St Helena is home to the Spring Mountain wine growing district so with 152 wineries in the area, we’ve done the leg work for you and whittled down that list to create our top 12. Here, they are alongside bottle recommendations for each business. We know that when tasting wine the whole experience is really important and so we’ve also included information on the style of the tasting sessions to help you find the perfect winery to book with. Ok, let’s start this tour…
1. Charbay Distillery and Winery
Lovingly nicknamed as the “Still On The Hill” this family owned brewery has an extensive knowledge from over 12 generations in the winery business. Founder and Master Winemaker Miles Karakasevic, was raised in former Yugoslavia and considers winemaking & distilling as ‘an art endeavor’. They are particularly well known for their spirits as well, so if wine isn’t your thing be sure to try out their Green Tea Aperitif. Otherwise we’ll be recommending the Cabernet Sauvignon, but during your own tasting session you might find the perfect bottle for you!
Charbay Distillery and Winery
Address: 4001 Spring Mountain Rd, St Helena, CA 94574
Tasting Experience Price 25 USD
Recommendation: Cabernet Sauvignon
Website: Charbay Distillery and Winery
2. Hall St Helena
Something completely different can be found at Hall St Helena, with its modern features, impressive art collection featuring the likes of John Baldessari, Jim Campbell, Nick Cave and Jaume Plensa. Also, don’t be surprised to see two polished metal leaping bunny rabbit statues frolicking through their vineyard! Craig and Kathryn Hall’s extensive wine listings and the beautiful location of Hall St Helena makes this location perfect for a birthday party tasting session.
Hall St Helena
Address: 4401 St Helena Hwy, St Helena, CA 94574
Tasting Experience Price 40 USD
Recommendation: Cabernet Sauvignon
Website: Hall St Helena
3. Cakebread Cellars
Onto its second generation of winemakers and having opened its doors in 1973, this fantastic winery creates beautiful bottles for you to enjoy. The tasting sessions here are always a treat because there are so many different variations on offer: from red wine tastings, to current releases and even a fantastic food and wine pairing session. The staff are knowledge, welcoming and friendly so you’re sure to feel relaxed at this winery. Want our recommendation? It has to be the Dancing Bear Cabernet Sauvignon.
Address: 8300 St Helena Hwy, Napa, CA 94558
Tasting Experience Price 15 USD
Recommendation: Dancing Bear Cabernet Sauvignon
Website: Cakebread Cellars
4. Fantesca Estate and Winery
Winemaker Heidi Barrett has been dubbed by some as the “first lady of wine”, and well to be honest we can see why. With 10 acres (4 hectares) to play with, much smaller than some of the other wineries on this list, Fantesca constantly strive to use the land in the best way to create gorgeous grapes by the handful. Private tasting sessions are much more of a ‘treat’ here than they are in other, more relaxed wineries. We love that the tastings can take place on the decking overlooking the vineyard.
Fantesca Estate and Winery
Address: Dummy Full Address
Tasting Experience Price: Available upon request from winery
Recommendation: Pinot Noir
Website: Fantesca Estate and Winery
5. Salvestrin Winery
This winery may be a little off of the beaten track in St Helena but is perfect for couples on a date. You can take a tour of the winery and then relax on the outside patio enjoying the wine tasting section of the tour; our favourite part! This family run winery is dedicated to sustainable farming, something they have been passionate about as a family since they began winemaking over 80 years ago.
Address: 397 Main St, St Helena, CA 94574
Tasting Experience Price: 35 USD
Recommendation: Sauvignon Blanc
Website: Salvestrin Winery
6. Prager Winery
The only one of its kind on this list, a sweet wine winery! Yes, I can hear all of you sweet wine lovers jump for joy, and so you should because this family-setting style winery has been a firm favourite since 1979. The tasting room is more like a secret small log cabin, so different from other Napa tasting experiences, you’ll feel like you’re on holiday in the mountains with your friends.
