Walk right in to wine tastings in Downtown Napa

There are some people who like to be on a schedule, reserving their plans ahead of time to make sure they happen. There are others who prefer spontaneity, enjoying the freedom of doing things on a whim.


That’s the beauty of Downtown Napa wine tasting rooms. If you’ve decided which ones you want to visit, simply make a reservation by calling or scheduling it online. But if you prefer stepping out of your Downtown Napa lodging property and going wherever your feet lead you, that’s easy to do as well. In addition, there are plenty of restaurants, craft breweries and shopping stops along the way, so you can easily spend a few days with us and never have to pick up your car keys.

With more than 50 tasting rooms within walking distance in Downtown Napa, you’ll be able to try a variety of wines from Napa Valley and other parts of California, as well as wines from around the world. You won’t need a car or to call for a ride, just a comfortable pair of shoes and a desire to have some excellent wines and a good time with family and friends. If you’re new to Downtown Napa and need some information on the area, the Napa Valley Welcome Center® on 1st Street will be glad to recommend places to see and things to do during your stay.

Almost every tasting room accepts reservations; others gladly welcome walk-ins. We’ve provided a list of those who accept walk-ins, and noted if reservations are recommended. Enjoy!

OXBOW DISTRICT

Napa Valley residents know what a great gathering place the Oxbow District is, especially the Oxbow Public Market. A wonderful mix of restaurants, local vendors, produce outlet and breweries make Oxbow a favorite for the locals and returning vacationers.

The Oxbow District is also home to a number of tasting rooms. The Wine Thief is one such place. Devoted to small family-owned producers who make high-quality wine, The Wine Thief – a winemaking tool used to remove small amounts of wine from a barrel to taste or test – offers labels that are rarely available elsewhere. Open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday through Tuesday, The Wine Thief welcomes walk-ins.

The intimate WALT Napa Oxbow tasting room was recently remodeled. Featuring stylish private testing spaces and modern works of art lining the walls, WALT is a comfortable place to enjoy pinot noir and chardonnay wines from vineyards along the Pacific Coast. Available from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., with the last tasting starting at 5 p.m., WALT welcomes walk-ins, although reservations are recommended.

If a flight of one white and three red wines paired with chocolate truffles sounds incredible, drop into Krupp Brothers. The tasting room, open daily, offers a relaxing, fun atmosphere as you savor the selections of wine produced from grapes of the Stagecoach Vineyard, the largest contiguous vineyard in Napa Valley. Reservations are encouraged, although drop-ins are welcome.

Developing a love for winemaking after volunteering to help during harvest time at his professor’s vineyard in the Sierra foothills, Mark Herold continues to enjoy creating high-quality wine. Working with top growers from Coombsville, Atlas Peak and Oakville, Mark Herold Wines focuses on cabernets and features several tasting environments. Open daily, reservations are required for private and lounge tastings, but walk-ins can enjoy a casual tasting at the bar.

At the family-owned-and-operated Napa Valley Distillery, you can taste seasonal and limited-released craft spirits, as well as artisan cocktail bitters, shrubs and syrups. Open daily, the comfortable and laid-back distillery focuses on small-batch craft spirits featuring locally grown ingredients. Located inside Oxbow Public Market, reservations are suggested, but walk-ins are welcome.

FIRST STREET

Mia Carta, a collective of eight vintners’ micro-production wines, is located in the Native Sons of the Golden West building, constructed in 1914. Representatives from some of the wineries often join attendees in the tasting room to share their wines and experiences. Reservations are encouraged, but not required, to the Friday night tastings, held from 5 to 7 p.m. until Sept. 15.

Best known for producing classically-styled cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay and merlot, Mayacamas Downtown grapes are influenced by both the San Pablo Bay and the Pacific Ocean. The tasting room, open Wednesday through Sunday, showcases a variety of collectible coffee table books, leather goods and more for sale, adding to the sophisticated atmosphere. Reservations to the tastings are recommended, but walk-ins are welcome when space permits.

You’ll love the relaxed atmosphere of the tasting lounge at Brendel. In addition to tastings of four excellent wines, which can be customized to your preferences and paired with bar bites, Brendel holds open mic on Thursdays and matinee movie day on Sundays. Reservations are welcome, but not required. Brendel is open Thursday through Monday.

CLINTON STREET

The wine is out of this world at Outer Space Wines, open every day except Monday. The establishment features about two-thirds Northern California wines and one-third from mainly Europe. The Earthly Rotation Tasting, which is held daily, consists of four mainly local wines. Thursday and Friday evening tastings are a mixture of wine education and good times, and Sundays are for the dogs. Bring your best dog friend and enjoy an afternoon on the Outer Space patio through October. The venue also features weekly events, such as wine and music, and happy hour, in their stellar event space.

Just a short walk from the Downtown Napa Skateboard Park and the Napa Valley Bike Shop (you’ll love touring Downtown Napa and surrounding areas on a bike), is Housley Napa Valley. Owned by former journalist/professional baseball player Adam Housley and actress Tamera Mowry-Housley (Sister, Sister), you can try their award-winning North California wine and wine country foods. No reservations are necessary in the Living Room or the outdoor deck, which are open daily.

MAIN STREET

More than 40 exceptional wines from a collection of wineries is what you’ll find at New Frontier Wine Company. The collective’s flagship location in Downtown Napa showcases all of the wineries and their wines. The tasting lounge, constructed to provide a casual atmosphere, is open daily. Reservations are recommended, but walk-ins – and their pets – are welcome.

The tasting room for a select group of small, passionate family-owned Napa Valley wineries, Vintner’s Collective is housed in an 1875 building named a national landmark (it was a former saloon). Open daily, the Collective features a pleasing atmosphere and for returnees, the cheese crackers are back! No reservations are needed for the No. 1 tasting at the indoor bar, which includes five wines tailored to your palate.

Interested in exploring these places and more? Take our wine tasting personality quiz to see which of these wine tasting rooms match your palate.

DOWNTOWN IS UP FOR SO MUCH

There’s plenty to do in Downtown Napa without needing to make reservations. Hiking and biking trails, museums, kayaking and shopping are just a few examples. Plan a getaway, or just hop in the car and head to this beautiful region. From bed and breakfasts to luxury hotels, there’s always a place to stay where you’ll be within walking distance to all that Downtown Napa has to offer.

 

#DOWNTOWNNAPA