Group Wine-Tasting Experiences in Napa Valley
October 3, 2017
You’ve booked your meeting – or conference, or wedding, or reunion – for the Napa Valley. Surely you don’t think you can leave without taking your group on a wine-related excursion or two? There are a number of wineries that can easily accommodate large groups, with comfortable facilities and special activities. Herewith, a sampling:
Domaine Carneros, Napa. This sparkling wine estate offers a variety of memorable event spaces for groups as big as 120. The Carriage House has high ceilings, a stone fireplace, and doors opening onto a private terrace and fountain. The Chateau Salon can transform into an elegant dining room, also with tall French doors opening onto the terrace. The Terrace features spectacular views and a breathtaking backdrop for receptions. On the chateau’s top floor, Le Rêve Room includes a coffered ceiling and marble fireplace, perfect for more intimate dining events. And the Mezzanine provides an intimate setting for wine-focused dining and entertaining.
Judd’s Hill Winery, Napa. Come here for a popular Bottle Blending Day Camp for groups from 8 to 300. The blending guides lead a lively tasting, education, and blending session as guests choose the perfect Bordeaux-style blend from four barrel samples of Napa Valley appellations (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petite Verdot, and Cabernet Franc). They’ll also get to experience hand-bottling, labeling, applying foil capsules to the bottlenecks.
Jam Cellars, Napa. For something completely different, try this rock-and-roll themed winery, ideal for small groups of 6 to 40. There’s even a space for live musical performances and a private tasting room that doubles as a recording studio.
Pine Ridge Vineyards, Napa. This historic winery in the heart of the Stags Leap District offers an interactive blending seminar for groups. Guests learn about the local viticultural history and are led through a hands-on wine blending experience while tasting and blending samples of the winery’s own Fortis Cabernet Sauvignon. Then each table presents its best blend for evaluation and judging, with the winning team receiving a special prize.
Silver Trident Winery, Yountville. This upstairs loft is an ideal space for events with up to 22 guests, and the winery can book private wine tastings, receptions, business retreats or food and wine experiences. Both the loft and the Silver Trident Winery Home tasting room are decorated by Ralph Lauren Home and most of the furnishings are available for purchase.
B Cellars Vineyards & Winery, Oakville. Garden-fresh cuisine is a hallmark of the experience here – guests can tour the chef’s garden and outdoor grounds to choose the menu for food and wine pairings. The winery also offers blending classes; a six-wicket croquet court; and adjacent event lawn. It also features two separate private event spaces – the Beckstoffer Heritage Tasting Room, which can accommodate up to 12 guests, and the Grand Salon, which can host up to 120 guests.
Round Pond Estate, Rutherford. Located in the heart of the Napa Valley, this winery offers a range of group activities featuring wine, cuisine, and one of the area’s few working olive oil mills. Private receptions, luncheons, or dinners – which feature the estate’s wines and oils, with cuisine paired by the winery chef – are available for groups of 10 to 90. Smaller groups of up to 10 people can participate in a private olive oil mill experience, complete with a private tasting of hand-crafted California estate-grown and milled olive oils, barrel-aged red wine vinegars, and tangy citrus syrups, all paired with a garden-inspired amuse bouche.
Brasswood Cellars, St. Helena. Formerly Cairdean Estate, this winery offers a variety of indoor and outdoor venues for meetings or special events, including Brasswood Bar, Bakery and Kitchen; Rosgal Gallery and the Tasting Room. From picnics, luncheons, or special private lunches or dinners, the team at Brasswood Cellars will create a unique event for your group.
Merryvale Vineyards, St. Helena. This winery offers an enchanting setting for special events. In its historic Cask Room, 100-year-old, 2,000-gallon casks line the stone walls. Accommodating groups of up to 112, it’s perfect for special occasions such as rehearsal dinners, wedding receptions, and corporate dinners. The winery’s own wines can also be paired with the cuisine of renowned Napa Valley chefs.
Raymond Vineyards, St. Helena. Here guests can be a “Winemaker for a Day” in the winery’s blending room. They’ll blend their own red wine from Napa Valley’s celebrated appellations and take home their own bottles with a customized label. Groups can also order cases of the personally crafted wine to share with friends, family, and colleagues at home.