Want to go wine-tasting in Napa this weekend and avoid the majority of the weekend crowds? Check out 7×7‘s list of out-of-the-way wineries that aren’t too out there.

Many of 450 or so wineries in Napa Valley are too far off the beaten path for an easy day-trip from SF. But it might surprise you to learn how many of the best “off the beaten path” spots are actually only a stones throw away from the iconic wineries that line Highway 29. Here are a few new favorites:

Larkmead Vineyards is nestled at one of the narrowest points of the valley floor, surrounded on all sides by vineyards and mountains. It feels like you’re a million miles away from anything, but the truth is, you’re in between Calistoga and St. Helena and less than a mile of Highway 29. The vineyards are renowned, the winery is designed by famous architect, Howard Backen, and the wines are good enough that they forced me to re-organize my small wine fridge to make some room.

Frank Family is across the street from Larkmead and provides an educational, quirky and personal tasting experience. They make great wines (try the Cab) and are known for their customer service, meaning you’ll feel comfortable no matter what your level of wine education or interest may be.

Titus Vineyards, who make a great Zin to pair with BBQ, is a tiny place that looks more like a rustic, antique home (because it was) than it does a winery. This also makes it very easy to pass even when you’re looking for it. Titus is on the Silverado Trail (one of two main veins that run up the valley) and located just past a “busy” intersection that leads to Angwin, Calistoga or Highway 29 (trust me, you’ll still pass it the first time). Their wines are serious but their picnic table tastings and hospitality are laid back and relaxed.

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By Ian White

This is our weekly guest post from our friends at 7×7, a site that keeps you up on the best of SF. We’ve teamed up for an exciting partnership to bring you a fantastic Date Night idea each week. Be sure to check out their blog for hourly doses of the best of SF.