If you’re planning your first visit to the Napa Valley, you may be wondering if California Wine Country lives up to all the hype. I can assure you that the breathtaking countryside views and exquisite cuisine make any visit memorable. The rolling hillsides and mountain tops full of of grape vines are nothing short of picturesque.
When you start researching where to go during your visit to wine country, it’s really easy to get overwhelmed with options. In Napa Valley there are over 400 wineries, and that doesn’t even include all the restaurants and scenic stops along the way. My list of recommended itinerary spots is a mix of popular locations and some hidden gems I’ve discovered. One thing they all have in common is they’re camera ready for shutterbugs and Intagrammers.
Pride Mountain Vineyards - At 2000 feet above Napa and deep into the mountains, you feel like you're sitting on top of the world at this winery. The views are spectacular stretching as far as the eye can see. We toured the caves and enjoyed the tasting of their chardonnay, merlot and cabernets. It’s very quiet and calm at this vineyard, so it may be a great option for busy weekends. I recommend heading up an hour before sundown to get the best sunset lighting. See photos from our visit below.
Domaine Carneros Winery - This spot is an Instagram favorite because of the dramatic staircase leading up the The Château. Guests love to sip wine on the beautiful outdoor terrance and enjoy vineyard views. You can order light eats such as cheese pairings, a charcuterie plate, or even caviar.
Castello di Amorosa - Located in Calistoga, this medieval stone castle winery is straight out of a fairytale. This is a great family location because kids love the castle experience and making friends with the animals. See photos below.
Swanson Vineyards - If you love photographing colorful and quirky locals, Swanson Vineyards has decor that offers red candy stripes and whimsy. This lesser known winery has great potential for an “Alice in Wonderland” inspired photoshoot. Take the virtual tour on their website to browse the winery decor and layout.
Long Meadow Ranch - This gorgeous estate has so many modern yet sweet countryside photo opportunities. The property is very large with many buildings and happenings. My favorite photo spots are the General Store vintage house, the outdoor patio cafe and restaurant Farmstead which is a converted old barn.
Boon Fly Cafe - This popular Napa restaurant is located inside an adorable red barn with modern rustic decor. This spot does get very busy so I would recommend trying to go on a weekday if possible. The long red porch with the swing is a favorite Instagram photo opportunity, and the table settings inside the restaurant are flatlay ready (see photos below).
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Top Stylish Napa Valley Hotels:
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