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Jarvis Estate Winery

8 Incredibly Cool Wine Caves to Tour in Napa Valley

Wine country’s best caves include some pulled straight out of Game of Thrones and others set like a sci-fi novel

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Wine likes a dark, cool, and quiet space to chill out while it makes its transformation to greatness. Fortunately, if you dig deep enough into the earth, the environment gets moist with a steady cool temperature right around 60 degrees — no air conditioning or heating needed. An underground cave makes a pretty smart place to make and store your wine while it ages in a barrel.

But what a difference some imagination, an interior designer, and an ample construction budget can make. Some Napa Valley wineries have caves that feature thrilling histories, jaw-dropping natural features, and stellar wines. If you’re looking for a luxurious and cozy place to enjoy a glass of wine, look no further.

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Hourglass Winery

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If the wine cave at Hourglass feels like a den for Denaerys you wouldn’t be far off: they’ve hosted Game of Thrones-themed charity wine dinners there since show writer Bryan Cogman is a big fan of the winery’s boldly balanced Cabs. Aside from the antler throne chair, the Tord Boontje crystal sculpture, and the big blue marble table, the cave owes its extra dramatic vibe to stage lighting designed by owner Jeff Smith, a rock guitarist in a previous life. Architect Olle Lundberg’s round cave door rimmed with green bottle glass makes a great selfie spot. 

Hourglass

Davis Estates

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The posh porch tasting paired with food at Davis Estates is only exceeded by the cave tasting experience reserved for Founders’ Club members. Besides receiving allocations of rare Phase V wines made by Philippe Melka, Founders’ Club members can scan their hands for admittance to the Cellarium, a glass tasting space with a stunning monkey pod wood table and a waterfall chandelier made of fine metal chains. The club is fully committed right now, but lucky visitors usually can get a peek. 

Davis Estates

Schramsberg Vineyards

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When Jack and Jamie Davies founded their French-inspired sparkling wine house in 1965, they also inherited some of the oldest wine caves in the region. The sparkling wine house boasts 35,000 square feet of caves, including 12,000 square feet hand dug by Chinese laborers in 1862. As you’re touring and learning the painstaking process of making fine sparkling wines, you might notice what looks like cobwebs around the caves; but it’s actually lichen. 

Schramsberg Vineyards

Brasswood Cellars

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If you like peeking at lots of different styles of luxury French wine barrels, you’ve come to the right place. As a custom crush winery, Brasswood’s 14,000 square feet of caves are aging barrels from brands including Moone Tsai, Bevan, and Dalecio. The cave tasting room is also where the winery stores ita library of all the wines made since Brasswood’s first vintage in 2013. You’ll sit down at a massive live-edge table and sip a vertical of four Cabernet Sauvignons paired with cheeses including Beemster, Midnight Moon, and P’tit Basque.

Brasswood Cellars

Inglenook

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Just in time for the 2022 harvest, Inglenook unveiled 22,000 feet of state-of-the-art wine caves filled with gleaming stainless steel tanks. Word has it, Inglenook’s proprietor director Francis Ford Coppola lit up like a kid on Christmas morning as he drove the Komatsu excavator that punched through a wall to join the new cave with the old ones dating back to 1872. Get cozy with a Salon Tasting Flight hosted entirely in the cave, and be sure to order a side of the chef’s mushroom pate, which pairs perfectly with older reds. 

Inglenook

Pine Ridge Vineyards

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Pine Ridge’s Cellar 47 cave tasting room was once reserved for wine club members, but the winery recently opened the Stags Leap District cave to the public. New features in the 37,000 square feet of caves include better ventilation and lighting, and plush leather and velvet seating chosen by interior designer Kristin Martin. The business won’t name names, but the Pine Ridge caves were visited recently by both NBA and NFL members who love a good glass of red wine. 

Pine Ridge Vineyards

Jarvis Estate Winery

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William and Leticia Jarvis were ahead of the curve when they built their Atlas Mountain estate winery entirely underground back in the 1980s. Winery President Will Jarvis says his parents hired the same machines that dug the Chunnel, the undersea tunnel connecting England and France, to create their caves, which feature parabolic arches that evoke an underground cathedral. Besides the exquisite long-aged Cabs and Burgundian Chardonnay, the coolest feature at Jarvis may be the waterfall and creek that keep the caves feeling fresh.

