The Vibe: 

Heitz Cellars is the poster child for small, family-owned, traditional Napa wineries. Originally founded in 1961, its newish wood-and-stone tasting room exudes charm, with a fireplace that’s flanked by two inviting leather chairs (and, on occasion, a dozing min pin), as well as a sturdy wooden table that serves as the tasting counter. Long known for its outstanding cabernets (see Martha’s Vineyard and Bella Oaks), the winery also produces a port, and the seldom-seen Italian varietal, Grignolino, as well as an array of other varietals worth trying. Tastings at Heitz are complimentary, and, if your visit happens to fall in February, may even include the esteemed Martha’s Vineyard.

Known For: 
Martha’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Bella Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Grignolino, Port
Not good for: 
  • Busses, large groups
  • Shoppers
  • Weddings
  • Events
Particularly good if you are seeking: 
  • Individuals, small groups
  • Heitz enthusiasts
  • Napa history buffs
  • Tours (by appt; during the week)
  • The thrifty (no tasting fee; the wines can be pricey however)
  • People visiting in February