St. Helena wine tours… the beating heart of Napa Valley. Highway 29, the Valley’s major north-south artery, slows down here to become St. Helena’s charming Main Street — a narrow two-lane road lined with historic buildings, tasting rooms, award-winning restaurants, art galleries, local shops, and the Valley’s best clothing boutiques.
While downtown St. Helena offers many delightful things to discover on foot, the real draw for most visitors is the world-class winegrowing region that surrounds the town.
The St. Helena appellation has a long history of winemaking, and was one of the first AVAs to be established as a sub-appellation within Napa Valley. Vines were first planted here in 1861, and the area now boasts over 9,000 acres of premier vineyards, with more than 80 wineries producing wine from the appellation. This being the heart of Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon reigns supreme in St. Helena, although you can also find some lovely examples of other varietals at many of the local wineries. The region’s diversity and size offer a variety of different winemaking styles and grape types for visitors to discover, as well as its own unique terroir.
Video from Appellation St. Helena
Located in the northern part of Napa Valley, the St. Helena winegrowing appellation sits between 150 and 500 feet above sea level. Its unique geography traps heat from the hillsides on each side of the valley, pushing out the fog that rolls in from the coast and from San Pablo Bay to the south. This exceptional warmth is what allows St. Helena vines to produce riper wines with deep berry flavors, often with jammy notes and robust tannins. Although some of Napa’s largest wine producers call this area home, the quality of the wines in this area remains extremely high.
St. Helena’s historic downtown area provides a perfect palate cleanser during or after a day of wine tasting. Visitors can spend hours exploring its handful of charming streets, thanks to the dozens of interesting art galleries, boutiques, and shops featuring locally made products. End your wine country day with a memorable meal at one of the town’s many excellent restaurants, catch a film at the historic Cameo Cinema, or check out a bit of Napa Valley nightlife at Ana’s Cantina, a local favorite for dive-bar-style drinks and karaoke.
Or, for that once-in-a-lifetime splurge… head to the luxurious Meadowood Resort on the east side of the valley for a spectacular dinner at The Restaurant (one of only two Michelin three-star restaurants in the entire San Francisco Bay Area), followed by a night in one of the resort’s stunning rooms. It’s a romantic indulgence you’ll never forget.