If you’ve ever been to the Napa Valley, chances are good that you’ve driven by the iconic “Wine Crusher” statue that unofficially marks the entrance to the valley as you travel northbound on Highway 29.

Now, just a few miles to the north, there’s a new wine-tasting destination named in his honor. The Crusher Wine District offers a fresh, more urban way to experience the wine country. Most Napa wineries are located in the small towns that dot the valley, not in the city of Napa itself. But the new district is a collaboration of nearly a dozen young wineries and tasting rooms within two industrial parks in the southern part of the city, all within walking distance of each other.

The vibe here is “authentic, stripped down, and a little funky,” according to the district’s website, with “avant-garde wineries dedicated to cutting edge wines and honest hospitality.” And there are plans underway to expand the area into an even more developed wine village that will include many eating options and meeting facilities.

At present, member wineries include Avinodos, Edict Wines, The Wine Foundry, Humanitas Wines, Spelletich Family Wine Co., J. Moss, Mi Sueno, The Trinitas Library, and Y. Rousseau Wines.

Because many of the member wineries are available for tastings by appointment only, the District has launched a series of quarterly “Wine Hopper Weekends.” On June 20-21, August 8-9, and November 7-8, all the wineries will be open for passport tastings on Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 5pm. You can hop from tasting to tasting for one inclusive fee of $85 for the two-day pass or $55 for a single day pass. To do individual tastings at these wineries would normally add up to more than $250 per person.

If you’re making a weekend of it, the Crusher Wine District is also home to the Meritage Resort and Spa. Check out a whole new way to experience the Napa Valley wine culture!

Photo credit: Bob McClenahan