Napa Wine: One-Day Tasting Tour

Courtesy Bardessono/Sammy Todd Dyess

With more than 500 producers in the Napa Valley, planning a trip to wine country can be overwhelming. Simplify the process by following our itinerary, which loops north of Yountville, ending for dinner in the town of Napa. We’ve listed several of our favorite tasting rooms in driving order, but just pick the ones that sound best. You’ll have time for two or three visits before lunch. After a morning of tastings, plan on refueling at Thomas Keller’s Bouchon, then continue on for a little retail therapy in Napa, ending for dinner at the award-winning Ubuntu. —Erica Duecy

Courtesy Bardessono/Sammy Todd Dyess

Stop 1: Breakfast at Bardessono

Our favorite Napa lodging is Bardessono in Yountville. The eco-luxe hotel is made entirely from re-purposed materials, and boasts a stylish restaurant.

Try: Fuel up for a day of wine tasting with breakfast hits like the pork-cheek confit hash, or brioche French toast.

Learn more: Bardessono review

Courtesy Robert Sinskey Vineyards/Rob Sinskey

Stop 2: Robert Sinskey Vineyards

This winery on the Silverado Trail appears austere from the exterior, but the wines being made inside are lush and velvety. Tastings include delicious food pairings.

Try: blackberry-and cocoa-scented Cabernet Franc.

Learn more: Robert Sinskey Vineyards review

Courtesy Cakebread Cellars/Terrence McCarthy

Stop 3: Cakebread Cellars

The Cakebreads have been making wine on this property since 1973, and are one of the most well-known (and best-regarded) families in the business. Call ahead to arrange an appointment.

Try: the Dancing Bear Ranch blend, a complex, age-worthy wine featuring Bordeaux varietals.

Learn more: Cakebread Cellars review

Courtesy Robert Mondavi Winery

Stop 4: Robert Mondavi Winery

Mondavi is a great place to stop with wine newbies. Tours offer a full overview of the winemaking process, along with a seated tasting.

Try: juicy, chocolatey Cabernet Sauvignon.

Learn more: Robert Mondavi Winery review

Courtesy Far Niente Winery

Stop 5: Far Niente Winery

Come to Far Niente if you're looking for a more intimate tasting experience. The fee is higher than most tasting rooms (and reservations are required), but the tour is informative and tastings include a cheese pairing.

Try: creamy, tropical fruit-inflected Estate-Bottled Chardonnay.

Learn more: Far Niente review

Courtesy Thomas Keller Restaurant Group

Stop 6: Lunch at Bouchon Bistro

Thomas Keller's casual French bistro is a classy place to refuel after a wine-intensive morning.

Try: raw seafood or charcuterie platters, caramelized butternut squash and celery root salad, and eggy profiteroles with homemade vanilla ice cream.

Learn more: Bouchon review

Courtesy Ma(i)sonry/P. Burditch

Stop 7: Ma(i)sonry Winery

This collective tasting room showcases a rotating selection of wines from smaller vintners like Blackbird Vineyards and Uvaggio. Plan to spend some time relaxing in the lovely sculpture garden, or perusing the eclectic homewares shop.

Try: cherry- and spice-scented Blackbird Vineyards Arise, a red blend.

Learn more: Maisonry website

Courtesy Oxbow Market

Stop 8: Oxbow Market

Hit culinary gold at this market, which features cult artisanal producers like Ritual Coffee Roasters, Kara's Cupcakes, and Hog Island Oyster Company. Shop for exotic spices or upscale homewares at other vendors, or taste yet more wines at Oxbow Wine Merchants.

Taste: the odd-sounding (but award-winning) Chili Lime Tortilla Tequila Brittle from Anette's Chocolates.

Learn more: Oxbow Public Market review

Courtesy Ubuntu/Melissa Barnes

Stop 9: Dinner at Ubuntu

It may be a vegetarian restaurant, but we think it's the most intriguing and delicious one you'll ever visit. The flavor combinations and preparations will wow even the most dedicated meat-eaters.

Try: warm focaccia with truffled pecorino and apricot-almond agrodolce.

Learn more: Ubuntu website