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12 Best Wineries In Northern California

Northern California is a slice of paradise with its rolling hills, majestic redwoods and sun-kissed valleys. 

And let’s not even get started on the wineries – each with its own story, its own character and, most importantly, its own unique selection of wines. 

From the world-renowned Napa Valley, with its prestigious Cabernet Sauvignons, to the cooler climates of Sonoma County, perfect for Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays.

You’d need a lifetime to explore every winery and vineyard, but fear not! 

We’ve ventured through the vines and sipped our way around to curate a list of the 12 must-visit wineries in Northern California

They offer the most exquisite and unique wines in the entire state (maybe even the world) so you definitely won’t be disappointed.

1. Robert Mondavi Winery

The Robert Mondavi Winery is located right in the heart of the world-famous Napa Valley region.

This iconic winery stands out for its role in establishing Napa Valley as a top wine-making area, thanks to its founder, Robert Mondavi, who was instrumental in promoting the quality of California wines. 

Visitors to the Robert Mondavi Winery can sample a variety of wines, including their famous Cabernet Sauvignon and Fumé Blanc, which are known for their depth of flavor and complexity. 

Set against a backdrop of rolling hills and lush vineyards, the winery offers a serene and inviting setting for everyone to explore and enjoy.

2. Beringer Vineyards

Beringer Vineyards is nestled in the picturesque Napa Valley, surrounded by a stunning vine-covered landscape. 

As one of the oldest continuously operating wineries in the area, it has a rich history dating back to 1876. It’s pretty famous for its heritage and longstanding tradition in winemaking. 

The vineyard is renowned for its broad selection of wines, including its Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Merlot.

Visitors to Beringer Vineyards can take part in both tastings and tours which allows them to experience the historic estate and its beautiful grounds. 

3. Domaine Carneros

You’ll find Domaine Carneros in the southern part of Napa Valley. It’s known for its stunning chateau that was inspired by classic 18th-century French architecture. 

This winery is celebrated for its Pinot Noir which has been crafted with meticulous attention to detail and with a focus on sustainability. 

Established by the Taittinger family, who were a renowned family from the Champagne region of France, Domaine Carneros merges traditional French techniques with that of California. 

Visitors can take part in a range of tastings and tours that offer insights into the art of sparkling wine production and the chance to try some for themselves. 

The estate’s beautiful setting, complete with panoramic views of rolling hills and vineyards, makes it one of the most picturesque spots in Napa Valley.

4. Opus One Winery

Opus One Winery, located in Napa Valley, offers a blend of modern elegance and classic beauty in its architecture and surrounding vineyards. 

This prestigious winery is a collaboration between two of the wine world’s giants, Robert Mondavi and Baron Philippe de Rothschild.

It’s pretty famous for fusing both Californian and French winemaking traditions. 

Opus One is best known for its flagship wine, Opus One, a Bordeaux-style blend that reflects the exceptional quality and craftsmanship behind every bottle. 

The winery focuses on a very limited selection of wines in order to ensure that each one is of top quality.

5. Chateau Montelena

Chateau Montelena is located in the northern part of Napa Valley, nestled in the foothills of Mount Saint Helena. 

This winery is famous for its historic stone chateau which provides a striking backdrop to the lush vineyards surrounding it. 

It gained international fame after its Chardonnay won the prestigious 1976 Judgement of Paris, a moment that put California wines on the global map. 

Visitors to Chateau Montelena can taste a variety of wines, including Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel and Riesling. Each wine is completely unique.

The tranquil setting, which comes complete with a Chinese garden and a serene lake, offers a peaceful atmosphere for people to enjoy some of the finest wines Napa Valley has to offer.

6. Silver Oak Cellars

Silver Oak Cellars in Napa Valley is celebrated, in particular, for its commitment to producing exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon. 

The winery, with its modern yet inviting architecture, is set against a backdrop of lush vineyards and rolling hills which creates a picturesque setting for visitors. 

