What better way to start your day than some bubbly?! We’re huge sparkling wine and champagne fans over here at Views and Vintage and think that it’s the best way to kick off your wine destination trip. Three of our favorites to visit in Napa Valley are charming in their own rite. These three are mostly household names that you’re able to find at your local grocery and liquor store to keep enjoying and reminiscing about your trip for years to come. The beautiful part about visiting these big names is that although they offer a lot of their bottles nationwide, they reserve some for their wine tasting experience and sale at their winery and direct online through them only – so it’s going to be a special and new visit guaranteed.
Chandon is just 15 minutes from downtown Napa and right off St. Helena Highway. Walk ins are welcome and once you arrive you are transported into your own whimsical world. Upon entering the property you’re greeted with a beautiful pond area, mossy trees and the grand entrance reading “Domain Chandon” covered in colorful vines. The grounds are beautifully landscaped with a large lawn area to picnic and enjoy a bottle of their wine, an outside terrace with a fire pit and tables meant for kicking off your day wine tasting. This property is versatile and perfect to visit any time of the year providing you with a new and unique experience each and every time.
They have guided tasting menus that tier in price for traditional bottle tastings and their premium bottles. Their traditional tasting consists of bottles that you would be able to find in your local grocery or liquor store. If you’re visiting with another person, I recommend doing one of each to try all of their delicious selections. My personal favorite is their étolié Rosé this is aged longer than their traditional sparkling rosé and has a depth of flavor that is unrivaled. In addition to their traditional tastings you are able to buy wine by the glass and bottle as well as a selection small bites to accompany your tasting. Another item I would highly recommend is trying one of their cocktail creations its sure to please the palate! If you go during the holidays, they have a warm spiced mulled wine that comes with a Chandon holiday mug to take home. This was one of the best mulled wines I have ever tried and honestly, I ended up ordering three of them and enjoying every last sip.
Mumm is such a great place to start your day whether it’s rain or shine in the Valley. There is a great indoor seating and tasting area for days, that are less than ideal offering beautiful views of their vineyards. On brighter and sunnier days they have a beautiful outside patio area with a trellis covering to keep you cooler.
Their tastings are a guided sit-down tasting menu. You will be able to try an assortment of their bubbly including ones that are purchasable nationwide in your local stores and some that are exclusively theirs and wine club. There are two different tasting options, their outside patio/saloon which will run you about $40/pp and has the indoor seating option or patio covered by the trellis. They have one additional option that is their Oak Terrace that offers incredible views of their vineyards with more relaxed seating. The Oak Terrace will provide you their reserve tastings and cost $75/pp. The last time we went we chose to do the outside patio tasting because it was such a beautiful day out. Our server was super knowledgeable and gave us a bonus pour at the end 🙂
This winery does require you to make reservations, so plan accordingly!
One of the oldest and original wine caves in Napa Valley this beautiful winery is home to one of the most prestigious sparkling wines in the United States. Their Blanc de Blancs made history being the first commercialized use of Chardonnay grapes in a sparkling wine and it was later served at President Nixon’s 1972 “Toast to Peace” and every subsequent official state function since. The owners and employees take so much pride in their winery and wine that this is certainly an elevated wine tasting and a must for a tour.
Taking a tour of the caves is an unbelievable experience where you learn the history of sparkling wines, why it’s called sparkling and not champagne in the United States, the difference between hand carved and machine carved caves, and the process of how they make their wine. All of their wine is made by hand here from picking the grapes to hand riddling the bottles a quarter turn at a time in their underground caves. This is a process and labor of love and the depth and complexities that they achieve, incredible.