When you travel to Napa Valley, dress casual to semi formal and bring more than pocket change to indulge at the wineries. Over 95% of the wineries charge a tasting fee. Tasting fees average between $10 and $25 per tasting. Some tasting and tours can range as high as $50 a person. Most tasting consists of 1 to 8 different wines. Don’t expect to see all of Napa in one day, there are over 200 wineries to visit in Napa Valley. You shouldn’t drive yourself wine tasting due to the chances of becoming illegal to drive after a few winery tastings. California has harsh repercussions for drunk drivers, renting a tour company is always an option in wine country. There are many tour companies to choose from to ensure no one drinks and drives.
When you arrive at your desired winery, look around and appreciate the views and landscape. This is world-renowned Napa Valley Wine Country! Walk into the winery and approach the tasting counter, the host should greet you and provide a list of tasting options. Don’t crowd the bar, if you don’t have an appointment then wait for a group ahead of you to finish tasting. Make sure you know which wineries you’re planning on visiting are appointments only. You might have to arrange as far as 2 to 4 weeks before to get an reservation at the most popular appointment only wineries.
If you decide to take an entourage with you, with more than 8 you might call some of the wineries ahead of time to let them know you’d like to stop in for a tasting. Swirl, smell, sip, and then taste. Notice the difference smells and depth of colors. Normally you would not ask for a second taste of the same wine unless you express that you’re interested in purchasing the wine. You may swallow every tasting but to not ruin your tasting palate there is often a spittoon to discard the wine. If water is provided use it to cleanse your palate or rinse your glass. Do not become inebriated this is frowned upon and may cause a refuse of service at any winery-tasting bar.