This month, we sat down and chatted with the Platypus tour guide, Steve. Steve has been a guide with Platypus since 2010. His knowledge of wine country exceeds guest expectations and his gentle spirit makes him a favorite among guests and coworkers. Steve gave us his top 10 picks in wine country and we’re excited to share them with you.
Production Tour: Tedeschi Winery is Steve’s choice for favorite production tour. “Their staff walks you through all phases of the farming and winemaking processes, showing all the equipment. At harvest time, they allow guests hands-on experiences punching down the grape skins into the juice of small fermentation bins.” This is a great place for anyone seeking Napa wine tours through Napa wineries and Calistoga wineries that really educate you on the winemaking process.
Food & Wine Pairing. B Cellars takes the cake for Steve, “High-end chefs designed a small food bite pairing with 5 pours of wines to match in an elegant setting.” Wine country is a haven of amazing food so choosing B Cellars for a special experience will make planning a lot easier.
Indoor/Outdoor Picnic. Steve chooses Fairwinds Estate Winery with its outdoor umbrellas and views from a hillside in an olive grove and indoor picnic in a cave that has an unusual party room. Definitely, a treat to experience during your California wine tours.
Family Run Winery. Mckenzie Mueller winery is Steve’s pick for a favorite family-run winery. “The parents own and make the wine and ram the grapes on their small family farm, and harvest and produce their own olive oil. Their daughter runs most of the tasting room operations, and is training to become the next generation of ownership, farming, and winemaking.” Everyone loves genuine family-owned Napa wineries that inspire and thrive in this competitive field. Support them and visit when you can!
Romantic Winery. Hans Fahden is one of those wineries you’ll see our guests raving about in our Napa wine tours reviews. It’s also Steve’s choice for the romantic winery, “Many weddings are held here, with gardens, vineyards, views, lakes and a cave to have tastings inside. The staff decorates with many small imitation candles that give the cave a romantic, magical feeling.” Sounds dreamy, Steve.
Wined-Out: Where else to get adult beverages. After your Napa wine tours, it may be time to “wine-down.” Steve says head to Norman Rose for the full bar with Pliny the Elder always on tap, great happy hour prices, and tasty food apps such as truffle parmesan fries, jalapeno poppers, and onion rings.
Restaurant. According to Steve, Redd Wood “never disappoints.” Great wood fired pizza, house-made sausage meatballs in great red sauce, great salads, excellent wine lis
Non-wine activity. Tour Old Napa Downtown. Steve explains that it’s always a hit. You can follow this guide and find some historic buildings and areas of the town. Definitely a change of pace from visiting Napa wineries. We say it’s always good to change things up a little.
Night Life Spot. Steve chooses Archer Rooftop Bar for a night out after Napa wine tours. Spectacular setting with views overlooking Napa skyline and surrounding mountains. Full bar and food available so you can keep snacking while enjoying wine from local wineries.
Brewery. Stone Brewery is a new addition to Napa and a must try according to Steve. The restored historic stone building houses this great brewery with excellent food, plus views of the riverfront, bridges and Napa city buildings. Try the pretzel and cheese sauce, trust us.
Our guests, partners, and fellow Platypi describe Steve as a nice, knowledgeable, creative, kind and caring guide who always knows how to make people smile. In reading through his hundreds of reviews online, we know that Steve is definitely one of our key guides that helped us this year to be ranked by TripAdvisor as the Top Wine Tour in the US. He possesses a humble graciousness and strives every day to provide the best Napa wine tours and Sonoma tours for his guests.
On his days off Steve is often out investigating new Sonoma and Napa wineries and forging new relationships for Platypus. He seeks out wineries that have the same spirit of service, quality wine and a unique experience that will make a lasting impression on our guests. Steve also understands that the goal for the wineries is to sell wine so he sets the stage to get the group excited about going to these special Sonoma and Napa wineries that were hand-picked by him.