Far Niente#5 in Best Things To Do in Napa Valley
Those who wish to avoid the crowds should head to Far Niente. The appointment-only tours are small and informational, leaving guests impressed by the knowledgeable and friendly guides. But the pristine grounds and fascinating wine caverns are the first highlights. The caves store hundreds of barrels of coveted wine (and span 40,000 square feet), while the 13 acres surrounding the winery are landscaped with thousands of colorful flowers (The azaleas are a particular point of pride). Also, Far Niente's Carriage House houses vintage cars and motorcycles. Every tour ends with an ample tasting of five vintages and a seasonal cheese pairing.
Recent Far Niente visitors raved about the extensive tour that showed not only the underground caves but the gardens and vintage automobiles too. Many also commented on the individualized attention that was given to each person and the well-versed tour guides. Learning how to properly pair wine and cheese is an added bonus.
Tours and tastings (which include a seasonal cheese pairing) are costly at $65 per person, but recent visitors said it's worth the price. Near the small town of Oakville, Far Niente is open to the public from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, but you must have an appointment. Tours and tasting appointments are offered daily from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, check out the winery's website.
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#1 O'Brien Estate
From planting to bottling, the entire wine-making process occurs on this relatively small plot of land (comprising 40 acres of vineyards, a winery and the owner's home). And by all accounts, the end result is a hit with visitors. Consider a wine tour at O'Brien Estate if you're looking for a relaxed, intimate atmosphere with personalized service.
Recent visitors raved about the tour guides, who share interesting and educational facts about the winery, but also give plenty of alone time to kick back, relax and savor the wine experience. Expect stunning views of Oak Knoll Appellation, plus a welcome glass of wine upon your arrival.
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