Photo: Andrea Vizzo via Instagram
A day trip to Napa Valley is a popular option for a bachelorette excursion close to San Francisco. It's only about 90 minutes from the city but feels a world away; the pace of life is slower, the sun seems to shine brighter, and there are beautiful vineyard views in every direction.
A few quick winery tips? Limit yourself to three to four wineries for the day, make sure to eat and drink plenty of water throughout the day, and always spring for a driver to make sure everyone can participate safely in the fun! Below are some of the best Napa wineries for a bachelorette group heading to California.
A Vineyard for Bridesmaids on a Budget: Heitz (Above)
Free tastings are a rarity in Napa, but at Heitz Cellars you can still score a totally free tasting — and the wine is so good, you'd gladly pay for it anyway. For more than 50 years the Heitz family has been crafting award-winning cabernets, chardonnays, and zinfandels and that dedication shows in the quality of the wines; the tasting room is small but cozy and invites guest to linger by the fire with a glass of port. Whether you stay awhile or just pop in for a taste, you can't beat the quality — or the price!
Photo: Courtesy of Whitehall Lane
A Vineyard for the Foodies: Whitehall Lane
In addition to the usual wine tastings, Whitehall Lane Winery also offers cooking classes led by an Italian-trained chef. In a private kitchen above the winery, students learn skills such as making risotto or grilling the perfect steak, and get tips on pairing wine with their favorite dishes. Throughout the class, Whitehall Lane wines are served, and the experience caps off with a delicious three-course lunch.
Photo: via Instagram
A Vineyard for the Wannabe Winemakers: Raymond Vineyards
If you've ever dreamed of making your own wine or just want to learn more about wine in a hands-on way, don a sparkly silver lab coat and head to the "laboratory" at Raymond Vineyards for their signature wine-blending experience. Participants get to use eyelet droppers and glass beakers to blend four different varietals into their perfect wine, which is then bottled with a custom label. It's a fun experience and you get a great souvenir to remember the day.
Photo: Courtesy of Castello di Amorosa
A Vineyard for the Royal Entourage: Castello di Amorosa
Known as "the castle," Castello di Amorosa is a replica 13th century castle set on a hill near Calistoga. The sprawling, impressive grounds draw more crowds than the wine, but if you're looking for a place fit for a princess, the castle delivers, with gorgeous vineyard views, imposing towers and a grand courtyard. Walk in for a tasting, or book ahead for a wine or chocolate pairing.
Photo: Courtesy of Domaine Carneros
A Vineyard for the Fitness Fanatics: Domaine Carneros
Set on the south end of the valley, Domaine Carneros, offers a "Vinyasa in the Vineyard" program that's the perfect way to start off an indulgent day without feeling too guilty. The program includes a yoga session for eight to ten people and finishes with a wine tasting and sparkling wine brunch.
Photo: Courtesy of V. Sattui
A Vineyard for the Picnic Lovers: V. Sattui
On nice days, there's no place more popular than the picnic area at V. Sattui. The two-acre area is surrounded by old oak trees and dotted with picnic tables where groups gather to nosh on items like crabcakes, pastas, cheese and salami from the on-site deli. On weekends, they even fire up the grill for fresh made BBQ and wood-fired pizzas. And of course, they offer tours and wine tastings, including a single-vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon tasting in a private tower overlooking the winery grounds. Read real brides' reviews here!