When you plan a Napa Valley vacation, you want it to be as hassle-free as possible. But being a world-class wine destination, it tends to draw big crowds especially during the summer and fall months. But you don’t have to worry because Napa Valley still has treasured secrets left that a small number of people have known about.

One of the things about Napa Valley that may surprise you is that there aren’t a lot of vineyards and wineries there. Even though there are over four hundred wineries the numbers are still few! Napa Valley is not even the country’s biggest wine producer, but nearby San Joaquin Valley is. So it means that it’s not the quantity of the production that Napa Valley is after — it’s all about the quality.

Still, 400-plus wineries are a lot to go through on a whole day of exploring (or even a whole week), and this leaves you with more possibilities to visit its best-kept secrets. Why these wineries are not as often frequented by visitors can be factored to a number of things. The wineries may be small or medium-sized, may be isolated or hard to find, may have special and limited number of products, or simply, their names are that quite familiar.

The words “little-known wineries” don’t necessarily mean that they produce subpar products or their staff’s relations with their customers are shabby. In fact, people who have the rare chance of visiting these small-time wineries give out the most enthusiastic comments about them, from the excellent wines down to the experienced and friendly, gracious staff. Customers themselves have claimed that the lesser-known wineries’ products have better quality than those of the popular ones.

Wineries such as Artesa Wineries, Cliff Lede Vineyards, and Holman Cellars offer mostly unfamiliar oenological delights that await every wine lover. Many of them offer great, elegant architecture, splendid scenery of the valleys, and an impressive collection of their signature wines. They include Pinots, Cabernets, Merlots, Chardonnays, Sauvignons, Temparnillos, and sparkling wines that feature enticing aromas and exquisite flavors. Expect the staff to be hospitable and accommodating, too. They are ready to entertain guests with their wealth of wine knowledge. A few of the wineries also incorporate some art like the Hess Collection which is a winery-cum-museum.

After visiting some cozy, backcountry wineries and off-the-beaten tasting rooms, head on to some more hidden gems. See the geyser famously known as the Old Faithful Geyser of California, which is also the home of Tennessee fainting goats (yup, fainting goats!), experience checking inside a train at the Napa Valley Railway Inn, and riding on a hot air balloon.

Hot air balloon rides are one of the fun things to do in Napa Valley. A lot of people are hesitant to ride a hot air balloon but those who dare to do it are rewarded with beautiful sights of the Napa Valley. You will see neat rows of grapevines, hills and valleys that are verdant in the summer and then give an explosion of warm colors during autumn months You cannot find the majestic views like this of Napa Valley except from a hot air balloon, floating in the sky.

Riding a hot air balloon also gives you peace and tranquility. You feel as if you’re really flying in the sky and touching the heavens. It is surely a rare event that only a few people will be fortunate to experience.

If there’s a hot air balloon operator who will give you this unique experience, you will want to choose Balloons Above the Valley (BATV). It is the first and still the highest-rated hot air balloon operator in Napa Valley.

Apart from the amazing sunrise hot air balloon rides that it offers, BATV also specializes in giving on-ground perks like pre-flight breakfast, post-flight champagne brunch, visits to wineries in Napa and Sonoma valleys, options for shopping, as well as luxurious and comfortable transportation. If you want to make your hot air balloon flying a top secret, you can also avail the exclusive flights package where you will have the hot air balloon, the spectacular scenery, and the post-flight brunch table all by yourself and your closest friends and loved ones. Call us at 800-464-6824 to learn more about our private packages.

We all know about Napa Valley’s worldwide fame as a premiere wine destination. However, it is still possible to make your next Napa Valley vacation an easy, convenient and peaceful one, thanks to its hidden jewels.

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