Napa Valley’s oldest wineries boast some of the most charming and historic estates in the region. They have survived several social, political and natural disasters, and now proudly display their legacy and heritage to enthusiastic Napa visitors.
Did you know that the vineyards in wine country were originally planted by Spanish missions in the 18th century, while the actual cultivation started much later? After winemaking was pioneered in 1838 by George C. Yount, several other vintners followed suit, and by the 1890s, over 140 wineries flourished in the Napa region. However, most of them did not survive the phylloxera virus that wiped out a vast majority of the region’s grapevines by the year 1900. This number further dwindled, especially during the 15 years when the Prohibition was in effect. It was only after the Repeal in 1933 that some of the current golden oldies found success.
When you explore Napa Valley, indulge in a captivating experience of the valley’s history by touring at least one of the region’s oldest existing wineries. If you have time, plan to join the 2-Day Historic Wineries Tour. Here’s a peek into some of the elite, vintage survivors that this tour covers:
- Beaulieu Vineyards: Founded in 1900 by Frenchman George de Latour, this winery continues the tradition of high-end winemaking. Sample a flight of Library wines as you learn about the winery’s history and influence on Napa Valley.
- Beringer Vineyards: This 1897-dated continuously operating winery specializes in Cabernet Sauvignon. The winery’s impressively German chateau-style reserve tasting room, Rhine House, is worth a visit.
- Inglenook: One of the most beautiful structures in all of Napa Valley, Iglenook was founded by Swedish sea captain Gustav Niebaum in 1882. Currently owned by the famous Hollywood director Francis Ford Coppola, this historic property has a theatrical flair and a stunning tasting room, Penino Salon.
- Schramsberg Vineyards: Founded by German immigrant Jacob Schram in 1862, Schramsberg specializes in sparkling wines. Enjoy a fun, educational cave tour and learn about the traditional methods of making sparkling wines, while you sip on a delicious seasonal special.
- Grgich Hills Estate: Founded in 1977, this winery specializes in Chardonnay. Thanks to its rustic ambience and grape stomping experiences, this winery has become Napa’s location of choice for a variety of events and festivities.
Some of the other wineries that are over 100 years old include the Louis M. Martini Winery, Chateau Montelena Winery, Stag Leap’s Wine Cellars, Trefethen Family Vineyards, Nichelini Family Winery and the Charles Krug Winery.
Plan a visit to wine country’s oldest wineries and explore the region’s wine and winemaking history. Book your quaint, boutique accommodation at Napa Valley Hotel and Suites. Take advantage of our central location in downtown Napa, steps away from luxury spas, restaurants, and renowned tasting rooms. See what our guests have to say about their stay here:
- “If you want a clean, no-nonsense room in a great location with courteous staff, then Three Palms is your place.”
- “Our go-to place to stay when going to shows at the Uptown or other Napa venues. Close to restaurants and shops.”
Make a reservation online and book a room for your Napa Valley visit. Call 707-226-1871 to confirm your reservation and check with us if you can save even more with our seasonal discounts.