3 Underrated Wine Tastings in Napa

May 22, 2019

These three wineries offer unique experiences you simply can’t miss

Most wine connoisseurs are familiar with the heavy hitters in the Napa Valley wine region, from Harlan Estate to Stags’ Leap Winery. But with hundreds of wineries in the area, there are several under-the-radar wineries with unique wine tastings that are well worth a visit. The following wineries are all sophisticated and classy, with wines that are a must-try for anyone who loves a glass of the good stuff. Because they’re a bit off the beaten path, they will give you a chance to experience different types of Napa Valley wines.

Artesa Vineyards & Winery

To get to this winery and tasting room, you'll have to take back-country Napa roads that weave across fields of wildflowers before eventually depositing you at the front of the winery. While the wines are great, the building and grounds are worth a shout-out as well--there's a reflecting pool, a winery building that looks like a modern art museum with 1960s-style decor inside, and a gift store. 

Of course, the wine is the real reason to go here. Artesa has everything from Pinot Noir to Chardonnay to Sauvignon Blanc. As far as tastings go, choose between a food-and-wine pairing or a flight of your favorite wines.

Summers Estate

Located in Calistoga, this small, family-owned winery is the world's largest producer of Charbono, a type of Italian grape that's low in tannins. Classic sit-down Napa-style tastings and tours are available by appointment only, but since the tasting room is open seven days a week, it shouldn't be too hard to get in and try some of their top options with your fellow wine lovers. Be sure to try the rosé, Zinfandel, Merlot, and Petite Sirah. After the tasting, you can enjoy a picnic lunch on the 25-acre estate or play bocce ball with friends.

Swanson Vineyards

Located in the quaint town of Rutherford, Swanson Vineyards produces red, white, and sweet wines, and visitors can choose between two unique tasting preferences. Those who prefer to try the most exclusive wines can opt for seating in the formal salon, which has a fireplace and elegant lighting. Three seatings are available each day by reservation only, and savory bites are offered with the tasting. For a slightly more casual experience, head to the shoppe, where you can sample four of the winery's limited-production wines. 

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