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  • Writer's pictureTara Wilson

Downtown Napa: Is the Priority Wine Pass Worth it?

While preparing for our first trip to Downtown Napa, the most consistent piece of advice I saw among sites was to purchase either a Downtown Napa Wine Tasting Card or the Priority Wine Pass. We would only be staying in Downtown Napa specifically for a quick day and a half, but after reading that it could save you possibly a hundred dollars or more per visit, I started seriously considering if it was something we needed for our trip!

While researching for our getaway, I saw that before the pandemic, there were several different Downtown Napa Wine Tasting cards available for purchase, where you could pay a small fee for a card and get exclusive discounts at participating tasting rooms. Sounds amazing, right?

However, the only one I was able to find available now (Jan 2023) is the Priority Wine Pass. (**If there is another one available for just Downtown Napa, please let me know in the comments and I'll be happy to update this!) I saw many links advertising that there was a Downtown Napa Wine Tasting card, but the links always directed me to an inactive site.

So I did a lot of research on whether or not we needed to get the Priority Wine Pass. For this short trip, we decided not to, however! It may be an awesome way for you to save money on your trip, and I'll explain why!

What's great about the Priority Wine Pass is that it includes not only select Downtown Napa tasting rooms, but also select wineries in the Napa Valley as well as Sonoma, Yountville, St. Helena, Paso Robles, San Francisco - the list is quite impressive.

The best deal I could find for this card is here on this site, where they say you only need to pay $39.99 for one pass per couple (since many discounts included a 2 for 1 tasting), and the best part? It's good at all of those locations for a full year.

They even have a convenient concierge service, where you can tell them what you're interested in doing and they can curate an itinerary for you. So why didn't we get it?

If we lived closer to the area, and there was a chance we'd be coming back to Downtown Napa or any of the included wineries for a quick weekend trip, then I definitely would've gotten the pass - it's a no-brainer! However, since we live so far away and were only going to be specifically in Downtown Napa for one full day, I looked at the list to see which Downtown tasting rooms were included, and the ones we were interested in going to weren't on the list.

Tastings in Napa and the rest of wine country can definitely get expensive (many we were seeing started at $55 per person!). If you and a friend do just two tasting a day, that can get up to $220, and that's not including a tip. However, the wine flights at some tasting rooms we found were pretty affordable. We were able to split a wine flight of 4 wines for the both of us and only spend between $19-$30 per flight.

In one case, we each only ordered one glass of wine of the tasting room's recommended favorites, and we still had someone who was able to talk in-depth with us about why those wines were their favorite and give us tastes of other wines. This may have been because it was a slow season, but it was a great experience without needing to purchase a specific wine tasting.

If you're curious about how the wine is made and what makes it special, and want a more hands-on tasting experience, then reserving a wine tasting is the way to go. But if you're just interested in tasting & discovering different wines, we found that ordering wine flights was still awesome and saved us a lot of money.

To see where we went during our trip, check out this post!

So ultimately, my advice is to consider two things: how often throughout the year will you be able to visit any of the places on that list, and are the tasting rooms/vineyards you want to go to a part of that list?

If there are even one or two tasting rooms that are included that you want to go to, or you're able to visit any of those wineries more than once a year, the Priority Wine Pass will most likely save you money! I found several reviews saying that the Priority Wine Pass helped people save over $150 in just one day! It all just depends on where you'd like to go and what specific discounts are offered on the pass.

Once again, the best discount I found for that pass is $39.99 per couple on this site here, and here is the list of participating locations and their discounts.

As for the Downtown Napa Tasting Card - I did see some sites recommend that you ask your hotel concierge about any locally offered discounts, as well as the Napa Valley Welcome Center on first street. However, I was unfortunately not able to find online any updated information on a current tasting card for purchase.

I have no affiliation nor receive any sort of compensation if you happen to purchase a Priority Wine Pass, I just know this information would've saved me a lot of time in researching before our trip, and I hope it helps you out, too!

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