People go to the wine country for the wine. After all, in places like Napa Valley there are several hundred wineries and vineyards to tour and sample from. But sometimes you might something a little different from your wine tasting. Or at least, you want something else in addition to the wine.
Here are the top 5 things to do in wine country!
1. Wine Tours
With so many different wineries, there are plenty to explore no matter what you’re looking for. If you want to go to a large producer that has high name recognition, you can check out Robert Mondavi Winery. However, if you prefer more intimate and secluded properties you might enjoy the O’Brien Estate or Frog’s Leap.
Some wineries even offer self-guided tours that take you over the grounds to view the rolling hills of grape vines. If you want to taste your wine in the garden overlooking the vineyard, check out Saintsbury. One of the gems of the wine country is also the castle at Castello di Amorosa. The owner Dario Sattui was also the builder who brought over the bricks from old Hapsburg Palaces to create a Medieval castle in the heart of wine country.
2. Culinary Activities
In any trip to the wine country, you will want to pair it with a fun culinary experience. Napa Valley also has a wide range of culinary experiences to include in your trip.
For example, Hall Wines offers a fun “Sip, Stroll and Savor” tour which offers small plates, an art tour and even wine tasting. They also include a 30course wine and food pairing workshop once a month.
The Culinary Institute of America is also a must. While you’re there take one of their famous daily wine and food classes in the Napa Valley Vintners Theater. They include interactive demonstrations, hands on cooking classes and even private classes. Once you’ve finished with the class, enjoy a distinctive meal at their restaurant with seasonally inspired dishes paired with wine, beer and cocktails. CIA Copia also has fun Tasting Showcases where you can taste an eclectic collection of products and wine from around the valley.
3. Outdoor Activities
If you are looking to enjoy the beautiful weather or simply get your body moving after all the food and wine, check out some of the amazing outdoor activities.
Napa Valley hosts a variety of outdoor activities for the adventurous and the more cautious.
For the active wine enthusiast, go on a “Sip ‘n’ Cycle” tour with Getaway Adventures. They offer a guided bike tour around the country. There you will ride comfortable bikes through the smaller family owned wineries and the charming country lanes. They also have incredible gourmet picnics in the shade.
Air Balloon rides are also incredibly popular for the wine enthusiast. Many companies offer personal flights to show you the beauty of the country from a bird’s eye view. The pilots are some of the most experienced in the world.
There are also world class golf courses like Silverado Resort Golf and the Chardonnay Golf Club. These golf courses have 18- hole courses suitable for both the experienced golfer and the beginner.
4. Night Life
After your tours during the day, you may want to experience the nightlife in the wine country.
The Uptown Theatre in Napa has headlining events for both music and comedy. They feature a state of the art sound system with premium seating and generous leg room. The art-deco theatre has been restored to ensure you have a unique experience.
If you are looking for something a little more low key, check out Silo’s Music Room. Located downtown at the Historic Napa Mill, you can view rock, Motown, and reggae performers while sipping on some of Napa’s best wine and draft beers.
5. Arts and Entertainment
Napa also offers a unique art experience.
The Napa Valley Museum has exhibits dedicated to the environment and cultural history of Napa Valley. However, they also have traveling exhibits that focus on anything from history to the natural sciences to fine art.
The Hess Collection Winery also has a Contemporary Art Museum. The collection pulls from the privately curated works of Donald Hess. Mr. Hess’s collection is one of the top 200 in the world and is driven by passion rather than the current trend. He encourages a close understanding with the artist to understand what drives him or her to create.