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Napa Valley offers as many types of wine tours as your heart could possibly desire.  The key to having the best possible experience is to plan ahead.  This planning may include getting in touch with Authentic Wine Country to help you with the details, so you can simply enjoy yourself.  Entering the Napa Valley, and driving north along one of the two main routes, can be quite overwhelming.  So, one key to a good wine tour is to focus.

Plan your wine tour to include just one or two types of wines that you love.  Or, plan your tour only to include small, family wineries—there are many of these where you can only buy the wine on site, or at a local tasting room.  Plan your visit around vertical tastings or library tastings.  Again, focus.If you love food as much as you do wine, see which wineries offer pairings.  Plan food and wine pairings for one day, then visit wineries that offer food from local vineyards along with their wines the next day.

Another key to wine tasting in the Napa Valley is to get off the main roads.  There are many small roads that intersect the north/south roads.  So, you may want to travel in a zigzag pattern from west to east, and then east to west.

Here’s an idea:  Head for the hills.  The soft mountains to the east are home to many small wineries.  Some are extravagant, some quirky, others have tours of their family vineyards, and a few will cook you up a scrumptious meal in their kitchen.

One of the biggest mistakes a visitor makes on a Napa Valley wine tour is getting about as far as St. Helena, feeling overloaded and overindulged, and then heading south out of the valley.  Don’t do it!  Head north, past St. Helena, into the northern part of the Napa Valley.  The crowds thin out, the wineries are more unique, and the pace is more relaxed.

The key to a great time is planning.  Don’t try to do too much.  And let a local expert help you!