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January 29, 2016

St. Helena: Charles Krug Winery; things to do

Wine Country 

Charles Krug Winery  2800 Main St., 1.5 mi. N of town, (800) 682-KRUG, (707) 967-2200.  Tasting daily 10:30-5; food pairings by appt.; tour M-F at 10:30 & 3, Sat-Sun at 10:30, & by appt. 

tasting room at Charles Krug Winery in St. Helena, California

In 1858, using a small cider press borrowed from Agoston Haraszthy at the Buena Vista Winery in Sonoma, this winery made the first commercial wines in the Napa Valley.  It was also the very first to stop stomping grapes with human feet and start pressing them with machines.  Now producing 16 different wines, the winery is noted most for its Cabernet Sauvignons and Sauvignon Blancs.  

wines with heart at Charles Krug Winery in St. Helena, California

But it’s not just wine tasting any more.  A gigantic new tasting room, strikingly outfitted with wood reclaimed from the property’s huge old redwood tanks, offers traditional bar tastings, plus food pairings at tables on the weekend.  

interior of tasting room at Charles Krug Winery in St. Helena, California

vintage redwood barrel at Charles Krug Winery in St. Helena, California

A Reserve Flight Pairing ($95/person; reservations required) concludes with a bittersweet dark chocolate truffle frosted with gold (it is made by the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone located across the street; the institute also tends a large vegetable garden adjacent to the winery parking lot).

Reserve Flight Pairing at Charles Krug Winery in St. Helena, California

CIA Student Farm at Charles Krug Winery in St. Helena, California

Cucina Pairings ($18/small plate + 3-ounce pour; reservations not needed) might include a warm bruschetta with prosciutto and acorn squash paired with a Merlot, or stuffed cremini mushrooms with a Pinot Noir—perhaps just the perfect excursion and experience to enjoy with your Valentine?  

All this and picnic tables under a giant oak, too.

picnic area at Charles Krug Winery in St. Helena, California

More things to do in St. Helena.

More things to do in the Wine Country.

More ideas for exploring Northern California.

images ©2016 Carole Terwilliger Meyers


  1. OMG, that reserve wine tasting with chocolate has made my mouth water! Dang. . .wish I were there. Great post.

  2. Quite the price range: $18-95! But that makes it accessible to anyone visiting. Love how the winery has a picnic area. I've been to Napa Valley twice but have never been to Charles Krug. The tasting room looks so nice!

  3. I miss visiting California wine country (used to live in Mountainview), and the tasting room at Charles Krug Winery looks lovely. Maybe it's time for a west coast trip.


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