7 Travel Planning Tips for visiting Napa Valley Wine Country

Hourglass Winery

Here are 7 travel planning tips to help you plan an amazing trip to Napa Valley wine country. We hope that you enjoy Napa Valley wine country as much as we do and that these tips help you plan an amazing and unforgetable trip.

1.) Plan in advance by hiring a driver.

It’s important to make reservations in advance for hotel accommodations, wine tasting reservations, and restaurants. Also, plan ahead for any bucket list activities such as a hot air balloon ride. At Windsor Wine Tours, we provide private Napa Wine Tours that are custom curated for you. We are also happy to follow your pre-planned itinerary of your favorite wineries that you want to go to. We provide private Napa Valley Wine Tours. Whether you are wanting to go to the most beautiful wineries in Napa Valley, the best Napa winery experiences, or the top Napa wineries to visit, our private Napa wine tours can can take you there. Our Napa wine tasting tours are tailored to you and the experiences you are looking for in Napa Valley.

If you book through us, we can provide you with an insider’s perspective into the best wineries in Napa Valley. We custom tailor the experience to your wine preferences, budget, and the wine experiences you are looking for. Some wineries book up months in advance so it’s important to plan ahead when visiting Napa Valley.


Black SUV at Medlock Ames Estate Winery
Windsor WIne Tours SUV

2.) Plan on going to 2 or 3 wine tastings per day.

On our Napa Wine Tours, we recommended to limit wine tastings to no more than 3 wineries in one day. This allows you plenty of time to enjoy the wine, the views, and the experience at each of the wineries that you visit.

We also recommend that wineries are within relatively close proximity. This way you can spend quality time enjoying amazing wine at your tasting appointments and less time in the car. With Napa wine tasting, plan to spend about 1 ½ hours at each winery. When you book your reservations online, they will likely share how long the experience is expected to last so you can plan accordingly.

Some people also choose to have a sit-down lunch and with one winery in the morning and one in the afternoon. If you would like to book three wineries in one day, it’s important to make sure you plan enough time for lunch. If you want an elevated experience, you can add a Napa wine and food pairing to your itinerary.


Kelham Winery
Kelham Winery

3.) Leave room for spontaneity.

When visiting Napa Valley, there is so much to do so make sure to also leave some room for spontaneity in case you want to make a last-minute trip to visit hike up Oat Hill Mine Trail to take in the beautiful views, ride in a hot air balloon soar above the vineywards, visit a wine tasting room near your hotel or vacation home rental. You can also spend a day sipping and shopping or enjoy a spa day relaxing poolside.

There is really so much to see and do in Napa Valley and it’s great to leave room to explore all that this beautiful area has to offer. SOme also choose to attend events and activities such as concerts that are occurring during their stay in wine country. For more information about events, go to Best Napa Valley Events in 2024. Leaving room for spontaneity allows you time to truly explore Napa Valley and treat yourself to things such as the macaroons at Bouchon Bakery, which is a favorite amoungst locals and tourists alike.


Bouchon Bakery
Bouchon Bakery

4.) Consider what types of experiences you want to have.

It’s important to think about what experiences you want to have. Some people want to stay at a hotel that is centrally located to be close to wineries, restaurants and shopping, while others want a vacation home where they can relax and enjoy time with those they love in their own private oasis. Some choose to stay in a guesthouse of a Napa Valley winery with stunning vineyard views. While others choose to stay in a bed and breakfast and indugle in waking up to an amazing breakfast every morning.

The same is true for Napa Valley wineries and Napa wine tasting. Some people want to have the best Napa winery experiences or visit the most beautiful Napa wineries. Others want more intimate wine tasting experiences or to visit mountaintop wineries with stunning views.  Our private Napa wine tours can provide you have an incredible time in wine country! Napa wine tasting is an excellent activity to do while in Napa Valley Wine Country, especially if you love Cabernet Sauvingnon! There are so many unique Napa winery experiences such as visiting a winery that provides horseback riding, enjoying a cave tour, and so much more!


Tamber Bey
Tamber Bey Winery

5.) Consider what airport you want to fly into

The closest airport to fly into is the Napa County Airport and a great way to start your wine country getaway.

If you are staying in the northern part of Napa Valley in Calistoga, the Charles Shultz Airport located in Santa Rosa and is only about a 30 minute drive to Calistoga. Many people that stay in the Calistoga and St. Helena area enjoy flying into this airport due to it’s close proximity. You can also fly into the Sonoma Jet Center there.

Flying into San Francisco International Airport (SFO) is convenient and has plenty of options as far as flights. Many people fly into this airport and then drive to Napa Valley to start their Napa Valley getaway. It takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes, without traffic, to get from San Francisco International Airport to downtown Napa.

Others fly into Sacramento International Airport and drive to Napa Valley. It takes about 1 hour and 5 minutes, without traffic, to get from Sacramento International Airport to downtown Napa. Many find that this is an excellent airport to fly into due to it’s proximity and there is a lot less traffic compared to flying into San Francisco International Airport (SFO).

Some people also choose to fly into Oakland International Airport and it is about a 1 hour and 10 minute drive to downtown Napa. There are several options for getting to Napa Valley that you can choose from.


SUVs at Sonoma Jet Center
Windsor Wine Tours at the Sonoma Jet Center in Santa Rosa

6.) Consider what time of year you want to visit.

People love to visit wine country at different times of the year for different reasons. Winter offers fewer crowds, a more personalized experience at wineries, it’s a slower pace, and seasonal specials make this time of year more affordable to visit wine country. You may also see mustard fields, which is a beautiful sight to see when in Napa Valley.

Spring offers beautiful and lush vineyard views. You can also witness bud break, enjoy the blooming flowers, and experience lots of amazing events.

Summer offers amazing weather, beautiful views of the vineyards, and plenty of events that you can attend.

Fall is when harvest season is in full swing and it’s an exciting time to watch the changing colors of the vineyards. You may also witness the grapes being picked and brought to the winery for production. More events happen during this time of year and it’s a vibrant and exciting time in wine country! If you are still in the planning stages and wondering what time of year to visit Napa Valley, visit our blog on the best time to go to Napa.

7.) Consider wineries that are relatively close to one another.

Napa Valley is very spread out and it’s helpful to choose wineries near where you are staying in order to spend more time at the wineries you choose and less time in car driving between wineries. There are so many great wineries in all of Napa Valley for you to choose from depending on the type of experience you are looking for and the type of wine you are hoping to sip.


Faust Winery

If you are unsure what area of Napa Valley that you would like to go wine tasting in, we have several private Napa tours to choose from such as our Calistoga Wine Tours, Yountville Wine Tours, Saint Helena Wine Tours, and our Napa Valley Wine Tours. Book with us at Windsor Wine Tours! Our Lincoln Navigator can accomodate up to 7 passengers and our Van can accomodate up to 9 passengers.


2 Tour Vans
Windsor Wine Tours LLC


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