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Part 3: A handful of wineries to visit for first timers to the Napa Valley

  • Updated

Third of five parts

With hundreds of wineries in the Napa Valley, many on either Highway 29 or Silverado Trail between Napa in the south and Calistoga in the north, it’s probably hard for first-time visitors to decide which wineries to visit.

This five-part series will examine five wineries, all on Highway 29, from south to north, that will make your visit memorable. You want to make sure you have plenty of time to enjoy each of these special places. And remember to bring your attitude of fun to make this an adventure and a trip to remember.

Merryvale Vineyards

1000 Main Street, St. Helena

(707) 963-7777

Nestled in the heart of the Napa Valley, St. Helena has long been established as the heart and soul of California winemaking. Ideally located at the southern entrance to town, Merryvale Vineyards, built in 1933, supports this rich history. As St. Helena’s hometown winery, Merryvale Vineyards offers guests the opportunity to walk to restaurants, shopping, lodging, and even other wine tasting locations.

In 2007, the Merryvale Vineyards winery building was renovated to become a luxury-class facility with small temperature controlled fermentors, intensive sorting equipment, a basket press, a cold room and other resources to produce great wine.

Merryvale Vineyards welcomes guests daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Reservations are not required for its Merryvale Vineyards Tasting. Seated tastings at the bar or in the tasting room are $30 per person.

For those interested in enjoying an elevated experience, winery staff also offers two unique experiences that are privately hosted by their wine education team: Merryvale’s Artisanal Wine & Cheese Tasting and its Profile Library Tasting. Both of those experiences require advance reservations and can be made online or by calling 707-963-7777.

If you are in St. Helena at lunch time, make reservations for the winery’s “Burger Butler Tasting Experience.” If you’ve ever ventured into St. Helena on a sunny day, no doubt you’ve noticed the line of folks waiting to order at what has become Napa Valley’s best burger joint – Gott’s Roadside Cafe. The “Burger Experience” allows guests to skip the line and get right to the burger and fries –paired with Merryvale wines, of course! Cost is $95 per guest or $35 per winery club member.

To reserve Burger Butler, email the tasting room at

Pop the cork on Napa Valley wine!

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