Above-ground tasting rooms aren’t the only formal places to sip wine in Napa Valley. Many wineries also offer caves for tasting experiences. These caves serve dual purposes – they are cool and humid locations to store wine while it ages to perfection in barrels, and they are both beautiful and unique spots to taste wine.

Dug deep into the earth, underground caves provide a steady cool temperature – at around 55 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the perfect temperature for wine storage and for aging wine in barrels, and means no air conditioning or heating is necessary.

Napa Valley has over 65 wineries with caves, and many offer their caves to visitors for wine tastings. Head underground for a markedly different tasting experience from the ones above ground – the underground experiences often have a speakeasy vibe and can range from luxurious to a little spooky (in a good way, of course).

Here are some of the Napa Valley cave tasting experiences that have caught our eye; reservations are required unless otherwise specified.



The dark, historic caves at Schramsberg date back over 150 years. Chinese laborers chiseled them by hand, and if you look closely, you can still see pick marks in the walls of volcanic rock. Known for their sparkling wines, Schramsberg offers multiple cave tour and tasting experiences depending on interest, such as a sparkling wine only tasting, a sparkling and red wine tasting (the still wines are courtesy of their sister winery, Davies Vineyards), and even a tasting paired with artisan cheeses.

Joseph Cellars Winery

All tastings at this Calistoga winery include a tour through the extensive hillside caves before seated tastings outside or upstairs. Cellar Club members have the additional option of tasting underground; this experience includes a short tour of the cave and five wines paired with small bites.

Davis Estates

This circa-2011 Calistoga winery boasts more than 11,000 square feet of caves, and the Cave Tour & Tasting winds guests through some of the underground area before a seated tasting in a Howard Backen-designed tasting salon. All wines are paired with small food bites.

Davis Estates

Pope Valley

Pope Valley Winery

Located in the northeast corner of Napa Valley, Pope Valley Winery’s cave dates to the late 1800s and took eight years to dig by hand. The cave still features the original hand-hewn redwood beams and sits at the bottom of the three-story gravitational flow winery established in 1897. All wine tastings begin with a walk through a portion of the cave (which is also their barrel room).


CADE Winery

The first organically farmed LEED Gold Certified estate winery in Napa Valley features 15,000 square feet of caves that include event space. All visitors of the winery are shown through the caves as part of the standard tasting and tour, while larger groups can arrange special events, lunch, and dinner there. The design of CADE Winery’s caves is in the shape of the PlumpJack shield, and at the center, they have a large steel dining room table that was built from the hull of a World War 2 submarine while the table legs were salvaged from a vacant building on Mare Island.

CADE Winery

St. Helena

Del Dotto Estate Winery & Caves

Cave tastings at this Venetian-inspired St. Helena winery feature red wine varietals thieved from barrels. Guests taste a side-by-side comparison of a single-vineyard Cabernet aged in French Oak alongside the same wine aged in American Oak. Visitors also sample bottled wine served with house-made pizza.

V. Sattui Winery

If you’re a Gold Card member at V. Sattui, this one’s for you: V. Sattui offers an exclusive wine tasting experience in their cellar cave, complete with cheese and a charcuterie board. Guests will find themselves nestled amongst the winery’s older wines, including their Reserve wines.

Brasswood Estate

Brasswood’s caves cover 17,000 square feet, and guests who book their Cave Tasting experience will get the full immersive experience. The tasting includes a tour of the caves, including the largest cave tunnel in Napa Valley (in width and height), and a flight of Brasswood Cellars current release wines.

Brasswood Estate


Rutherford Hill Winery

The caves at Rutherford Hill are located behind the winery and carved deep under the hillside cliffs. The mile-long cave system stores 7,000 French Oak barrels and are the largest of their kind in Napa Valley. The “ATV vineyard and cave tour” takes guests on a ride up the hill to the Estate Vineyard and then into the caves for a tour, finishing with a tasting of reserve-tier wines.

