Want to go to Napa...
Can you tell me where to stay, when to go, what wineries to visit, where to eat.
There are so many great wineries in Napa. It depends on your interests and what type of wine you like. Here's some of my recommendations (not knowing your likes and dislikes):
Restaurants: Bistro Don Giovanni (a local's favorite and reasonable by Napa standards) and Auberge du Soleil in Rutherford. The Auberge has one of the best dining views in the valley. Make reservations early for a table on the deck.
Lodging: One of my favorites is Silverado Resort in Napa. The restaurant is also great. This is a stately resort that also offers golf, tennis, and a spa. Check out their website for the latest specials.
Wineries: Andretti Winery
Address: 4192 Big Ranch Rd., Napa, CA
Telephone: (707) 259-6777
Open daily 10 AM – 4:30 PM
This Napa Valley winery is owned by race car driver, Mario Andretti. It was established in 1996. It's an interesting stop for Napa Valley Wine Tours. They offer 2 lines of wines. Selections range in price from $9-$13 while Andretti Napa Valley wines range from $15-$30. These are reasonable prices for Napa.
Domaine Carneros by Taittinger
Address: 1240 Duhig Rd., Carneros, CA
Telephone: (707) 257-0101
Open daily 10 AM – 6 PM
It's wonderful to sit outside on the patio sipping great sparkling wine and enjoying the spectacular scenery. This is one of the greatest views in the Valley and the wines are equally wonderful.
The Hess Collection
Address: 4411 Redwood Rd.
Telephone: (707) 255-1144
Open daily 10 AM – 4 PM
This winery has great wines in a wooded area. Art lovers should include visits to the Hess Modern Art Musuem on their Napa Valley Wine Tours. Admission is complimentary. The displays are interesting. Be sure to check out the flaming typewriter!
Address: 1 California Dr. Yountville, CA Telephone: (707) 944-8844
Open daily 10 AM – 6 PM
This Napa Valley winery has beautiful grounds, art exhibits featuring local artists, and a gourmet restaurant in addition to wine tasting. Domaine Chandon was the first French owned winery in the United States to produce sparkling wine when it opened in 1973. It continues to specialize in sparkling wines, but also produces Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
Silver Oak Cellars
Address: 915 Oakville Cross Rd., Oakville, CA
Telephone: (707) 944-8808 or (800) 273-8809
Open daily (except for Sunday) 9 AM – 4 PM
If you like Cabernet Sauvignon, they make one of the best.
Address: 1111 Dunaweal Lane, Calistoga, CA 94515
Telephone: (707) 942-3300 or (800) 331-8266
Open daily 10:30 AM – 4:30 PM
Ride the aerial tram to this hilltop winery where you will enjoy spectacular views and sample great wine.
There are an abunance of great places to stay, eat, and wineries to visit in Napa. Enjoy!
You might want to make reservations in Yountville at French Laundry (very expensive) or Bouchon (also in Yountville).
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Bartholamew Park is great and really off the beaten path as is Nicholson Ranch. Call ahead to Nicholson Ranch and they will more likely than not be willing to give you a very in depth tour of their wine making process- plus you can pet the alpacas.
Zuzu, a wine bar in downtown Napa has some fun wines by the glass and is good for light snacks. Especially the queso frito and the anchovies
Try Bistro Jeanty in Younteville.. it is much better than Bouchon. If you get to BJ you MUST get the lentil/foie gras small plate and the fried smelts (it is a very frequent special) also the homemade sausages and an excellent crudite (REAL crudite- not veg sticks and dip)
Pilar, in downtown Napa is also good.. but less consistent than BJ.
Domaine Chandon has a good Pinot Meunier.. but I've found the tasting room staff to be snotty of late.
Imagery Winery in Sonoma has a really great selection of obscure varietals and cool blends in a beautiful setting - not to mention competent staff. It's a little farther out but so very worth it.
If you do get to Sonoma stop by The Cheesmaker's Daughter in Sonoma Square. Ditty Vella of Vella cheese fame runs it. They have an awesome selection and are generous with the sampling.
I like staying at The Vintage Inn in Yountville, and then it's just a short walk to Bistro Jeanty, my favorite place to dine! Also try Bay Leaf in Napa, and Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen in St. Helena. I have also enjoyed dining at the dinind room at CIA Greystone and at Julia's Kitchen at COPIA. Brunch at Domaine Chandon is always memorable, as well.
My favorite wineries to visit include Chimney Rock, Trefethen and St. Supery. Nichelini is a little off the beaten path in the Chiles Valley, but they make some of the best Zinfandel I have ever tasted.