Undiscovered Napa Valley: Top 10 Small Wineries
January 23, 2018
Looking for an intimate, off the grid, winery experience? The Napa Valley is full of small production, family owned, boutique-style wineries. 95% of Napa Valley wineries are family owned and 67% of Napa Valley wineries produce fewer than 5,000 cases annually. So, come experience these undiscovered small-production, family-owned wineries for yourself.
Be sure to make an appointment before you go!
- Crocker & Starr Winery – St. Helena
Crocker & Starr makes a small production of wines from their organic vineyard estate in St. Helena. Winemaker and co-owner Pam Starr crafts the estate’s Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc to capture the essence of the terroir of the vineyard.
- Fairwinds Estate - Calistoga
Fairwinds Estate Winery is nestled in the hillside off of Silverado Trail in Calistoga. Their limited productions of wines are perfectly paired with their beautiful estate setting. The estate boasts expansive picnicking grounds, olive groves, grape-vine terrace and a stunning 22,000 sq. ft. cave.
- Crosby Roamann - Napa
This small, family-owned winery is consumed with idea of producing handmade wines in minuscule quantities from select vineyards up and down Napa Valley. Their chic-modern tasting room is in an industrial winery in the Crusher District in South Napa.
- Nichelini Winery – St. Helena
The Nichelinis can boast the oldest family-owned winery in the Napa Valley, and it’s still very much of a family operation after 127 years. You can also see the original house and Roman wine press used by Swiss immigrants Anton and Caterina Nichelini. Today they produce old vine Zinfandel, a sparkling wine, Cabernet Sauvignon, and an “Old Press” white.
- Paradigm Winery – Oakville
Owned and managed by Ren and Marilyn Harris, two winegrowers with extraordinarily deep roots in Napa Valley. Marilyn and Ren moved to Napa Valley in the 1960's and settled into their home just east of where Paradigm sits today. Explore their 50 acre estate and sip through their wines.
- AXR Winery at V Madrone Estate – St. Helena
The historic estate located in the heart of St. Helena gives guests a down-home, private experience on the pre-prohibition site. Stroll around the property’s Redwood grove to taste the future of axr wines with a barrel tasting in the cellar.
- Judd’s Hill Winery - Napa
This winery is tucked amidst the beautiful vines and welcomes visitors daily. With advanced notice, guests are also invited to participate in one of their daily Bottle Blending Day Camp sessions, during which they will be guided through a wine bottle blending and label their own personal cuvee.
- Sherwin Family Vineyards – St. Helena
If you don’t mind a few twists in the road, this winery is exemplary of the classic Spring Mountain AVA. The tasting room – built by Steve Sherwin himself – feels like an actual home. Go for the Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Rosé.
- Fantesca Estate & Winery – St. Helena
This winery is located just a mile up Spring Mountain Road from Main Street in St. Helena. Schedule your private tasting and tour to explore their mountainside cave, take in the Spring Mountain views and sip through their small-production wines.
- Burgess Cellars – Deer Park
A great example of the Howell Mountain AVA, Burgess prides itself on distinct mountainside wines. It makes Cabernet, Petite Sirah, Syrah, Chardonnay, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Grenache, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot, among other blends.
Find a full listing of wineries and tasting rooms here.