Best Communities to See Art: Napa and Sonoma

Know what pairs well with a full-bodied cabernet? Art! As we share some of the best communities to see art, with its rolling hills and beautiful vineyards, the wine country of the Napa and Sonoma area is high on the list.


Napa Valley and Sonoma County are known for producing some of the best wines in the country. Visitors flock to the Northern California communities to take in the breathtaking landscape and enjoy the byproduct of its amazing grapes, typically complemented by exceptional cuisine. While art curation may be secondary to the harvesting of the grapes, a good many wineries feature on-site art exhibitions and collections that enhance the already sublime aesthetics of the vineyard experience. The area also offers up some top-notch art galleries and museums.

You can reach either Napa Valley or Sonoma County within about an hour’s drive from San Francisco, though they are divided by the Mayacamas Mountain range. If you are traveling from Napa to Sonoma by car, the trip will take you approximately 25 minutes. They share much in common including their world-class vineyards and gorgeous countrysides, though Napa leans a bit grander in scale when it comes to castle-like wineries and lavish estates. Sonoma County conveys a more casual feel, with a relaxed vibe that is warm and welcoming and is known for its exceptional and numerous art galleries.

Art Among the Vines in Napa

The Hess Collection Winery

It seems hard to imagine anything better than well-executed wine and food pairings within the backdrop of a gorgeous mountain vineyard, but the Hess family has taken it next level with the addition of an on-site private art collection. Given their wine production takes place at a higher than usual elevation near Mount Vedeer, they refer to a visit to their winery as an “elevated experience.”“Homage” by Leopoldo Maler is an intriguing piece on display at the Hess galleries. Photo by jdlassica

Founder Donald Hess has two passions in life -- wine and art. He founded the winery in 1978 and incorporated his love of art through the inclusion of the gallery which displays his family’s personal collection. Hess believes that like a good bottle of wine, art should be shared, which is why he has opened his collection to visitors to the vineyard. His purpose in sharing both is to make the experience of each more accessible.

4411 Redwood Rd, Napa, CA

Hall Wines

Between the crafting of superior wines and the display of works by two dozen artists interspersed throughout the properties, the vineyards of HALL Napa Valley are alive with creative energy. Described as expressive art by HALL proprietor Kathryn Hall and her husband Craig, they take delight in sharing their art collection with visitors to the winery and believe the combination of both ignites the senses.

The Halls have vineyard locations in Rutherford and Saint Helena, where in addition to classic Bordeaux varietals, you can find great contemporary art. They even offer a “Wine and Art Exploration experience” for a more in-depth tour of the collection and property. Featured artists include Nick Cave, John Baldessari, and Jim Campbell, just to name a few. Reservations can be made on the HALL Wines website.

401 Saint Helena Highway. South, St Helena, CA

St. Supery Estate Vineyards and Winery

Thanks to its mineral-rich soils, St. Supery Estate Vineyards and Winery in Rutherford has a distinguished reputation for its sophisticated wines, and its art collection only adds to the appeal. The proprietors of St. Supery take art so seriously that they established a gallery which is located on the second floor of the winery. The St. Supery exhibitions change throughout the year, with many local San Francisco and area artists featured.

8440 St Helena Hwy, Rutherford, CA

Castello Di Amorosa

Castello di Amorosa Winery has a fascinating backstory. Fourth-generation winemaker and proprietor Dario Sattui began construction of the winery in 1994, with a dream to create a 13th-century style castle incorporating his love for medieval architecture. There he produces Italian-style wines which are sold directly to the public.Photo by jimg944

The vineyard castle is quite extraordinary, and its walls and ceilings are adorned with intricate and elaborate Italian works of art. The frescoes are particularly awe-inspiring, with several from the Palazzo Pubblico in Siena and the Siena Town Hall.

4045 St Helena Hwy, Calistoga, CA


Di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art

Our final Napa recommendation isn’t part of a vineyard, though certain areas of the original expansive property purchased by the di Rosa family have been utilized as such. Founder and former vintner Rene di Rosa along with his wife Veronica created the space as an “Art Park” on property that is now part of the Napa County land trust, and therefore protected for perpetuity.

The 217 acres which make up the non-profit di Rosa Center provide a spectacular backdrop of natural scenic beauty for the modern and contemporary art that the di Rosas dearly loved, including multiple galleries and a sculpture park. The center boasts the largest collection of works by Bay Area artists.

5200 Sonoma Hwy, Napa, CA

Sophisticated Galleries in Sonoma County

Sonoma County is close to Napa but when you factor in a drive around the mountain range, it makes the commute a bit more cumbersome. With this in mind, you may want to consider dedicating two days to your Napa/Sonoma art experience. There are fabulous wineries in Sonoma County as well, but for this leg of your journey, we recommend a visit to the art galleries of Healdsburg, a wonderful and picturesque community that is home to over 100 museums and art galleries.Healdsburg Downtown Plaza

Healdsburg Art Galleries

You can walk from gallery to gallery in the Healdsburg neighborhoods near its downtown plaza. There are more art galleries per capita in Healdsburg than you will find in most American cities. This is both a curse and a blessing, as you attempt to prioritize which ones to visit on your art-filled Sonoma County journey. While you can’t go wrong in such a culturally rich environment, we are highlighting a few standouts.

Lori Austin Gallery

The Lori Austin Gallery specializes in contemporary fine art, including everything from artworks representing local Bay Area creatives to Shona sculptures from Zimbabwe.

105 Plaza St, Healdsburg, CA

Paul Mahder Gallery

As the largest gallery in the area, Paul Mahder has an impressive collection of small and large pieces by American and international artists.



222 Healdsburg Ave, Healdsburg, CA

Stafford Gallery

Stafford is located within the Bank of Italy Building, for which the architecture itself feels colossal and distinguished. The gallery hosts a variety of art genres including bronze and wood burl sculptures, oil paintings, fine art glass, and handmade jewelry, from both national and international artists.

119 Plaza Street, Healdsburg, CA

J. Howell Fine Art

Focused on contemporary California artists, J. Howell features original paintings and other works on paper. J. Howell is also located in the historic Bank of Italy Building.

101 Plaza St, Healdsburg, CA


If you plan to make a trip to the Napa and Sonoma area, you will be genuinely amazed by its beauty as well as the opportunity to tour fabulous art locales. In the meantime, you can also peruse original artworks on UGallery’s website

Interested in Vineyard-inspired art? Check our outworks from artist Lisa Elley, Catherine McCargar, Steven Guy Bilodeau, and several other UGallery artists create amazing original art reflecting these gorgeous landscapes.