, restraint and respect for the terroir is essential to complementing (not forcing) nature’s efforts to grow excellent grapes. This family-friendly winery welcomes children on certain tastings, and feel free to bring a four-legged friend on a leash to enjoy the outside property alongside you. Above all, remember their motto: “Time’s fun when you’re having flies.” For a tasting, email [email protected] or call 707.963.4704.
3. B Cellars
Employing a multivineyard, multivarietal winemaking strategy, B Cellars delivers a selection of whites and reds with distinct character, depth and layers of flavors. Several tasting experiences are available; Archer’s hosts recommend the Expedition, which tours the vineyards, market garden, hen house and other parts of the property. Typically served on the patio, guests enjoy seasonal pairings of small bites and wine. To reserve this or other great outdoor tastings in Napa Valley, call 707.709.8787.
4. Gargiulo Vineyards
In the Oakville appellation is Gargiulo Vineyards, a trusted partner of Archer Hotel. The Gargiulo family owns two vineyards that focus on nurturing world-class cabernet sauvignon grapes. Guests tour the property and, on sunny days, taste the single vineyard estate wines on the terrace that overlooks Oakville. Owner Jeff Gargiulo has his own band, The Silverado Pickups, and his guitar gallery is in the tasting room. To set an appointment for a tasting, contact estate director Sharon Sidhu at [email protected], or call 707.944.2770.
5. Kenzo Estate
Kenzo Tsujimoto, the owner of CAPCOM (creator of such videogame franchises as “Street Fighter” and “Resident Evil”), is also the owner of Kenzo Estate, named by Bonfort’s Wine & Spirits Journal as a “Top 100 Winery in the World.” With 3,800 acres at an altitude of 1,600 feet above the valley floor and only 150 of those acres planted to vines, Kenzo Estate is planted to Sauvignon Blanc and Bordeaux varietals. Give the aromatic rosé Yui (represents unity in Japanese) a taste. For a tasting reservation, email [email protected] or call 707.254.7572.
6. Round Pond Estate
The second-generation brother- and sister-owned and operated Round Pond Estate lies in the Rutherford region and grows sought-after sauvignon blanc and cabernet sauvignon fruit. Weather permitting, several tasting options take place on the terrace — including the seasonal Chef’s Pairing of wine and small bites — with panoramic views of the vineyards and the Mayacamas mountains beyond. An olive press is on property (Archer adores Round Pond’s varietals of olive oil). Make reservations via email at [email protected] or on roundpond.com.
7. Chappellet Vineyard
The oldest winery on Pritchard Hill is the family-led Chappellet Vineyard. It was one of the first wineries to plant cover crops as a method for soil conservation and erosion prevention. An acclaimed producer of cabernet sauvignon, their portfolio also include chardonnay, chenin blanc, merlot and cabernet franc. Tours begin in the cellar before moving outdoors to see the organic vineyards and outstanding views of Lake Hennessey and beyond. For a tasting, email [email protected] or call 707.286.4219.