Address: 1281 Lewelling Ln, St Helena, CA 94574
Tasting Experience Price: 20 USD
Recommendation: 2012 Madeline Harvest Riesling
Website: Prager Winery
7. Charles Krug Winery
This modern and upmarket winery has an interesting history; in 1999, the family decided to replant the whole of the vineyard with carefully chosen clonal grape varieties which in their eyes suited to soil and climate conditions. Well, we know that they create some amazing wines and so it seems that this gamble paid off! Their tasting sessions are paired with a tour of the award winning Redwood cellar, the vineyards, and eventually ending with an artisan meat and cheese board which perfectly complements the wine.
Charles Krug Winery
Address: 2800 Main St, St Helena, CA 94574
Tasting Experience Price: 75 USD
Recommendation: 2014 Napa Valley Merlot or the 2016 St Helena Sauvignon Blanc
Website: Charles Krug Winery
8. Pride Mountain Vineyards
Another option for a winery that we would say is off the beaten track. This mountain top winery is 16 minutes from Saint Helena on the Saint Helena Road. Although it may be a little bit far we just had to have this winery on our list for a number of reasons. Not only does it offer breathtaking hilltop views across the regions, they also hold their tasting sessions in a cave. That’s right… a cave. Cool factor for this massive 235 acre (95 hectare) estate just went up 10 points. Over 23,000 square feet of subterranean storage winds naturally under the hillside, opening out onto a terrace overlooking the vineyards and the scenic northern Napa Valley. Perfect doesn’t event really begin to describe it.
Pride Mountain Vineyards
Address: Pride Mountain Vineyards, 4026 Spring Mountain Road, St. Helena, CA 94574
Tasting Experience Price: 30 USD
Recommendation: 2015 Pride Merlot
Website: Pride Mountain Vineyards
9. Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards
We love the relaxed, no-need-to-hurry mentality at Anderson’s Conn Valley Vineyards. Opened in 1983 and with their first release in 1987 the family believe that good wines need time and that atmosphere filters through to the whole of the tasting day. Due to its location and climate differences this 40 acre (16 hectare) estate is normally two or three weeks behind the St Helena growing calendar.
Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards
Address: 680 Rossi Rd, St Helena, CA 94574
Tasting Experience Price: 65 USD
Recommendation: Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
Website: Anderson’s Conn Valley Vineyards
10. Raymond Vineyards
Something a bit different now for this Las Vegas style vineyard, we love that there are a number of themed tasting rooms from futurustic, bordello-esque, a boardroom, or even a crystal room! Essentially you will be spoilt for choice. With a family history of winemaking dating back to the 1870s this family setting is perfect for groups or parties or maybe even people who have been to a number of tastings and are now looking or something a bit different. Either way we love the creativity and care that you’ll find here.
Address: 849 Zinfandel Ln, St Helena, CA 94574
Tasting Experience Price: Vary depending on room
Recommendation: 40th Anniversary Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Website: Raymond Vineyards
11. Sherwin Family Vineyards
This small family run vineyard deserves to be on this list because we love the story of how this family came to be a leading player in St Helena. After 30 years as a builder in the bay area owner Steve and his family were ready for new challenge, at this point their friend told them to try buying some land in Napa Valley and grow grapes. In 1996 Steve purchased 30 acres (12 hectares) and the rest, so they say, is history. Tasting sessions here really give you the chance to know the family and the land, we’re sure that you’ll be coming back year on year.
Sherwin Family Vineyards
Address: 4060 Spring Mountain Rd, St Helena, CA 94574
Tasting Experience Price: 55 USD
Recommendation: Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
Website: Sherwin Family Vineyards
Last on our list, but certainly not bottom of the list is the awe inspiring Chappellet vineyard which sits atop Pritchard Hill since 1967. The unusual rugged terrain has created some interesting flavours in the wine. There are a number of tasting experiences offered and the team try their hardest to tailor the experience for you. This winery is unique because it boasts one of the most beautiful Chenin Blanc wines which is notoriously hard for Napa Wineries to produce.
Address: 1581 Sage Canyon Rd, St Helena, CA 94574
Tasting Experience Price: from 40 USD
Recommendation: Chenin Blanc
Another glass please....
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