If you love sampling wines but are looking for something a little more rugged than a tasting room, book a tour at Heibel Ranch Vineyards, where you'll do all the sampling aboard a 1963 military vehicle as it bumps around the property.
Trent Ghiringhelli, proprietor and winemaker at Heibel Ranch, leads the tour, and with deep family roots in Napa, is extremely knowledgable about the people, wines and politics of the Valley. He’ll likely offer you a beer or water to cleanse your palate and bring along a picnic of fine meats, local breads and cheeses to enjoy with his family’s wines.
You’ll bounce across the vineyard trail and cross a small stream (depending on the time of year) on the way to the lakeside picnic area that he refers to as his “tasting room," pictured below. The vineyards are meticulously manicured and organic, which add balance to the untouched, natural surroundings.
My guest and I bought a few bottles of the Sauvignon Blanc and polished off a bottle of the Lappa’s Napa Valley Red, a smooth and bold red wine that I'd pair with just about anything that isn't too spicy.
Tours are $50 per person and booked in advance but mention 7x7 for a 2 for 1 special. Wines range from $22-$34 (a great value) with a Cab coming soon.
Trent also offers a “golf with the winemaker” experience for those who are looking to play few holes while you learn about and drink plenty of wine.