Featured Wineries: Robert Mondavi, Silver Oak, Plumpjack, Beringer
From San Francisco go over the Golden Gate on Route 101, exit at Hwy 37 east. Turn left at Hwy 121 (traffic light by the Infineon Racetrack, look for the turbo charged cow). You will pass Viansa, Jacuzzi, Cline and Gloria Ferrer. At the next light turn right following the signs to Napa.
After the next light you will see Domaine Carneros towering to the right. Continue on Hwy. 121 to the T intersection with Hwy 29. Turn left, go north into the Napa Valley which is about 30 miles long.
In 15 minutes look for the Oakville Grocery (7856 St Helena Hwy, Hwy 29, Oakville CA) on the right side. The building behind that looks like it was built into the earth is Opus One. Just past there are Robert Mondavi on the left, and on the right Nickel and Nickel, Sequoia Grove, Turnbull, Cakebread, Sawyer, St. Supery and Peju.
Turn left into the Robert Mondavi Winery. They have basic and reserve tastings and wonderful tours. Enjoy! From there turn right out of the winery and immediately turn left at the Oakville Crossroad. In 3 minutes look for the Silver Oak Winery on the right side (They are closed Sunday). Alternately, just past them look for the Plumpjack Winery sign on the left. To reach them you go down a narrow drive to the end, turn left and then right.
Next return to Hwy. 29 and turn right and enter the parking lot for the Oakville Market for sandwiches and picnic tables out back. Alternately, go north and look for the V. Sattui Winery on the right side. They have a deli and picnic grounds but they get absolutely slammed on Saturdays and you can only eat their food there. Across the street is Dean and DeLuca, a world class food market. They have a small seated area, or take the food to Beringer.
If you are up for another winery and some shopping go north on Hwy 29 through the lovely town of St. Helena. Just past town Beringer Winery is on the left-hand side. They do basic and reserve tastings and have wonderful grounds, history and tours. They also do great tours. Their picnic tables are to the left of the Mansion and very pretty, although not well known so it is easy to find a table.
Leaving Beringer if the traffic south looks heavy turn left on Pratt Street, just south of the Beringer entrance, to the Silverado Trail. Turn right and follow this to Trancas Street on the northern edge of the city of Napa. Turn right there to the entrance for Hwy 29 south. This is a scenic way to avoid traffic while seeing more of this beautiful valley.
Remember to drink lots of water and eat protein and fat to keep your energy high and your blood sugar levels steady. Always have a designated driver.
Central Napa Tour
Call 707-235-2648 for Tours, Books & Seminars Copyright Ralph & Lahni de Amicis 2013 All tasting fees, hours, wine lists, etc are subject to change.