Downtown Napa’s Bustling Wine Scene

It’s a relatively new phenomenon, but downtown Napa has become a prime location to taste wines. The compact area contains approximately 40 tasting venues, including single-winery tasting rooms, multiple winery collectives, stores that pour wine, wine bars, restaurants- and it’s growing.

Though established mostly to provide visibility for wineries in remote locations or smaller vintners without their own tasting rooms, the area has developed to become an oasis of wine experiences that are easily accessible on foot.

Here’s a sampling of some of downtown Napa’s wine tasting venues, each with its own unique charm, and invariably something for everyone.

Depending on the time and date of visit, hours, reservation requirements, seating options, and safety guidelines may vary. Please call ahead to check current status.

Ackerman Family Vineyards

10am-5pm by appointment only

608 Randolph St.

855-238-9463 // www.ackermanfamilyvineyards.com

Ackerman Family Vineyards pours its wine at the 1889 Ackerman Heritage House. Guests get  an  architectural tour of the impeccably restored Queen Anne Victorian home, followed by a seated tasting of Ackerman wines which feature Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon from its Certified Organic Stonehaven   vineyard in Napa Valley’s Coombsville appellation, plus red blends. They also offer seasonally curated food pairings and events.

Compline Wine Bar and Restaurant

11:30am-4pm for lunch; 5pm-8:30pm for dinner. Open daily but Tuesday. Reservations highly recommended. 1300 First St. #312

707-492-8150 // www.complinewine.com

Compline (pronounced COMP- len) is a tasting room, wine store and restaurant with over 500 selections. The shop focuses on great wines under $40. The food and service are casual, but the ingredients are local and pristine. The patio is dog friendly.

 

Feast it Forward Studio

11am-6pm Thursday-Tuesday, except Sunday, which opens at noon.

1031 McKinstry St.

707-819-2403 // www.feastitforward.com

Feast It Forward is a unique venue. In addition to pouring rare wines from about 16 fam- ily-owned small wineries, it has a full demonstration kitchen and studio to produce cooking videos and often  hosts  music as well. Combine that with a store and showcase for cooking and lifestyle items and patios for enjoying wine and elevated views of Oxbow Commons.

Gabrielle Collection taste +

11am-9pm Friday and Saturday; 11am-7pm Sunday-Thursday 

707-815-0364 // www.oconnellfamilywines.com

Gabrielle Collection taste + is a wine tasting salon and market for family-based O’Connell Family Wines and an expansive collection of culinary products from their farm in Napa Valley, including infused organic sea salts, rubs, infused honey, olive oils, herbs, and herb blends, and infused organic sugars. Other specialty products include aromatherapy cleaning spray, lavender sachets, gardeners hand soap, personal care products sourced from organic estate-grown lavender, and other pure botanicals. They even have treats for the pooch. Their tasting patio overlooks the Napa River and Creek, and they offer food  pairings  and  snacks as well as wines, which include Gabrielle Collection Cabernets, Pietro Family Cellars, CE Cellars, and O’Connell Family Vineyards.

 

John Anthony Vineyards

10am-10pm Sunday-Wednesday; 10am-midnight Thursday-Saturday.

1440 First St. 

707-265-7711 //  www.javwine.com

John Anthony Vineyards’ Tasting Lounge is conveniently located next door to the Andaz Hotel. It features their hand-crafted, terroir-driven classic styles of wine from around Napa Valley by the taste, glass, or bottle in an elegant setting. Their  big,   bold   Syrah  is a local favorite. Open late on weekends. Outdoor seating is limited, so call ahead.

 

Housley Napa Valley

11am–7pm

1038 Clinton St.

707-690-9192 // www.housleynapavalley.com

Sixth generation local natives pour their affordable and approachable wines in a family- friendly setting open to all, including an expanded outdoor seating plan. They offer 11 different wines from Housley Napa Valley and Century Oak Winery.

For food, try chocolate pairings with the wines as well as olive and cheese, local chips, and popcorn that pairs amazingly with wine.

 

Mayacamas Downtown

11am-6pm Wednesday-Sunday

1256 Main St.

707-294-1433 // www.mayacamas.com

Mayacamas Downtown offers age- worthy, classically styled Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Merlot wines from current or library vintages by the glass or by the bottle along with a selection of locally sourced cheeses for an elevated pairing experience. The tasting room show- cases collectible Taschen and Assouline coffee table books, Italian leather goods, and exclusive Mayacamas merchandise such as hats and pull-tabs.

 

Rebel Vintners

1-7pm Thursday-Sunday; Monday- Wednesday by appointment.

1201 First St.  

707-637-4855 // www.RebelVintners.com

Rebel Vintners is a collective tasting room featuring wines from three boutique produc- ers: Leaf and Vine, Uncharted, and Cadle Family Wines.  All  are owner and winemaker operated, offering small pro- duction wines from the best growing regions of Northern California. A daily six-wine flight includes two from each boutique producer for $30. They also offer a menu of small bites hand-delivered from nearby Middle Eastern Small World Restaurant.

