Frequently Asked Questions
How long does the tour take?
If you drive the entire 60 mile loop and pull over to hear the narration at certain points, the drive itself is about 2 1/2 hours. We make recommendations for possible stops at certain wineries, shopping and museums, so you can spend all day or even use the app for multiple days. We think you'll find the app valuable even if you have just an hour or two, or prefer to drive only a portion of the loop. There is additional written information and photos under certain points of interest, so the narration and other information can be accessed from anywhere, even when you return home.
What is the best time to leave?
It's your tour and you can start anytime. If you have one day for touring, and wish to get in as much as you can, consider starting at about 9:00 am. The first winery tasting room will not be open inside, but we'll direct you there so that you can drive their beautiful vineyard property and hear about the fascinating history. You can swing back to it later in the day if you wish.
Where does the tour take us?
From the city of Napa, you will drive north to the towns of Yountville, St. Helena, and Calistoga using the St. Helena Highway, then you will return to the city of Napa along the Silverado Trail. You can start the tour anywhere along the way as long as you are traveling "clockwise". The app has a map feature that shows you where you are relative to the next narration point, and beginning with the first stop the narrator will verbally tell you when and where to turn.
How do I listen to it?
It will be most enjoyable if you connect your phone to your car audio using Bluetooth, but the narrator's voice is strong and you should be okay with playing the narration directly from your cell phone if Bluetooth is not an option. A third option is to connect a small speaker to your cell phone.
What about data usage?
Download the app and the tour that goes with it when you have access to WiFi to avoid any cell-data charges. After the downloads, there is not additional data usage as you use the app on the tour.
Who narrates and who wrote the material?
The narrator is a professional voice actor named BJ Schaffer who has worked for Disney, Pixar, and numerous Fortune 500 companies. He speaks clearly, and is funny. Written by long-time Napa Valley residents, this husband and wife team were so happy with their own purchase of a similar kind of app from Gypsy Tours for their visit to Yellowstone and Grand Tetons, they went to work to create one for Napa Valley. They sought out a wide range of authors and resources in order to bring you the Napa Valley in a unique, fun and educational way. We are not compensated to point you in a certain direction, it's the same tour we share with family and friends.
Is the tour appropriate for children?
The language and material are fine for children. Though young children may not have an interest in the topics, it doesn't require long stretches of concentration because the narration starts and stops along the way and the longest narration segment is less than 5 minutes. You might consider "Googling" child-friendly wineries in Napa" for updated ideas, and include those in your tour as there is a pretty good chance we'll be driving close by.
How does the narration know when to play?
The narration is triggered at the appropriate places based upon your car's location, and you are prompted to authorize the use of GPS mapping when you open the app. Those features are turned off when you exit or delete the app.
What about drinking and driving?
We strongly encourage you to obey all traffic laws and drive defensively. Our tour is not focused on wine tastings. Though we direct you to certain wineries, each has something to see or do other than wine tasting. Strongly consider using a designated driver, engage a professional driver, or take a different kind of tour (such as a small-bus tour) if drinking is your focus. Please do not drink and drive!