Jarvis Estate Winery

Palmaz Vineyards

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The story goes that Amalia and Julio Palmaz wanted a gravity-flow winery, so their red wines stayed silky smooth, but they couldn’t get a permit to build a winery of the needed height. So instead they bored deep into Mount George to create a massive system of high-tech caves that feel like something out of a sci-fi novel, or perhaps a Bond film. Coming back to the tasting room on the surface, you’ll be transported by the supple wines paired with eclectic savory and sweet bites. 

Palmaz Vineyards

Hourglass Winery

Hourglass

If the wine cave at Hourglass feels like a den for Denaerys you wouldn’t be far off: they’ve hosted Game of Thrones-themed charity wine dinners there since show writer Bryan Cogman is a big fan of the winery’s boldly balanced Cabs. Aside from the antler throne chair, the Tord Boontje crystal sculpture, and the big blue marble table, the cave owes its extra dramatic vibe to stage lighting designed by owner Jeff Smith, a rock guitarist in a previous life. Architect Olle Lundberg’s round cave door rimmed with green bottle glass makes a great selfie spot. 

Hourglass

Davis Estates

Davis Estates

The posh porch tasting paired with food at Davis Estates is only exceeded by the cave tasting experience reserved for Founders’ Club members. Besides receiving allocations of rare Phase V wines made by Philippe Melka, Founders’ Club members can scan their hands for admittance to the Cellarium, a glass tasting space with a stunning monkey pod wood table and a waterfall chandelier made of fine metal chains. The club is fully committed right now, but lucky visitors usually can get a peek. 

Davis Estates

Schramsberg Vineyards

Schramsberg Vineyards

When Jack and Jamie Davies founded their French-inspired sparkling wine house in 1965, they also inherited some of the oldest wine caves in the region. The sparkling wine house boasts 35,000 square feet of caves, including 12,000 square feet hand dug by Chinese laborers in 1862. As you’re touring and learning the painstaking process of making fine sparkling wines, you might notice what looks like cobwebs around the caves; but it’s actually lichen. 

Schramsberg Vineyards

Brasswood Cellars

Brasswood Cellars

If you like peeking at lots of different styles of luxury French wine barrels, you’ve come to the right place. As a custom crush winery, Brasswood’s 14,000 square feet of caves are aging barrels from brands including Moone Tsai, Bevan, and Dalecio. The cave tasting room is also where the winery stores ita library of all the wines made since Brasswood’s first vintage in 2013. You’ll sit down at a massive live-edge table and sip a vertical of four Cabernet Sauvignons paired with cheeses including Beemster, Midnight Moon, and P’tit Basque.

Brasswood Cellars

Inglenook

Inglenook

Just in time for the 2022 harvest, Inglenook unveiled 22,000 feet of state-of-the-art wine caves filled with gleaming stainless steel tanks. Word has it, Inglenook’s proprietor director Francis Ford Coppola lit up like a kid on Christmas morning as he drove the Komatsu excavator that punched through a wall to join the new cave with the old ones dating back to 1872. Get cozy with a Salon Tasting Flight hosted entirely in the cave, and be sure to order a side of the chef’s mushroom pate, which pairs perfectly with older reds. 

Inglenook

Pine Ridge Vineyards

Pine Ridge Vineyards

Pine Ridge’s Cellar 47 cave tasting room was once reserved for wine club members, but the winery recently opened the Stags Leap District cave to the public. New features in the 37,000 square feet of caves include better ventilation and lighting, and plush leather and velvet seating chosen by interior designer Kristin Martin. The business won’t name names, but the Pine Ridge caves were visited recently by both NBA and NFL members who love a good glass of red wine. 

Pine Ridge Vineyards

Jarvis Estate Winery

Jarvis Estate Winery

William and Leticia Jarvis were ahead of the curve when they built their Atlas Mountain estate winery entirely underground back in the 1980s. Winery President Will Jarvis says his parents hired the same machines that dug the Chunnel, the undersea tunnel connecting England and France, to create their caves, which feature parabolic arches that evoke an underground cathedral. Besides the exquisite long-aged Cabs and Burgundian Chardonnay, the coolest feature at Jarvis may be the waterfall and creek that keep the caves feeling fresh.

Jarvis Estate Winery

Palmaz Vineyards

Palmaz Vineyards

The story goes that Amalia and Julio Palmaz wanted a gravity-flow winery, so their red wines stayed silky smooth, but they couldn’t get a permit to build a winery of the needed height. So instead they bored deep into Mount George to create a massive system of high-tech caves that feel like something out of a sci-fi novel, or perhaps a Bond film. Coming back to the tasting room on the surface, you’ll be transported by the supple wines paired with eclectic savory and sweet bites. 

Palmaz Vineyards

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