Feb 15, 2018 | Napa Valley | Wine | Best Of | California Delicious
Best Sparkling Wine Tours in Napa Valley
It's not called wine country for nothing: According to the U.S. Census Bureau; in 1970, there were 240 vineyards in California. By 2016, that number had swelled to 4,653, over 40% of the vineyards in the United States. Napa Valley especially, is world-famous for its variety of rich, full-bodied wines and beautiful vineyards. Not least of all is the selection of sparkling wines. Tourists from all over the country can take a tour of some of the region's best vineyards or enjoy a sparkling wine gift basket that they can take home. The question is, where do you start? As reported by The Wine Institute, there are over 1,000 wine producers in Napa Valley alone, each offering a different experience. Some, like Mumm Napa and Domaine Chandon, have reputations that precede them, while others are hidden gems. We've compared prices, reviews, and features of some of the best vineyards in Napa Valley to find the best experience possible for your own sparkling wine tour.
Map your trip to one or all of the Best Sparkling Wine Tours in Napa Valley, and Beyond.
Mumm Napa Vineyards offers leading French quality in their Sparkling Wine Tour
Mumm Napa - $40 per guest
8445 Silverado Trail, Rutherford, CA 94558
Available daily at 10am, 11am, 1pm, and 3pm (reservation required)
Champagne might only be produced in Champagne, France (thus the name), but Mumm Napa has a bit of a birthright when it comes to sparkling wine.
As thoroughly described in their Story & Heritage page, the company was originally founded when Guy Devaux was sent to America by GH Mumm, the leading champagne brand in France, to scout out a place to grow champagne grapes in the United States.
Devaux found the perfect plot for a vineyard in Napa Valley, but rather than an elaborate château or a newfangled modernist winery, a relaxed barn structure was constructed. The visitor center, too, is structured like a farmhouse.
As Mumm Napa explains on their blog "Guy wanted guests to feel like they were practically sitting in the vineyard. He chose the redwood siding and green roof to blend in beautifully with the surrounding countryside, instead of standing out."
Not only does Mumm Napa have a gorgeous vineyard, backdropped by the tranquil hills of Napa Valley, it's also home to a fine art photography gallery with exhibits from artists like Ansel Adams and Wayne Levin.
Wine tours begin at the winery entrance, move through the vineyard and winery itself, and end at the photography gallery. They are $40 per person and available daily with a reservation at 10am, 11am, 1pm, and 3pm.
Schramsberg Vineyards - $70 per guest
1400 Schramsberg Road, Calistoga, California 94515
Available daily at 9:30am, 10am, 11:30am, 12pm, 1:30pm, and 2:30pm (reservation required).
As described in their history, this vineyard has been family-owned since 1965 and was one of the first wineries in the area to use a secondary fermentation process for their wine.
However, Schramsberg's history goes back much further than that. The original vineyard was opened in 1862 by Jacob Schram, making it the second founded winery in Napa Valley. It was Schram who had the caves built on the property to protect the wines. The caves are now used for that secondary fermentation process and a favorite stop on the winery tour.
Marketing Manager Matt Levy said, "Our wines require time in the caves to acquire the nutty, rich, complexity." Levy added, "You can go on this journey through our caves and see the pick marks where the bottles were hand dug. No other winery in Napa Valley can offer that historical experience."
It is this very rich complexity that makes Schramsberg wine a unique and popular choice for our Sparkling Wine Gift Baskets.
So it's no wonder that Shcramsberg has hosted notable guests, including leaders of the country. Levy said, "Since 1972, every presidential administration has served our wine at state functions." Famous author Robert Louis Stevenson also detailed his visit to the winery in "The Silverado Squatters," the account of his visit to Napa Valley in 1880. With all of this unique history and with the ability to explore caves and taste the very sparkling wines that presidential administrations have served, its no wonder Schramsberg's tours come along with a bit of a heftier price tag.
Remember though, at $70 per guest, you are paying for both a sparkling wine tour, and a step back in time.
Domaine Carneros - $50 per guest
1240 Duhig Rd., Napa, CA 94559
Available daily at 11am, 1pm, and 3pm (reservation required)
Aubrey Anzelmo of Domaine Carneros painted this picture when asked about the vineyard: "Our Château, surrounded by rolling hills of our estate vineyards, serves as a stunning regional landmark to those passing through Napa and Sonoma." The cherry trees, the iron wrought gates, and the grand château make visitors feel as if they've been transported to the French countryside. It's hard to believe that it was only founded in 1987; though the company finds its origins in Champaign Taittinger in France. Anzelmo explained, "All of our wines are produced using méthode traditionnelle, like Taittinger in France."