HALL Rutherford

HALL’s Rutherford property (they have another property in St. Helena) has a 14,000 square-foot cave system finished with Austrian brick and limestone dating back to the Hapsburg Empire. Seated tastings take place under Donald Lipski’s dazzling “Chilean Red” chandelier, designed to look like the underground root system of a vine. This is truly one of those “only in Napa Valley” experiences.

HALL Rutherford, photo by Michael Cuffe


Far Niente Winery

This winery, having constructed the first new caves after Prohibition (the first in the US in the 20th century), now boasts one of Napa County's most expansive cave systems, covering 40,000 square feet. Accessing the underground labyrinth requires descending a narrow wooden staircase within the circa-1885 winery building, which has been refurbished and transformed into a tasting center. Once below ground, guests will encounter hundreds of French oak wine barrels housing Cabernet and Chardonnay vintages, along with an inviting cave system and a "main area" illuminated by a three-tiered chandelier.

Vine Cliff Winery

Tours of this historic Oakville winery, found in a canyon above the Silverado Trail, include a stroll through some of the 15,000-square-foot cave system, parts of which have been used for storage for nearly a century. While tastings take place in the outdoor garden or inside the winery, wine club dinners are often hosted underground.

B Cellars

Several private tasting experiences at B Cellars unfold in special tasting rooms in the winery’s 15,000 square-foot cave, which is tunneled under a hill – salons are separated by glass walls. The cave not only serves as a place for special tastings, but also acts as barrel storage for the winery. While underground in one of the elegantly designed rooms, guests can sample wines from various vintages. Each tasting is paired with local cheese, charcuterie, and accompaniments from the B Cellars kitchen.

B Cellars


Pine Ridge Vineyards

The first thing guests will notice upon arriving at Pine Ridge Vineyards’ 47-acre property is the hills surrounding the estate. Tucked deep below the vineyards on those hills sits an intricate cave system of 37,000 square feet of underground caves. The Cellar 47 tasting offers guests an escorted tour of the European-inspired cave system where they can experience floor-to-ceiling views of the rock that supports the hills. Guests on this tour enjoy a selection of highly limited estate Cabernets. Wine lovers can also opt for a “vineyard to cave experience” to get the full winery experience.

Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars

A Foucault pendulum – one of only about 50 in the world – swings in the center of the caves at Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars. The pendulum is suspended from the ceiling and marks the passing of time, and the aging of wine. The caves cover 34,000 square feet of tunnels and house 6,000 barrels. The cave entrance takes guests to the Great Room, with copper sconces and quartzite floors, and right outside the doors sits the ARCADE, a glorious arched patio designed for tasting with sweeping views of the Stags Leap Palisades.

Stag's Leap Wine Cellars


Baldacci Family Vineyards

Baldacci Family Vineyards features over 19,000 square feet of wine caves in their hillside knoll, where their wines are crafted and barrel aged. The private Cave Tour & Estate Tasting experience begins with a splash of brut sparkling wine before journeying through the spectacular wine cave. Guests have the chance to taste wine directly from the barrel and see behind the scenes of the winery’s production area. This experience concludes in the Estate House with an indoor seated tasting.

Porter Family Vineyard

You won’t see a big winery building at this Coombsville brand; the entire winemaking operation here happens underground. There are 17,000 square feet of caves in all, and private tours include a walkthrough of at least some of the operation – there’s even an underground wine library. The Bordeaux varietals are outstanding.

Jarvis Estate

Jarvis Estate is unique because the entire winery exists underground in a cave – the first in the nation to be built in this way. The 45,000-square-foot cave system includes an underground waterfall, which serves to enhance the cave's inherent humidity, creating an ideal environment for making and aging wine. There is also a “gallery” of a dozen oak fermentation tanks, assembled on-site by a team of French coopers. All tours end with a seated tasting experience where guests sample six estate wines.

Jarvis Estate