Camping in Napa – Day 1

I love wine tasting and I love camping, so I was VERY excited to discover Bothe-Napa Valley State Park and the Ritchey Creek Campground. This place is a gem at only $35/night for a tent site and $60-75/night for a yurt. There are cabins which we did not see while there. The campsites are very small, about the size of 1 car and 1 tent. I recommend visiting to get a better idea of which site you want. They have flush toilets, coin operated showers, firewood to purchase on-site for $10 (save your money and bring your own), and water faucets throughout the grounds. The biggest thing about this area is be aware that poison oak is everywhere and the oil can get on your clothes and transfer to other belongings, so be careful.

We chose campsite #19 and were very happy with the space as we needed a larger site for all of us and to just spread out as we were making this trips a longer weekend. Anyhow, this campsite is only 1.7 miles away from Castello Di Amorosa, or better known as the Italian Castle in Napa and many others such as:

  • Madrigal Family – 0.9 miles
  • Frank Family – 1.1 miles
  • Schramsberg Vineyards – 1.8 miles
  • Sterling – 3.5 miles
  • Clos Pegase – 3.2 miles
  • Rombauer – 3.1 miles
  • Beringer – 4.8 miles

Some of the sites (7, 10, 11, 12, 14, 16, 17) are smaller; however, you have the luxury of hearing the Ritchey Creek flow the day and night. Again, these sites are made for 1 car/1 tent.

Day 1

We arrived much later than anticipated due to a snow storm over the Sierras.

So we set up camp quickly and got on our bikes to ride to Sterling Winery and to visit the Castle before sunset. The Napa Sign is along the way:

At Sterling, you take an aerial tram up to the winery. The tram costs $25 and tasting is $10 = $35. We liked Sterling winery, yet found their pourings to be measured and nothing personable about the experience. You finish a tasting and guide yourself to the next station. The views up top are beautiful but…..we had more fun at other wineries that the made the experience more educational or entertaining.

And then onto Castello di Amorosa………

We wondered around the Castle before beginning our tasting in the subterrain tasting room. There is a church and a beautiful dining room to see. We climbed the towers to overlook the valley of Napa (no photo).

General admission and/or the premium wine tasting is $30 and their reserve tasting is $45 (without the guided tour). I highly recommend the reserve tasting! We had a great hostess from the Ukraine that was knowledgeable about the wines and very attentive to our group’s different tastes. Also, if you purchase a case of wine (12 bottles) you become a member of their wine club and future tastings are free for you and some friends. You can learn more at Wine Club.

After having some reserve wine tastings paired with chocolates, we journeyed back to our campsite for an evening of hot dogs, and campfire. 🙂

To be Continued….for Day 2


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