Downtown Napa: Pairs Well with an Unforgettable Time

If you’re reading this, it doesn’t matter if you’re a grape-drinking newbie or experienced oenophile—you’re here for a reason, and that reason is a love for vino. It’s the one thing that brings together all visitors of Downtown Napa. An appreciation for the countless hours that go into the harvesting. A genuine curiosity into the stories behind each winemaker. And, of course, that satisfying feeling when pairing the ultimate dish with the ultimate swish.   

In honor of California Wine Month and harvest season, take your tastebuds (and your friends, of course) on a tour around the Wine Tasting Room Capital of the World. With 55+ tasting rooms all within walking distance—plus dozens of world-class vineyards nearby—now’s the perfect time to live up and drink down the fruits of Downtown Napa’s labor of love.  

Read on for the pairings of your palate’s dreams, right here in the heart of the city.  

Photo: @mariobazancellars


Mario and Gloria Bazán hail from Oaxaca and Michoacán, Mexico, and are the owners of Bazán Cellars Tasting Room. Mario started as a farmworker at some of Napa Valley’s most prestigious wineries. His years-long passion for growing high-quality grapes led him to create his own wines—with his strong farming roots serving as inspiration. Widely known for Cabernet Sauvignon, the Bazáns also offer a Sauvignon Blanc, a dry, crisp, fruity wine that pairs perfectly with spicy foods—like the many dishes found in Oaxaca. Choose from different experiences, including a tasting paired with Oaxacan amuse-bouche, a bite-sized hors d’oeuvre. Wine on!  

Tasting Room Hours: 
Wednesdays to Sundays, from 11 a.m.–7 p.m.
Mondays and Tuesdays, by appointment only
Reservations recommended for tastings 

Photo: @shadowboxcellars


Who would have guessed potato chips pair well with wine? Shadowbox Cellars has made the case. Led by a vintner/winemaker, your tastebuds will be taken through a total transformation. Experience more than five limited-production wines in an intimate environment, paired with hand-crafted, uniquely flavored potato chips. The saltiness truly brings out the wine’s acidity. Plus, bring your furry friend—the winery is dog friendly! 

Winery Hours: 
All tasting experiences by appointment only, from 10:30 a.m.–6 p.m.
Closed Wednesdays 

Photo: @JohnAnthonyVineyards


Keep the chips crunching and the wine flowing at John Anthony’s tasting room, a well-respected vintner known for his reds. Pair truffle chips with your favorite wine flight or take things up a notch with a caviar + sparkling wine pairing. They’ve partnered with Tsar Nicoulai Caviar and La Dame Michele sparkling wine to make all your tasting dreams come true. Plus, splurge on Anthony’s wide selection of artisan cheeses and charcuterie.  

Vineyard Hours:
Sundays to Wednesdays, from 10 a.m.–10 p.m.
Thursdays to Saturdays, from 10 a.m.–midnight
Reservations recommended for tastings 

Photo: @ChateauBuenaVista 


Dark chocolate and red wine are high in tannins, giving a deliciously robust, bitter flavor that only this pair can bring. For all the Cab lovers out there, Chateau Buena Vista’s chocolate/wine tasting experience should be the first destination on your itinerary. Four distinct Cab Sauvs are paired with four handcrafted chocolates from Earth and Sky Chocolates. There’s also a champagne and caviar tasting to truly feel like you’re in France. Voila!  

Chateau Hours: 
Sundays to Thursdays, from 11 a.m.–7 p.m.
Fridays and Saturdays, from 11 a.m.–8. p.m.
Reservations recommended for tastings 

Photo: @waltwines


Recently remodeled, the WALT Napa Oxbow room features private tasting spaces and walls draped with modern art. Specializing in Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from vineyards along the Pacific, they offer a wine/chocolate pairing and the “Root 101 Experience,” a flight of Pinot Noirs coupled with seasonal bites from Napa Michelin restaurant La Toque. Good news: This spot’s among the many tasting rooms in Downtown Napa that are dog friendly.   

Tasting Room Hours: 
Daily, from 11 a.m.–6 p.m.
Reservations recommended for tastings 

Photo: @infinity8visuals and @AckermanHeritageHouse


Rewind time with a glass of your favorite wine and savory snacks. Vintner Lauren Ackerman was drawn to the once-dilapidated, historic home that is now the renovated, charming Ackerman Heritage House. In the since-restored Victorian home, Ackerman offers chef-led wine lunches and dinners, afternoon tea and wine tastings. Pair sweet treats like coffee cake and chocolate ganache with sweet wines like Moscato and Riesling. Or go the savory route during Social Afternoon Tea, which features sandwiches and chicken salad paired with warm, cozy tea. You’ll completely relax and take in the luxurious ambiance while sipping on world-class wines and culinary pairings.   

House Hours: 
Every day, from 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Reservations recommended for tastings 

Photo: @JaMCellars


JaM Cellars rocks out with an eclectic scene and lively music. A state-of-the-art sound system and classic vinyl collection pair perfectly with Napa’s harvest season. Pick from a selection of reds and whites, and pair with shareables like grilled cheese, Greek fries, butter, jam, toast and beyond. The tasting room also offers a complimentary toast with its Toast sparkling wine each day at 5:15. We’ll cheers to that.  

Tasting Room Hours: 
Sundays to Wednesdays, from 10 a.m.–10 p.m.
Thursdays to Saturdays, from 10 a.m.–midnight
Reservations recommended for tastings 

Still not sure where to start? Just like Downtown Napa’s wine, we’re flowing with ideas. Take our Wine Taster Type quiz to discover your unique palate and all the tasting rooms that match it.  

Whether you crave the liveliness of fall’s harvest season or prefer to work remotely from a quiet tasting room on wine Wednesday, there are plenty of lodging options in the heart of Downtown Napa. Take advantage of special rates when you stay mid-week or fetch dog-friendly stays year-round. It’s all right here