When people travel to Napa Valley to experience the wine culture, they often wonder how much money they need to bring along for wine tastings. It’s a great question, considering that a bottle of wine costs between $15 and $150. Why would you want to throw this much money at a bottle when you’re not sure how it tastes? While the wineries certainly understand this, and want you to be happy with your selection, wine tastings generally cost money.
Most Napa wineries require appointments and charge per person – but it’s well worth it!
There are hundreds of wineries in Napa Valley (over 400 in fact), and more than half of them require appointments. Some even require a special invitation! Because 95 percent of Napa’s wineries are family owned and operated, limited room is available.
Also, the wine tasting experience for each winery is unique, so you are paying for this experience as well. For example, some wineries allow visitors to taste wine right out of their barrels!
It’s our understanding that less than 15 wineries offer complimentary tastings, but you still need to purchase a bottle of wine. The rest of the wineries charge per person. Wine tasting fees range from $5 to $50 a person. If tours and food are included, you can expect to pay a little more.
How to save money on tasting room fees
Tasting room fees can easily get out of hand if you’re not careful. Average tasting fees are around $30. In 2014, they were only $18! If you pair wine with elaborate foods, tours and barrel tasting, entry-level prices can easily reach $100. But, there are ways to save while still enjoying a great wine tasting experience.
- Check with your hotel. Ask the front desk if they have any recommendations for wineries. They may have a two-for-one tasting coupon that will allow you and your partner to share a tasting.
- Ask about wine purchases. Some wineries will waive the tasting fee if you buy a certain dollar amount of wine. You can ask your hotel for suggestions or research local wineries online.
- Look on Groupon. Groupon generally has deals on wine tours, but you can sometimes get lucky and find a decent deal on classic wine and food pairings. It doesn’t hurt to look before choosing a winery.
- Visit winery websites. It’s also a good idea to check the websites of the wineries you are interested in. The websites provide updated information on tasting room fees and available wines. This can help you prepare for your visit.
- Check weekday pricing. Some wineries charge a lot more on the weekends, so plan your visit during the week or during off-peak seasons to save some cash.
Napa Valley offers premium wines with price tags to match. That said, there are hundreds of wineries, with fees changing all the time. This means that there are always ways to save money while still enjoying high-class wine. When you book your stay with Napa Valley Hotel & Suites, we’ll help you find wineries that meet your budget and dazzle your taste buds!