Sharing the space with Rebel Vintners is Shadowbox Cellars with its own entrance around the corner. www.shadowboxcellars.com

 

RiverHouse – Blackbird Vineyards

12-5pm Thursday-Monday

604  Main  St.

707-252-4440 // www.blackbirdvineyards.com

RiverHouse offers a unique setting for seated wine  tasting on a patio overlooking the Napa River. Guests can enjoy wines from Blackbird Vineyards and Ærena Wines and the opportunity to buy Recuerdo Wines. Inside is a curated selection of fine art, antiquities, and objets d’art by Ærena Galleries & Gardens.

 

The Wine Thief

11am-6pm

708 1st St.

707-666-2650 // www.twtnapa.com

Conveniently located in the popular Oxbow corridor, The Wine Thief is a vintner owned and operated tasting lounge focused on the little guy.  The wines they serve are small production, hand-crafted, family- owned labels, each with its own story and scarcely available anywhere else in the world. The vibe is local and a great place to meet the vintners who are often on-site. The  wineries include  AJ Pearce Wines, Brace and Bit, Buoncristiani Family Winery, Correlation Wine Co., Delgadillo Cellars, Kale Wines, Le Piche, Purlieu, and Solamente. Call ahead for appointment.

 

Vintner’s Collective

11am-7pm

1245 Main St.

707-255-7150 // www.vintnerscollective.com

Vintner’s Collective was one of the pioneer tasting venues in downtown Napa and remains exceptional  with  its  exten- sive roster of wine from small producer wineries. The two- story space occupies a historic stone building that  was  once  a bordello and private tastings are hosted on the patio rooftop. Vintners include Ancien Wines, Azur Wines, Buoncristiani Family Winery, Carte Blanche Wine, Clark-Claudon Vineyards, D Cubed Cellars,            Flanagan Wines, Hailstone Vineyards, Hertelendy Wines, KrisTodd Vineyards, Las Bonitas Wines, Longfellow Wines, Nellcôte On Q Wines, Patel Napa Valley, R.A. Harrison Family Cellars, Richard Perry Vineyards, Roy Estate, Tournesol Wine Estate, Treasure Wines and Vinoce Vineyards.

 

NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK

Be Bubbly

9am–11pm Friday– Saturday; 9am–8pm Sunday-Thursday

1407 2nd St.

707-637-4532 // www.BeBubblyNapa.com

Be Bubbly is the first and only dedicated Champagne and sparkling wine lounge in Napa Valley. It offers sparkling wines from home and  abroad by  the  glass or by the bottle to enjoy in the lounge plus a selection of still and sparkling wines to go. Not just a tasting room, it’s a haven where locals and visitors alike can unwind and indulge in the perfect beverage.

In addition to  a  wide  range of Champagne, Be Bubbly also offers eclectic options like a sparkling Chenin Blanc or rosé from France, a bubbly  Lambrusco from Italy, an exclusive Prosecco on tap or California favorites such a Schramsberg and Iron Horse.

It serves small plates of charcuterie, cheese, caviar and salty chips, veggies, and hummus plus food from local restaurants on special occasions.

 

First and Franklin Marketplace

11am-5pm Monday- Saturday

1331 First St. 

707-252-1000 // www.firstandfranklinmarketplace.com

First and Franklin  Marketplace is a deli, market and wine tasting venue pouring a variety of local wines all in one place. Every week different wineries showcase their specialties. Happy hour is hosted daily from 3-5 p.m. and features special snacks and winery representatives educating guests on their wines.

Wineries represented include Black Stallion,  Buena  Vista, Ceja, Goosecross Cellars, Grgich Hills, Charles Krug, Laird, Luna, Peju, Raymond Estates/JCB, Storybook Mountain, Trefethen, and Whitehall Lane.

 

Roots Run Deep Winery

12-7pm Friday-Monday. Appointments required.

1607 First  St.

707-945-1045 // www.rootsrundeep.com

Roots Run Deep Winery’s new downtown Napa tasting salon provides four private  tasting rooms (to accommodate social distancing.) They currently offer tastings of Sonoma Coast Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, Napa County Merlot from Oak Knoll and Yountville, Educated Guess Napa Cabernet Sauvignon and Bound and Determined Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.

 

other downtown spots worth noting….

 

Alpha Omega Collective – Alpha Omega, Tolosa, Perinet wines

1245 First St. 

707-294-6960

AOCNapa.com

Amuse Bouche

1030 Main St. // 707-251-9300

amusebouchewine.com

Bazan Cellars

960 Clinton St.

707-927-5564

mariobazancellars.com

Cadet Wine Bar

930 Franklin St

707-224-4400

cadetbeerandwinebar.com

Gamling & McDuck

1420 Second St.

707-819-2835

gamlingandmcduck.com

Robert Craig Winery

625 Imperial Way Ste 1

707-252-2250

robertcraigwine.com

Walt Wines

605 First St.

707-933-4440

waltwines.com

 

For a complete listing of Downtown Napa wine tasting rooms, please visit: donapa.com

Article By: Paul Franson