The Inn on Randolph is located in the heart of Downtown Napa. Situated in a residential area, the Inn is just walking distance from Main Street, which has some wonderful choices for food and wine. With so many choices when it comes to tasting rooms, we have tried to help narrow it down to some of our favorites. Below we have listed our top 10 Tasting Room experiences in Downtown Napa.
What makes a tasting room so special, as opposed to a winery, is the fact that the wine is often not available at home because the production is so small. This means you are usually tasting a very limited wine, that is just made for those who discover the tasting room.
Be one of the lucky few, take a stroll, and discover these little gems.
Bounty Hunter Wine Bar
Bounty Hunter is truly a one stop shop. Just a short ten minute walk from the Inn, Bounter Hunter has an extensive wine list that features some of the best wines in the world. With 40 wines by the glass, 400 wines by the bottle, and multiple tasting flights, you could stay there all day. Not only that, but they also feature a selection of over 40 different whiskey choices, as well as some of the best BBQ in town. Does it get any better than that?
Unpretentious, relaxed, and fun, Mark Herold is the antithesis of the stuck-up winemaker stereotype. Mark truly has a passion for making great wine and an attitude to enjoy the best that the wine world has to offer. His tasting room is upbeat, humorous, and always so much fun to visit. The tastings feature Rhone Valley and Spanish style wines. You will taste some of the best Grenache, Albarino, Syrah, Tempranillo, Carignan, and Graciano that this valley has to offer. So if you are tired of Napa Valley Cab’s and you are looking for a fun place to spend your early evening, head over to see Mr. Herold. He never disappoints.
A local favorite, Cadet Wine and Beer Bar is more than just a bar. The wine list features some of the best local winemakers, up-and coming winemakers, and their international list will make you giddy. The girls behind the bar are some of the most educated and fun girls, and they have created an environment that is hard to stay away from. This is the place to go before or after dinner. Cozy up in the corner with a flight and enjoy the local scene. If you are lucky enough to be here on a Wednesday, you will be able to enjoy a flight of specially selected wine often poured by the winemaker. Oh, and if you need any bites, they have the best bar bites in town.
Located in both Calistoga and Napa, Vermeil Wines Tasting room is a great place to stop by to catch up on a football game and drink some delicious Cabernet from some of the best family vineyards in the upper Napa Valley. Owned by NFL coach and local hometown football player Dick Vermeil, the tasting room is a reflection of the leadership and drive of Coach Vermeil. The tastings feature traditional Napa Valley wines, and they are served by knowledgeable and genuine people. You can either grab a seat at the bar and chat, or you can get cozy on one of their many couches. Blending the best of both worlds, Vermeil wines reflect a passion and a love for Coach Vermeil’s hometown.
The name says it all. Vintner’s Collective is a tasting room that featured small lot wines from some of the most sought after winemakers in the valley. You can taste a trio of wines from their list that the host thinks you might enjoy, or you can engage in the more elaborate options that they offer, which is tailored specifically to what wine you personally enjoy. Housed in an old brewery, turned brothel, turned Italian Deli, turned tasting room, Vintner’s Collective truly houses the historic and local magic found in Downtown Napa.
Napa’s first and only urban winery, St. Clair Brown is a wonderful place to grab a small bite and taste wine that is only available at the winery. Producing fewer than 200 cases of wine. Their portfolio includes: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Zinfandel, Rosé of Syrah, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, and a sweet Muscat. Here is how winemaker, Elaine St. Clair describes their process:
“Having strong relationships with several independent growers throughout the Napa Valley allows us to contract a wide variety of small, high-quality vineyard lots; sometimes as small as two rows.”
This attention to detail inspires everything that this winery does from the wine to the food to the people. The best part is that the Inn is located just 1.2 miles away from St. Clair Brown!
Started by friends, PureCru is an exclusive and upscale tasting room that features pureCru, Jean Edwards, and J. McClelland wines. Tucked inside a courtyard, you would have to know that this tasting room exists to find it. Once you are there, you are greeted by knowledge hosts, and taken through a truly classic experience. The tasting room can only hold up to fourteen people, so it will never feel crowded or overwhelming. The wines speak for themselves, and the tasting room stays open until 11pm on the weekends, so you can drop by anytime!
Bruce Ahnfeldt and Celeste Carducci have created such a fun atmosphere at their downtown Napa tasting room. Located across from the Oxbow Market, the tasting room is an excellent addition to your lunch or dinner plans. Drop by for a complimentary splash, and choose between a flight or barrel tasting (fee based). Sunday and Thursday evenings feature live music, and make sure to check their events calendar for some fun parties.
John and Michele Truchard were destined to create great wine, and we are so lucky to be down the street from their tasting room. Stop by before dinner and enjoy a glass of their refreshing Sauvignon Blanc, or reserve a late night tasting and experience a bottle of their other varietal selections. The focus of these great wines is the land from which the grapes are sourced from. The Truchard family knows the value of climate and soil type, and they have chosen their grapes from some of the best vineyards. The tasting experience gives you a great glimpse into a boutique and family owned winery, and you will leave with the feeling like you truly know the family.
Both a wine shop and a tasting room, Backroom Wines features some of the most sought after and hard to get wines from both Napa and beyond. The tasting bar pours flights from wineries that are often only accessible by mailing list. Also, they offer themed nights that feature wines exclusively by the varietal or the region. The people that host the tastings are some of the most knowledgeable people, and they will certainly know which wine you will enjoy. Enjoy this local wine shop.