For $50 per guest, the wine tour will take you through their vineyards and into the process of creating, bottling, aging, and disgorging sparkling wine. It also includes five tastings.
Anzelmo said, "We invite guests to taste our handcrafted sparkling and still wines in our salon or on our terrace. Tastings can be paired with artisanal cheeses, charcuterie, smoked salmon, and caviar by Tsar Nicoulai." But if you want to really drink in the experience, you can choose one of their elevated experiences. These tours are priced differently and include food pairings, premium tastings with artisan cheeses and smoked salmon, and the most enviable: a "Sparkling Suite"; your own private romantic château balcony, perfect for a proposal, birthday or other special occasion.
Domaine Chandon - $40 per guest
1 California Drive, Yountville, CA 94599
Available daily from 10am-5pm (reservation required for parties of 10 or more)
Have you ever wished to win the lottery? Have you ever wished to pair wine with chocolate and vanilla truffles? With a Domaine Chandon sparkling wine gift basket you can at least get your second wish and have a taste of this delicious pairing. The sweetness of the chocolate and the bright, tropical notes of Domaine Chandon's sparkling wine makes for a perfect combination. At Domaine Chandon, you not only get a taste of their delicious sparkling wine and learn their history, but you also get a chance to mix three of your own Chandon cocktails. The tasting itself is $40 per guest and occurs in a fun bar setting. However, the winery is surrounded by luscious gardens with elegant water features. You should also check their website from time to time in case of special events to make your visit even more memorable.
Monticello Vineyards - starting at $35 per guest
4242 Big Ranch Road, Napa, California 94558
Available daily from 10am-4:30pm
No, this isn't President Thomas Jefferson's famous home - that's located in Charlottesville, Virginia. But the large home that greets you at the front of the vineyard is named the Jefferson House for him. Monticello Vineyards was founded by Jay Corley in 1969, and it's still run by the Corley family today. They offer a variety of different experiences.
The Estate Tasting is the cheapest at $35 per guest and welcomes walk-ins. You can try a flight of 5 of their wines--including the Montreaux Brut Sparkling Wine--in the Jefferson House or the beautiful gardens. If you have a party of 4 or more, you can reserve a 2-hour Vintner for a Day tour of the vineyards, crush pads, and Jefferson cellar for $100 per guest with reservation. They also often announce special tastings on their blog.
Iron Horse Vineyards - $30 per guest
9786 Ross Station Road, Sebastopol, CA 95472
Available Mon-Fri at 10am (by appointment)
Finally, while seated in Sebastopol, Iron Horse Vineyards is technically part of Sonoma County. But at $30 per guest for a VIP tour including tasting of limited production sparking wines, the experience is definitely worth venturing a few extra miles.
Iron Horse prides themselves on wines with a "sense of place," and their bright, silky, complex flavors are a favorite when it comes to giving Iron Horse sparkling wine gift baskets for wedding gifts. If you're interested in the process of making sparkling wine, this tour is a can't-miss. You'll have a chance to see all the labor and dedication that goes into making sparkling wine, right where the magic happens. If they're disgorging on the morning of your tour, you may even get to taste the sparkling wine in its purest form, pre-dosage.
There are also private Winemaker Truck Tours hosted once a week by winemaker David Munksgard for $50 per person.
Napa Valley Sparkling Wine Tours price comparison
All together U.S. Census Bureau Quick Facts California indicates that there are over 908,000 businesses in the state of California and a population of 39,250,017.3 And with great population comes great opportunities for gift-giving. Whether the occasion is corporate or personal, it's hard to go wrong with the gift of sparkling wine.
When you leave these premier sparkling wineries in Napa Valley, you'll be able to enhance your gift even further by sharing a bit of your delicious experience with the recipient. You may even inspire them to plan a sparkling wine tour of their own. A sparkling wine gift basket is the perfect gift for colleagues, friends, family, or we won't judge - keep it in mind as a little a little treat for yourself from time to time.
1 Number of California Wineries - The Wine Institute
2 The Napa Wine Project
3 U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts selected: California - The United States Census Bureau