California is famous for many things, its wines being one of them. Napa Valley is a huge tourist attraction, with people from all over the world coming to try out some wines, walk through the vineyards, and, lets face it, get their day drink on. But can the average person afford to explore Napa?
When first arriving in Napa, it may seem like the answer is no. The vineyards are full of fancy cars, customers who look like they’ve just walked out of a J Crew catalog, employees who can tell you know nothing about wine just by looking at you, and price tags on bottles that will make those of us who are used to two buck chucks squirm. All this can be enough to make you turn around, but here’s a secret: there are places you can go for free.
While not ever winery (not most wineries), offer free tastings, if you look hard enough you will find more than enough to give you the spins on a sunny afternoon. Free is not something that often comes up in travel, but seriously, these tastings are free. Each one offers five free tastings, some even offer more. Here is a list of the best ones I’ve found.
Jacuzzi Wines http://www.jacuzziwines.com
Cline Cellar http://clinecellars.com
Highway 12 http://www.highway12winery.com
More here: http://www.sonomacounty.com/articles/free-wine-tasting-sonoma-county
If you are really into saving ,or you want to get your money’s worth, look for places that let you walk around. This means that you can go to different employees and try more than your 5 wines. Another tip is to wait and buy bottles at the local grocery or liquor store. You can find the same wines, usually for a lower price.