I’m so excited to share this top 10 list of the best outdoor wine tasting in Napa, written by my friend Danielle of Danielle Gibson Events!
Since we recently moved to Napa, I’ve been getting some inquiries from readers about whether it’s “worth visiting” right now after the fires and with current Covid safety precautions.
And the answer is, yes, absolutely! While the fires were horrible and we sadly lost a few beautiful locations like Meadowood, there are still tons of wineries open.
I think the media can make it seem like all of wine country is on fire and there’s nothing left, which is absolutely not the case, and fortunately, most Napa Valley wineries were not damaged in the 2020 fires.
And with regards to covid, now might not be the time for a private tasting in a small room, or wine tours with groups of people. But outdoor wine tasting is open, which is my favorite way to enjoy a Napa Valley wine tasting experience anyways!
So with that in mind, I wanted to put together a top 10 resource for you guys with amazing wineries that are all open right now for outdoor tastings.
And while I’ve made many a Napa wine tasting trip while we lived in SF, and now call Napa home, I called on my friend Danielle to help write this post since she’s a true expert in this area!
Ok, I won’t make you wait any longer, let’s get into Danielle’s recs for the best outdoor wine tasting in Napa!
If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, chances are you’ve made the short drive up to Napa and spent the day wine tasting and living your best life.
Now that we’re getting into a year since the pandemic hit, memories like these have become even more treasured. And with spring and summer right around the corner, I know people are itching for a change of scenery and some outdoor time. Plus, wine!
As Covid restrictions begin loosening up, Napa is the perfect day or weekend trip, where you can enjoy a relaxing wine tasting outside while remaining safe and socially distanced.
I’ve lived in the Bay Area for 23 years and made Napa my home 11 years ago. I own Danielle Gibson Events, an event company that designs and produces corporate events, social celebrations and weddings in the Napa Valley, San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. (I also work with a number of wineries as a prop stylist, my pivot since Covid!) I am continually scouting new locations, hotels, restaurants, and wineries to keep myself and my clients well-informed on the best Napa has to offer.
Between my two careers and general love of wineries, I’m passionate about sharing my knowledge of the region. If you’re planning a trip to Napa check out my other posts Visiting Napa on a Budget and Tips from a Local for Traveling to Napa.
With so many wineries updating their hours due to Covid, I wanted to make visiting Napa as simple as possible for you. I’m so happy to share my list of favorite 10 wineries with outside tastings and I also included a few key points to help you decide where to make your tasting appointments.
When planning your trip and picking the Napa wineries you want to visit, think about what kind of wine you typically like and your price range. All tastings are by appointment (seating is even more limited during this time due to social-distancing) and have different price points, so be sure to do your research and bookings ahead of time.
As always, but especially during the pandemic, it’s good wine tasting etiquette to buy a bottle or two after your tasting if you enjoyed the wine, and to tip your host. Enjoy!
Best Outdoor Wine Tasting in Napa
Available by appointment Thursday – Monday, 12 – 3pm.
Get away from the hustle and bustle of the valley and relax with a tasting under the trees at Whetstone. You can sip wine by the glass or bottle on Whetstone’s patio and enjoy the view of their incredible French-style chateau built in 1885.
They’re also a large supporter of their local community and encourage guests to grab some take out from restaurants nearby, so you can enjoy a picnic with your Whetstone wine. Not all wineries allow you to bring in food from other places so this is a great perk!
Book your appointment here and enjoy their wines ranging from $20 for a glass to $55-$125 for a bottle, depending on what they are offering that day.
Downtown Napa – Outdoor Wine Tasting
Available by appointment Thur & Sun 12 – 6pm, Fri & Sat 12 – 8pm, (closed Mon-Wed).
Located in downtown Napa’s Art District, St. Claire Brown is a pet-friendly winery and brewery greenhouse dropped in the middle of urban Napa. Tastings of their wine and beer take place in their greenhouse tasting room, which is situated among seasonal raised garden beds and fruit trees.
Enjoy their beautiful greenery and pair your tasting with some of their snacks inspired by the garden surrounding you.
Book your tasting here at $40 per person for their standard wine tasting (includes four current release wines) or $50 per person for their Flagship Wine Tasting, which includes four of their premium wines.
You can also purchase their wine by the bottle, which ranges from $25-$95/bottle depending on what they are offering that day.
If you want to try their beer, you can do book a flight tasting of three current releases at $18 per person and bottles be purchased onsite for $20/750ml bottle.
Favorite Oak Knoll Outdoor Wine Tasting Experiences
3. Robert Biale
Available by appointment 10am – 3pm daily.
