Napa Valley is open for tasting! Here are 8 special experiences
Charles Krug Winery's new WiFi-enabled cabanas. (Courtesy of Charles Krug)

Napa Valley is open for tasting! Here are 8 special experiences


Napa Valley is back open for business and after three long months of closures, local wineries are ready to welcome back guests—with the necessary safety precautions, or course.

All wine tastings are now by appointment only, so make a reservation before you go. Wineries are also limiting large groups and operating at reduced capacities. The good news is that the Napa wine tasting experience will now feel more intimate and exclusive without the usual crowds. Here are eight wineries offering unique experiences in the Covid era, from wine picnics and private cabanas to a rugged vineyard tour and a twilight tasting.

Courtesy of Trefethen Family Vineyards

Trefethen Family Vineyards

Reserve a food and wine pairing in the garden or on an outdoor deck at Trefethen. The Taste the Estate experience ($90 per person) pairs a flight of wines with epicurean bites like summer squash fritter with tarragon-spiked goat cheese or a caramelized spring onion and wild mushroom tartlet. If you're celebrating a special occasion—or planning a proposal, perhaps?—snag the one table available on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings for the new Twilight at Trefethen offering ($150 per person). You'll have the entire estate to yourself for the Taste the Estate experience. // 1160 Oak Knoll Ave. (Napa),

Ashes & Diamonds

Choose from three contact-free wine and food experiences at Ashes & Diamonds that can be enjoyed outside on blankets or outdoor furniture. The A&D Picnic ($45 per person) includes an assortment of prepared snacks, like house-made mezze and focaccia, paired with your additional purchase of a bottle of wine or more. For a more traditional tasting experience, opt for The A&D Wines + Cheese ($75 a person), which features a pre-poured flight of five wines paired with cheese and focaccia bread. Or, if you're really hungry, The A&D Wines + Food Experience ($125 per person) pairs a wine flight with a full-on luncheon of fresh and wood-fired dishes. // 4130 Howard Lane (Napa),

(Courtesy of Mathilde Froustey)

Oakville Ranch Winery

Drive high up into the hills of the famous Oakville AVA—home to cult brands like Dalla Valle and Screaming Eagle—for a totally private experience at the stunning Oakville Ranch. Embark on a tour of their 330 acres of organically farmed vineyards aboard an open-air utility vehicle taking in panoramic views of Napa Valley from 1,000 ft. After your ride, you'll settle down for a leisurely wine tasting of the winery's lineup ($55 per person) on the pool deck. // 7781 Silverado Trail (Napa),

Charles Krug Winery

Spend two blissful hours inside one of Charles Krug's brand new, WiFi-enabled cabanas set on the estate's picnic grounds. Accommodating a group of up to six people, visits are customizable with a menu of wine flights, bottles, and culinary fare. It's a minimum $400 buyout, but with five of your closest friends, it's worth it. // 2800 Main St. (St. Helena),

(Courtesy of Round Pond Estate)

Round Pond Estate

The only Napa Valley winery with its own olive mill, Round Pond Estate has brought back a one-of-a-kind experience that takes place among 100-year-old olive trees. For $40, you'll get to sample four estate olive oils and a red wine vinegar, with the option to add a glass of wine to sip afterward. Another classic Round Pond offering is the Il Pranzo food and wine pairing (Thursday through Sunday, $150 per person). It kicks off with a tour of the winery garden and olive grove and then moves to the winery terrace for seasonal pairings prepared by the estate chef. // 875 Rutherford Rd. (Rutherford),

Domaine Chandon

This sparkling wine house offers an array of Instagramable experiences, including picnics on their expansive lawn ($85 per person), featuring a take-home basket packed with artisan cheeses, salads, and sandwiches to pair with mini bottles of bubbly. Or, you can reserve a ridiculously chic private cabana ($95 per person, through October) to sip Chandon's Etoile Brut and Rosé, paired with a spread of cheeses, salads, skewers, and dessert. // 1 California Dr. (Yountville),

(Courtesy of St. Supery Estate Vineyards & Winery)

St. Supery Estate Vineyards & Winery

Pre-pay for one of several wine tastings at St. Supery—choose white wine ($30), the winemaker's selection ($35), or the "Cabernet Collector" ($45)—and they'll throw in a complimentary blending experience. Play winemaker for the day by creating your own customized blend of semillon and sauvignon blanc using a graduated cylinder and pipette and then take the bottle home to enjoy later. // 8440 St. Helena Hwy (Rutherford),

Schramsberg Vineyards

Schramsberg has long offered the best experience in California Wine Country for serious bubbly lovers. A tour of their historic 125-year-old caves—you'll feel like you're in France, not Napa Valley—where you learn all about how their sparkling wines are made using the traditional Champagne method, is truly bucket list–worthy. They've recently expanded their offerings so that visitors can choose between an all-sparkling wine tasting ($95 per person), a mix of sparkling and red still wines ($95 per person), and a mixed tasting with a cheese pairing ($125 per person). // 1400 Schramsberg Rd. (Calistoga),

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