Visiting the top-rated wineries in Napa is a bucket list experience in California. Napa Valley is the most densely concentrated winery region in the world, with 240 wineries in its 30-mile stretch between the towns of Napa and Calistoga. It’s as close as you’ll get to Italy’s picturesque Tuscany region without actually heading overseas, with endless rolling hills and vineyards. If you’re looking for an especially authentic experience, be sure to stop by Castello di Amorosa Winery, an authentically-styled, 13th-century Tuscan castle constructed using historically accurate medieval building techniques. It functions as a winery and comes complete with a drawbridge, moat and a dungeon with a functional Renaissance-era iron maiden. Its frescoes in the Great Hall and Knights’ Chamber are hand-painted, with roughly 8,000 tons of Napa Valley stone hand-chiseled. The Hapsburg-era bricks, hand-forged nails, chandeliers and 500-year-old fireplace were all imported from Europe. The castle is open for tours, which include tastings, daily.
Traveling the two-lane main road, Highway 29, you’ll find numerous other tasting rooms, restaurants and shops. Veer off on the Silverado Trail, which runs parallel to 29 along the eastern side of the valley, to enjoy a more relaxed pace.