Bouchaine Vineyards is the oldest continuously operating winery in the Carneros District. Begun in the late 1880s, the winery features outdoor tastings on the terrace overlooking an expansive garden of roses, lavender, and buddleia. Tables and chairs on the lawn offer panoramic views of the dramatic Carneros District vineyard landscape. Bouchaine believes fine wine is grown in the vineyard. They are committed to producing their award-winning Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays sustainably as seen in in their Napa Green and Fish Friendly Farming certifications. Bouchaine continually endeavors to create the perfect bottle of wine embodying the excellence of Burgundy, the exuberance of California and the terroir of Carneros.
Located at: 1075 Buchli Station Road, Napa, CA 94559. Open Daily at 10:30 a.m.
Far Niente Winery
The Far Niente Winery is surrounded by 13 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens, thought by many to be among the most stunning landscapes in the Napa Valley. Described as “southern” in style, with an emphasis on texture and foliage, the highlight of the Far Niente gardens are the thousands of southern azaleas that bloom every spring, carpeting the estate in brilliant hues of bright red and deep pink. It is said to be the largest single planting of this particular variety of azalea in California, and possibly throughout all of the west coast. At the height of bloom, colorful patches of azaleas are visible from a mile away on Highway 29.
The gardens surrounding the winery offer many intricate details. Hand-shaped and fitted flagstone stairs and pathways traverse the winery grounds, and quaint stone bridges cross over the ponds, adding dimension to the estate. The gardens are also home to a number of specimen trees, including Japanese maple, Japanese snowbell, lion’s head maple, Chinese fringe and saucer magnolia.
Frog’s Leap is a family owned winery dedicated to sustainable principles and committed to producing wines with balance, restraint, and respect for terroir. Founded in 1981 by the Williams Family, today Frog’s Leap makes its home at the historic Red Barn in the heart of Rutherford. With a commitment to sustainability in farming practices—such as dry farming and solar power—Frog’s Leap was the first winery in Napa to become certified organic in 1988. In an effort to support the biodiversity of the farm, Frog’s Leap organically grows almost 70 different vegetable and fruit crops—from peaches to tomatoes to zucchini—which are sold to local restaurants, at farmers’ markets and as well as used to make seasonal preserves and jellies sold at the winery. The gardens also flaunt hundreds of flowering plants, trees, and shrubbery which guests may enjoy from a perch on the patio or a relaxed stroll around the grounds. The winery is open seven days a week from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.
Reservations are required for all tours and tastings, to make reservations call 707-963-4704 or visit them at frogsleap.com to reserve a spot.
Chateau Montelena’s setting is one of the most peaceful in the Napa Valley – a stone castle carved into a hillside overlooking a Chinese garden, lake and vineyards reaching out to the base of Mount Saint Helena. As true stewards of the land, Chateau Montelena’s topography is a reflection of the gifts of Mother Nature. While they appear to be groomed, the gardens are not heavily manicured; plants and trees typically grow where and how nature intended. Walking the paths around the lake, visitors are surrounded by trees and plants native to the area, including redwoods, oak, madrone, and toyon. Integrated into these natives are non-endemic species that further enhance the beauty of the gardens, including a number of cherry blossoms, a range of Japanese maple, elm, gingko, and willows. Scattered along the grounds, you’ll also find a variant of fruit trees; including pear, heirloom apple, persimmon, pomegranate, peaches, and plums. The Calistoga AVA offers the perfect climate for citrus, and apart from standards such as mandarins, key limes, naval & blood oranges, Buddha’s hand, Cara Cara, Yuzu, finger lime and pomelo line the paths leading to the tasting room.
Jade Lake provides the perfect backdrop for this sanctuary of wildlife flora and hosts fauna such as the mute swans and ducks which call the lake home and the occasional visits of otters and beavers.
Located at: 1429 Tubbs Ln, Calistoga – Tours and Tastings are available 7 days a week from 9:30- 4 p.m.
Approaching Peju Winery on Highway 29, visitors are greeted from a distance by a row of unusually pruned, iconic sycamore trees that line the winery driveway. Upon entering the winery grounds, Vineyards, landscaping, art and architecture seem to form a separate world, created by the Peju family. Peju is an environment of impeccable lawns, immaculately pruned trees and a bounty of flowers. In the summer, guests journey to Peju to view the estate’s nearly 700 award-winning teddy bear sunflowers planted by head gardener Javier Rios. Beyond the winery’s circular driveway guests may find a hidden garden, complete with a man-made “Willow Creek, charming footbridge and koi pond full of fish. In any one of these areas, visitors may find Mrs. Peju herself, digging in the soil to add colorful new plants or pruning showy roses.
Located at: 8466 St. Helena Highway, Rutherford – 800-446-7358
At Raymond Vineyards they take great strides to teach guests and community about our practices and our commitment to environmental sustainability. They have a two-acre demonstration garden, known as the Theater of Nature, that illustrates the Biodynamic philosophy of how all elements (plant, animal and human) are interconnected and how each play an important role in the health of a vineyard/farm. It provides the perfect platform to educate tasting room guests as well as groups from local organizations and schools through a series of five acts that teach the importance of all the elements that comprise an ecosystem, and how their interdependence functions. Their garden resonates strongly with their guests and is an outreach and educational tool unique to Boisset.
Located at: 849 Zinfandel Lane, St. Helena – 707-793-3141
Sinegal Estate Winery
In 2013 thirty majestic acres in the heart of Napa Valley, once a welcoming landmark for the Pony Express, became home to Sinegal Estate Winery. Today, Sinegal Estate founders David & Jim Sinegal aim to preserve the story of the land— fully restoring the gorgeous Victorian home constructed in 1881 while meticulously caring for twenty-plus year-old vines and acres of lush gardens. The state-of-the-art winery is nestled within ten acres of vines and surrounded by botanical gardens once designed by Master Gardener Ernest Wertheim. From April-October the organic vegetable gardens supply a bountiful harvest for local restaurants to source from.
As a small, family-owned estate, Sinegal Estate can just see a few small groups per day who are interested in adding wine to their collections. The tasting experience includes a guided tour through the state-of-the-art winery, subterranean cave, organic vineyard, vegetable garden, and gorgeous lake. Tasting fees are $75 per person and are happily waived with a few bottle purchase.
Located at: 2125 Inglewood Ave., St. Helena
Virtual Vines provides DTC sales and marketing services & training focused on relationship selling and the intrinsic value of building connections with customers. In this series, we focus on wineries that are connecting with customers through memorable guest experiences.