Andretti winery is definitely a fun vineyard to check out on your Napa wine travels. It is owned by racing legend, Mario Andretti, and longtime friend, Joe Antonini (former CEO of Kmart). Many people are not aware that wine was Andretti’s second passion and he finally saw that come to life in 1996 when they founded the vineyard. Their consulting winemaker is Bobi Pepi – of the Robert Pepi Winery in Oakville.
As with most Napa wineries, there is a charge to wine taste unless you join their wine club which is not a bad deal. I was a member of the winery for a few years now and was never disappointed with any selections. This is the only way to get invitations to the winery events, most specifically the annual dinner with Mario Andretti himself. Many years ago, my father, who was in the custom painting business for a bit, painted one of Andretti’s first helmets. He left the industry many, many years ago but I grew up hearing some amazing stories of great racers, and Andretti was obviously one of them. I had wanted to join the wine club in hopes of bringing my Dad to one of the events where Mario was attending. Ironically, I was never available when the event would come up! I would probably still be a member of their wine club, but gave most of them up when I moved abroad several months ago.
The winery grounds are beautiful and very Tuscan themed. Tucked away off Hwy 29 on Big Ranch Road, don’t blink or you might miss the entrance sign! The beautiful grounds are not immediately visible from the road which just adds to the feeling of being in Italy. Wander around behind the tasting room a bit and take in the beautiful scenery on your visit.
Andretti offers three collections of wine – their Montona Reserve Series, the Napa Valley Series, and the California Selections Series. While all are quality wines, I would recommend paying the extra to try the reserve wines. The Montona series is named after Mario’s childhood home and are very limited quantity wines, offered first to wine club members. The port is one of my favorites!!
They do offer tours and other private wine pairing classes but you must call ahead for reservations and availability. Individual tastings run about $10 pp.
4162 Big Ranch Road
Napa, CA 94558
Open Daily: 10am – 5pm