Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >
May 27, 2008 01:47 PM

Lunch for 20 in Napa Valley


19 of my friends and I are headed up to wine country from LA to celebrate my birthday. We will be touring 3-4 wineries on a Saturday and I would love to host a group lunch at a winery or a restaurant in the area. I would like to keep the price around $30/pp give or take. Thanks!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. How soon is your Saturday? I did an OpenTable search for a month from now and only came up with the following in your price range (others are available, but cost a bit more):

    Zins Valley (which I like).

    Others which apparently can seat 20 include Angele, Celadon, Go Fish, Cindy's Backstreet and more.

    The problem is you are going up in what is generally considered High Tourist Season. Hard to get a table that large during this time of the year.

    1. Napa is a big valley. What wineries are you planning to visit? Ubuntu has a large communal table and would meet that price range.

      2 Replies
      1. re: rworange

        IIRC, I believe the minimum for a group is $40 pp at Ubuntu.

        Personally, I'd do the terrace at Don Giovanni, or the back room at Brix (new chef, and I cannot vouch for the food)...Don't recommend Go could also do a big outdoor picnic at Taylor's Refresher in St. Helena but be sure to arrange this ahead of time and pre-order...

        Most wineries cannot serve food; one of the few that can is Domaine Chandon, the bubbly house, which may work out well to celebrate your birthday. Their outdoor seating area can be very nice. I doubt any winery would accommodate a picnic of 20 -- that would be too unwieldy and may present problems.

        1. re: maria lorraine

          We are actually going in November, but I am trying to plan early.

      2. One of our favorite large group(25 people) lunch get togethers, was when we reserved one of the two islands in the back of Chateau Montelena. Each one has a large gazebo, on the large man-made lake. We all pitched in and brought various foods, such as cheeses, breads, olives,pates, sliced meats, desserts, and of course, plenty of wines. Don't forget the bottle openers, paper goods, glasses, utensils. I'm not sure if you have to be on the wine mailing list now to reserve one of the islands. If you're not on their list, ask if anyone you know can help you out with this. Find out, as it was one of the most fun, memorable and beautiful lunch time for us all!

        2 Replies
        1. re: jan262

          That sounds fabulous--and I love their wine! Do you think that the weather in November will be conducive for this type of lunch?

          1. re: turtle07

            Even though the rainy season begins in November, there are sunny and warm days and sunny and cold days. Weather in November is a wild card.

            I believe only the CM Wine Club members or those groups who do the Library wine tasting ($25pp) can reserve the gazebos. I've been there a dozen times and remember the gazebos as being fairly small, perhaps seating a maximum of 6 to 8 people. But this is a good option to check out.

            Chateau Montelena does make a good Chardonnay.

        2. My choice would be Bistro Don Giovanni or Celadon though keeping things under $30 pp may prove to be a little difficult in a restaurant. I tend to average about $40-50 pp including wine.