I had never been to Napa, CA before last month when I visited for the #GFBloggerRetreat. I love wine, and we have awesome vineyards here in Arizona, but Napa has always been on my wish list. While we stayed in downtown Napa at the Inn on Randolph, it was only 16 minutes away from wineries. There are more than 400 vineyards in Napa Valley. While the traditional wine tasting includes bread, crackers, cheese – and other allergens that I can’t have – at least I can drink wine. I had a great time at the wineries, brining my own safe gluten-free food. Only one of the vineyards that we tasted at cared that we brought our own food. I would recommend that you always carry safe food with you, especially if you are drinking any alcohol.
Gluten-Free Wine Tasting
Tips for gluten-free wine tasting:
- Call in advance and ask if they have any gluten-free food items they offer with tasting
- Ask about their BYO food policy
- Always bring an emergency snack just in case (bar, jerky, crackers)
- Always make sure to drink enough water
- Always have a designated driver
Mumm is about 16 miles away from the Inn on Randolph and downtown Napa. It’s a fun vineyard with a view! Their primary wines are bubbly – and admitted to us that their still wines are an “after thought” (and rightfully so, it wasn’t that great). Their sparkling wine, however, was very tasty. I had never had a sparkling red before – so I definitely bought one and took it home.
Gluten-Free tastings: There were raw nuts available to us to eat, and they didn’t mind us bringing our own food. Sidenote: I don’t know if it was just the wine, but those walnuts were some of the best walnuts I’ve ever tasted, and several of my fellow tasters agreed. You can only buy them, however, in a snack set with gluten-containing food.
Round Pond was an incredible winery and olivery. This place had the most breath-taking views and creates incredible olive oil, along with some really stellar wines. If I could recommend one place on this list to anyone headed to Napa, it would be Round Pond.
Gluten-Free tastings: Unfortunately, you cannot bring/eat your own food at Round Pond. They offered us nuts, but we didn’t taste any (and secretly ate out of our purses).
I loved this winery, and really liked most of my reds that I sampled. The views alone are worth a visit to this winery. Although a lot of stairs!
Gluten-Free tasting: They were totally fine with us eating our snacks during our tasting. They also offered complimentary almonds for the tasting. We didn’t finish the nuts, and giant crows came down and took them all home. It was my favorite part of the experience, next to drinking their estate pinot.
Castello di Amorosa
You’ve got to visit the castle, just for the view alone and the sheer Instagram-ability of it. It’s also right next to the Culinary Institute of America – a must-visit while in Napa.
I purchased the Zingaro Old Vine Zinfandel 2016 (95% zinfandel and 5% primativo grapes) and was happy with my purchase. You can take a guided tour, but it’s an hour long and in the wine caves that are about 58 degrees. We didn’t have time for it, but I would have loved to explore. And also, spend a bunch of time with goats and guinea fowl. And that emu.
Gluten-free tasting: We didn’t have a chance to tour, but if you do want to spend a load of time here, they offer packages that include chocolate, cheese, or a full meal. Reach out to FoodandWine@castellodiamorosa.com if you want to learn more specifics about allergens.
PIN FOR LATER
This was part of our annual #GFBloggerRetreat, sponsored by Schar, Enjoy Life Foods, Canyon Bakehouse and Inn on Randolph.