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Must see Napa and Sonoma wineries: Five new openings from old favourites

With roughly 1,000 wineries between Napa and Sonoma, the pressure to stand out and outdo one another is on. This is good news for visitors, for wineries are in turn building stunning, state-of-the-art hospitality centers that offer a host of unique and luxurious tasting experiences. Here are five new spots—from old wine country favourites—to get the all-star treatment on your next trip to Napa and Sonoma.

Napa Valley

Cakebread Cellars

The iconic Cakebread Cellars, a Napa Valley rarity that has been family-owned and operated since 1973, opened an epic, redwood-clad visitor campus in the fall of 2019. This includes a whopping nine, uniquely-designed private tasting rooms, each assigned a curated tasting experience (by appointment). For instance, you can enjoy a decadent food and wine pairing in a light-filled, glass-walled space or sip a red or white flight of wines amongst Cakebread’s impressive concrete egg collection in the fermentation hall. During harvest, you’ll want to book the Tank Room, which overlooks rows stainless steel tanks and all of the action.

  • Address: 8300 Saint Helena Highway, Rutherford
  • Open: daily 10am-4pm

Bouchaine Vineyards

There’s a renaissance taking place in the oft-overlooked Carneros region, which extends into both Napa and Sonoma, and Bouchaine is leading the charge. Its stunning new hilltop visitor center not only offers the best wine country views on this list but some of the best in all of Napa Valley. The crescent-shaped building has floor-to-ceiling windows so you can soak up the far-reaching Carneros landscape from anywhere you sit inside, but the outdoor terrace is definitely the place to sip (weather permitting). Post up by a firepit as you leisurely work your way through a flight of Bouchaine’s acclaimed pinot noirs and chardonnays.

  • Address: 1075 Buchli Station Road, Napa
  • Open: daily 10.30am-4.30pm

Louis M. Martini

A pioneer of Californias big and bold reds and the first winery built after Prohibition was repealed, Louis Martini is almost unrecognisable after its 2019 renovation. It’s still the original 1933 building with terracotta tiles, but has been catapulted into the modern-day. The interior boasts 30-foot ceilings and 30-foot windows that peak into the barrel cellar, plus several vignettes for an array of tasting experiences ranging from the standard bar tasting to four different food and wine pairings, which can be reserved inside or out. Before you leave, make sure you head downstairs to the underground cellar, flanked with redwood wine casks from the early days. Here, Martini’s most luxurious experience takes place, a seven-course wine and food adventure.

  • Address: 254 South St. Helena Highway, St Helena
  • Open: daily 10am-6pm
Flowers winery

Flowers Vineyard and Winery


Sonoma

Flowers Vineyard & Winery

A pioneer of Sonoma Coast wines, Flowers Vineyard & Winery has been inaccessible to most visitors, until now. While its vineyards sit far up the Sonoma Coast on the very first ridge out from the Pacific Ocean, the owners decided it was time to bring Flowers’ cool-climate Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays inland and to the masses. Opening last summer just minutes from downtown Healdsburg, House of Flowers is a tribute to the winery’s roots, designed to feel like a contemporary home on the coast complete with a fireplace, light-filled living room, study, and sunroom (luckily, Healdsburg gets a lot more sun than Flowers’ foggy vineyard sites). But the best place to taste might actually be outside in the gardens. Enjoy a food and wine pairing in an unwalled cabana with a backdrop of the Russian River Valley.

  • Address: 4035 Westside Road, Healdsburg
  • Open: daily

Anaba Wines

Further proof of Carneros’ quiet revolution is Anaba. For the last 15 years, most would drive right past the family-run outpost on their way to Sonoma or Napa without much thought, for the tiny, no-frills tasting room was tucked back behind a busy intersection. Now, a gorgeous new visitor center gives reason for pause. While at first look, the Vintners House is a classic, white and modern farmhouse, a delightful surprise awaits inside. The tasting space is not strictly composed of soft and boring neutral hues as expected but is fresh, chic, and cozy all at once. Taste Anaba’s elegant Chardonnays, Pinot Noirs, and even some hard-to-find Rhône varietals. If the weather cooperates, play a game of bocce with a mountainous backdrop.

  • Address: 62 Bonneau Road, Sonoma
  • Open: daily 10.30am-5.30pm

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