Beyond the Wine: Tastings in the Napa Valley
February 20, 2020
When your teeth turn purple, it's time to change things up. Luckily, the diverse valley has you covered, whether you're in the mood for high tea or prefer a craft cocktail made with farm-fresh local ingredients.
There’s a beer revolution (literally!) brewing in Napa Valley, with roughly a dozen spots to tap into. The largest concentration of breweries are scattered throughout downtown Napa, where you can create your own self-guided brewery walking tour. Sip pints from global names like Stone Brewing to local operations including Trade Brewing, Tannery Bend, and Downtown Joe’s. Pop into St. Clair Brown Winery and Brewery and taste brews handcrafted by Elaine St. Clair, the only woman in the United States to hold the commercial title of both winemaker and brewer. Further up-valley, Harvest Table at Harvest Inn brews their own beer on-site, as does Calistoga Inn & Brewery.
Thirsty for more? Check out a full list of breweries.
Tour Napa Valley Distillery (the first to open in Napa Valley following Prohibition), then imbibe a flight of uniquely flavored spirits made with fresh fruits like Meyer lemon and nectarine. This downtown Napa warehouse’s second-floor loft has been transformed into a 1920s glam tasting salon. Short on time? Pop by the outpost at Oxbow Public Market. In the mood for a nice cocktail after a day of wine tasting? Goose & Gander in St. Helena shakes things up every week with Whiskey Wednesdays and Tiki Thursdays- snag a table in the basement bar or outside on the patio and toast to another day in Napa Valley.
Find more great cocktail spots.
Perk up from a day of Cabernet with a coffee cupping experience at Napa Valley Coffee Roasting Company. Sample five French pressed coffees from three growing regions and discuss flavor and aromatics — just like during a wine tasting. Then, blend them together to create your perfect cup and leave with a bag of beans. New to Napa Valley, Naysayer Coffee also offers cupping class experiences, where you'll learn about flavor profiles of fair-trade coffees from different regions (and get an inside peek at the bean roasting process!).
Looking for a coffee stop in each town? Try this full list of coffee shops & bakeries.
Enjoy afternoon tea at the Ackerman Heritage House, an 1888 Queen Anne Victorian that’s been restored to its heyday. On select Sundays, it hosts traditional English tea service in antique cups with dainty treats.
Original content from the 2020 Napa Valley Visitor Magazine.