We went to Napa this June to celebrate our 10th anniversary. We went with another couple we are great friends with and have traveled together several times. I love planning trips. The anticipation is half the fun of traveling. Although we don’t have an unlimited budget I do like to feel like a VIP when I am traveling. Who doesn’t, right?? 🙂
One of our biggest questions when planning a trip to Napa was “How do we get around?”. We had a rental car but I was talking about from winery to winery. We all wanted to drink. Was it best to use a car/jeep tour where they drive you from place to place or is it easy to get an Uber in Napa to come pick you up whenever you are ready to go to the next place?
Some of the older trip reviews on trip advisor said Ubers were sometimes scarce. And some of the tour operator companies had great reviews but are so much more expensive were they worth it? I am a fan of reading guides and trip reviews before I go anywhere, here is an awesome guide book for Napa. Fodor’s Napa & Sonoma
We decided to have one day of going to 3 wineries using Uber and one day using a tour operator to set up visiting 3 wineries.
Day 1: Using Uber
Uber Ride #1 – We went to the lobby of our hotel (Meritage) and my friend used the Uber app. Someone was within 5 mins and came and picked us up. He was a friendly retired man. Super nice and acted like a tour guide on our drive to Mumm winery. He told us so much information and said he loved driving for Uber. He even drove a little out of his way to show us downtown Yountville. We said our good byes at Mumm and hoped we would see him again.
Uber Ride #2 – After trying the delicious sparkling wines we used the app and had a car come within 10 mins. I was surprised at how fast and close the cars were and this seemed so convenient I was getting nervous that the expense of our tour the next day would not be worth it. This next driver was very nice and helpful and fun to talk to and told us his favorite things to order at the restaurant we were headed to for lunch.
Uber Ride # 3 & 4 – These were quick rides to another couple of wineries and they were fast and easy. Not quite as friendly as the first 2 drivers but we had absolutely no complaints.
Day 2: Using a Tour
We used Julie at Hidden Napa Jeep Tours. She was super friendly and had picked the 3 wineries we were going to be visiting that day. Off we drove to the first place of the day. This was Bell winery. It was gorgeous and she seemed to have hand-picked which person would be doing our tasting before we arrived. He was so friendly and knowledgable. We had a beautiful private table overlooking the vineyard. A special cheese plate that we tasted a cheese with each wine. It was our favorite experience by far and we would never have found that winery on our own. This is one of th main reasons to use a local tour operator. They have connections and experience to match your favorite types of wine with the type of winery to take you to visit.
Our second winery Fontanella was the same type of experience. We would never have discovered it on our own and their story was fun to hear. The girl leading our tasting was so much fun and our favorite of the day.
The last winery we went to was a bummer. It was neat to see his vineyard but he wasn’t that interesting. He had inherited the winery and you could tell he wasn’t really that passionate about it. He even mentioned how he had to start working there when he lost his job in San Francisco and couldn’t find another…downer! It was downer for our last winery to be this one as we were on such a high on our trip. We knew we were headed to an awesome dinner after we got back to our hotel so our spirits were lifted pretty quickly.
Overall the experience with Julie/Jeep tour were 2 of our absolute favorite wineries that we wouldn’t have found without her.
Conclusion: You can definitely use Uber in Napa Valley very easily and Yountville (we didn’t try Sonoma yet so not sure about that area). You must research where to go on your own and I would definitely set up some special tastings so you don’t blindly walk in and just sit at the bar.
The experiences that Julie with the Jeep tour set up made every place extra special with a personal touch. You could tell she had used her connections to upgrade our experience with special tastings and the best person to show us around.
That saying, I would not be afraid to plan my trip using Uber. I would just have to do a little more research on where to go and make a reservation for a special tasting experience.
See my posts about our other travel experiences.
Why our 3 Night Disney Cruise Stressed Me Out. Don’t make these mistakes.
Gatlinburg, TN Ski Trip – Trip Review
Linked to Calypso In the Country Travel Link Party.
Cynthia @craftoflaughter says
I worked at the ER in Napa for 5 years and loved talking to visitors from other areas. Napa is filled with wonderfully friendly people and I can only imagine that an Uber driver would be filled with wineries, restaurants’, and hidden treasures, Berringer is one of my favorite tours!
Yes, it was fun to talk to a local. Definitely added to our trip. 🙂
Michelle @ Sunshine and Hurricanes.com says
Love having this information, so helpful! I’m now dreaming of a winery tour in Cali!
I love going with tours to places! You learn so many things that you just wouldn’t otherwise! Sounds like you had a lovely time.
Rachel @theeverydaymomlife.com says
What a great idea to use Uber! We haven’t been to Napa in ages but this will be a good option if we decide to go back.
I would love to go back again. I didn’t realize how much I would love it!
Amanda Love says
I think this is an awesome guide! People will always be concerned about how to get around when traveling to new place especially if they’re unfamiliar with it. I think it’s nice that you tried different ways of transport, and thanks for the tips as well!
Neat to read about someone’s experience with Uber! Love how close they were every time you looked one up!
Thanks so much for sharing this. A trip to Napa is definitely on my bucket list. Your photos make me want to go even more.
Blythe A. says
These are two really great options for wine tasting. I wish I would have thought about doing this when I went wine tasting on LI, this was before Uber though. After a few tastings you are definitely feeling the buzz. Next time, I will be sure to consider Uber and a bus/jeep service.
It sounds like you had great experiences! I have always wanted to visit Napa, sounds like a great time!
christina aliperti says
I have never been to Napa but I would love to visit. I think I would take an Uber unless I had another driver with me.
Im an Uber kind of girl anyways! Great to hear your experience and one day I want to visit napa for myself with friends!
Neely Moldovan says
I love your thoughts! We rented a car but only because we drove up from San Fran. We also ate lunch there to sober up hahaha
Yes, we ate a huge lunch too in order to keep up with the day of tastings. 🙂
It was a very useful post and I love your pics. Unfortunately in my country Uber is not longer available… maybe once. But I am happy you had great experiences with it.
Calypso in the country says
Glad you had good experiences with Uber. My husband uses them all the time. Wine tasting in Napa – sounds like a great time to me! Thanks for linking up at Take Me Away!
You are welcome! Glad to be a part of the link up.
That sounds so interesting. I have never been to a winery
Agness of Fit Travelling says
Thanks a bunch for sharing your experience! I haven’t used Uber but this is great to know, Carolyn!