Enjoy a relaxed and leisurely tasting among the vineyards on Robert Biale’s back porch. Their wine educators will guide you through an overview of Napa Valley, historic vineyards, family farming history and the fine points of appreciating world class Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Biale’s rare blends.
Tip: ask them all about the Black Chicken!
You can book a 90-minute tasting here (up to four guests per reservation). Each tasting is $35 per person. You can also purchase their wine by the bottle, which ranges from $40-$110/bottle.
Available by appointment 10am – 6pm daily.
You might recognize Ashes & Diamonds Winery from coverage it’s received on Vogue and Goop for its unique tasting experience. Known for their modern design and hipster following, Ashes & Diamonds offers a different approach than most wineries in Napa.
With a wide variety of tasting options, visitors may choose one of four appointment options ranging from $45 – $125, all of which include 4-5 wines accompanied with food pairings. Love a good food pairing!
Appointments can be booked here and wine may be purchased onsite, ranging from $40-$120/bottle.
Downtown Yountville Tastings
Available by appointment 11am – 6pm daily.
Stewart Cellars is known for being one of the chicest tasting patios in downtown Yountville.
With their Portfolio Wine Tasting guests can enjoy sipping on four seasonal wines in their gorgeous courtyard at $30/person.
For a more elevated experience, guests can reserve a Nomad Tasting hosted on the Nomad Library patio (designed by Ken Folk) at $125/person. Guests are able to taste six wines from their exclusive vineyard designate Cabernet Sauvignon wines from Andy Beckstoffer’s Heritage vineyards.
Highly recommend grabbing brunch at family-owned business Southside Cafe on the adjacent patio while you’re here.
Appointments can be made here. Wine may be purchased onsite, ranging from $25-$175 per bottle.
Available by appointment Thursday – Monday 11:45am – 5pm.
Designed by legendary architect Howard Backen, ONEHOPE Winery embodies their purpose to nourish the future by sharing wine and giving hope. Since the company was founded in 2007, they’ve donated over $6M to meaningful causes.
ONEHOPE’s flagship winery sits in the prestigious Rutherford Bench amongst some of the greatest wine brands in the world. Their outdoor patio is brand new, as they just recently opened their doors in 2021. Enjoy a wine + bites tasting for $125 per person in their modern open air patio with outdoor fireplaces by booking here. Their wines range from $20-$125, depending on what they are offering that day.
St. Helena – Gorgeous Outdoor Wine Tasting
Tucked away in its own little valley on the eastern hillside of St. Helena sits the 26-acre Reverie II Estate. Visitation is limited and by appointment only. It is a great little gem most visitors don’t know about. Their wines are not your typical Napa Valley grapes but the hosts are typical Napa Valley locals. They have beautiful vineyard views off of their estate home on the porch, grassy lawn or at the roaring fire pit.
Book appointments here. Their wines range from $42 -$125.
8. Titus Winery
Available by appointment 10am – 3:30pm daily.
Located on Silverado Trail, Titus’s modern property has an outdoor patio surrounded by rows of vineyards. Fun bonus if you visit in the spring, there’s a bounty of mustard during the mustard season in February-March.
At $45 per tasting, guests can expect to enjoy a few samplings of their current releases while enjoying a picturesque view of Napa Valley. Appointments can be made here and wine may be purchased onsite, ranging from $44 – $105 per bottle.
Available by appointment 9am – 4pm daily.
Ehlers Estate has been an institution in the Napa Valley since the mid 1800s. Tastings take place outside in the estate’s historic olive groves planted by Bernard Ehlers himself in 1886.
Book your appointment here, and choose between the Estate Tasting, which offers a variety of wines from the estate at $50 per person, or the Cabernet Tasting where guests can enjoy sampling of exclusive, limited production Cabernets for $75 per person. Wine can also be purchased onsite, ranging from $32 – $135 per bottle.
10. Amici Wines
Nestled back in the hills of Calistoga, Amici Winery is a favorite of ours for so many reasons.
The setting has a laid back style—you’ll feel like you’re chilling at a good friend’s home. Wine prices start at $25 depending on the wines they are offering at the tasting. You can book a tasting for $30 per person here.
Amici is currently donating 100% of visitor’s tasting fees to the Napa Valley Community Foundation’s COVID-19 Relief Fund and as a special bonus they are giving a 15% discount on wine purchases at the winery or online for medical professionals.
I hope you loved Danielle’s round-up of the top 10 best outdoor wine tasting in Napa experiences! I’m definitely adding a few to my list that I haven’t checked out yet—some of those outdoor spaces are just so dreamy!