Silver Oak is renowned for its dedication to quality and uses only the finest grapes. 

It also uses a distinctive aging process in American oak barrels to craft wines with rich flavors and smooth textures. 

Visitors have the opportunity to taste a selection of these premium Cabernet Sauvignons, known for both their elegance and depth. 

7. Jordan Vineyard & Winery

Jordan Vineyard & Winery is situated in the rolling hills of Sonoma County, an area celebrated for its diverse and rich wine culture. 

The winery itself is known for its beautiful French-inspired chateau that is set amongst acres of vineyards, gardens and natural landscapes.

Jordan is famous for its focus on producing high-quality Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.

Jordan offers guided tastings as well as tours that highlight its sustainable farming practices, stunning architecture and the natural beauty of Sonoma County.

8. Ferrari-Carano Vineyards and Winery

Ferrari-Carano Vineyards and Winery is located in the picturesque Sonoma County, amidst the rolling hills and vibrant landscapes that define the region. 

This winery is renowned for its stunning Italian architecture, beautiful gardens and the meticulous care it applies to winemaking. 

Ferrari-Carano is best known for its diverse range of wines with a particular emphasis on white wines like Chardonnay and Fumé Blanc, as well as reds such as Cabernet Sauvignon. 

Visitors to the winery can indulge in tastings and enjoy the estate’s breathtaking scenery and welcoming atmosphere.

9. Clos Pegase

Clos Pegase is a unique winery located in the heart of Napa Valley, specifically in the Calistoga region. It’s known for its stunning landscapes and premium vineyards. 

This winery stands out for its remarkable Mediterranean-style architecture that was designed by the famous architect Michael Graves.

Clos Pegase is famous for producing high-quality wines that are characteristic of Napa Valley, with a particular focus on Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. 

Visitors can enjoy tastings in a gorgeous setting that combines art, architecture and wine, offering a truly immersive experience.

10. Russian River Vineyards

Russian River Vineyards sits right in the heart of Sonoma County, specifically within the cool, fog-kissed region of the Russian River Valley, renowned for its ideal wine growing conditions. 

This historic winery offers a peaceful setting among lush vineyards and towering redwoods. It’s known for its rustic charm and picturesque surroundings.

It is famous for producing exceptional Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, varieties that thrive in the valley’s cool climate, along with other wines like Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. 

Visitors to Russian River Vineyards can enjoy tastings in a cozy atmosphere, often with the opportunity to pair wines with locally sourced, farm-to-table cuisine. 

11. Inglenook

Inglenook, located in Napa Valley, is set against the backdrop of the picturesque Rutherford region, known for its fertile soils and ideal grape-growing conditions. 

This historic winery was established in the late 19th century. Since then, it has gained fame for its commitment to crafting high-quality wines.

Owned by film director Francis Ford Coppola and his wife, Inglenook is celebrated for its rich heritage, beautiful estate and the restoration of its original name and winemaking legacy. 

Visitors to Inglenook can sample a range of wines, including its prestigious Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux-style blends, which are highly regarded for their complexity and depth. 

12. Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars

Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars is located in the famous Napa Valley, specifically within the Stags Leap District which is known for its exceptional wine-growing conditions. 

This iconic winery earned global acclaim when its Cabernet Sauvignon won the 1976 Judgement of Paris Tasting, a historic event that stunned the wine world and established Napa Valley as a top wine-producing region. 

Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars is celebrated for its powerful yet elegant Cabernet Sauvignons.

Visitors to the winery can taste a variety of wines, including Chardonnay and Fumé Blanc, in a setting that offers breathtaking views of the surrounding vineyards and natural landscape. 

And that’s it!

Those are all of the best wineries in Northern California that you absolutely need to visit.

Sophie Davis

Born and raised in the Bay area of California, Sophie is a California native. She joined our team in 2023 to create travel guides on California.

Learn more about the Traveller's Elixir Team.

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