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Apr 6, 2009 04:11 PM

Honeymoon in Napa

I'm going to be in Napa for 5 days in June for the start of my honeymoon. I have a few thoughts on places I'd like to go, but would like to get some suggestions. Right now we're planning to go to Ubuntu, Ad Hoc and The French Laundry (the race for a reservation starts on Thursday!!). Any suggestions? We're open to just about anything and it does not have to be swanky or formal... Thanks!

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  1. I L-O-V-E V. Sattui winery. They not only have wines, but the best cheeses, pates, dips and breads. It's absolutely yum! Schramsberg winery is the best tour in Napa. The tour guides are funny and charming and the champagne tasting is bubbilicious! Those are my two must-dos in Napa. I'll be there in May, can't wait! Have fun on your honeymoon and congrats!

    1 Reply
    1. re: Genie310

      Many reports of both of Sattui's wineries being among the worst wine experiences to be had. Check both the SF and the Wine board. Sorry, Genie, but there is far better wine to be drunk nearby, and at wineries that offer bucolic loveliness rather than a tourist-trap scene.

    2. Wife and I did our honeymoon in Napa/Sonoma this winter in which we had a wonderful time, and got some great recommendations from friends and locals; Some recommendaitons from my experience;
      1) Don't try to do too much in one day, geography wise. Focus on one small region per day, and you'll really get to learn how much a grape can change when driving over a hill. For example, we spent an entire day in the Dry Creek, and found it greatly rewarding.
      2) Sonoma has better deals than Napa, but further, you're more likely to find smaller scale producers, which may not have the bus traffic of their larger Napa brethren. Go to your must sees in Napa, but explore Sonoma, I found there were more fun finds out there.
      3) Two towns I'd strongly recommend would be Healdsburg and St. Helena..
      3a)We went to Cyrus in Healdsburg two nights before The French Laundry, and it was not far off the leader of the pack. The quality of service and execution were easily on par, but not as relaxed as the laundry. If you can fit it in, you're looking at the regions closest competitor. (also a great way to end a day in Sonoma).
      3b) If you're in St. Helena(and if you are, I'd strongly recommend staying at the Adaggio Inn), its a quick walk off the main street to the Martini House. While the upstairs is the main dining area, you get a great feel for the neighborhood/seasonal inhabitants downstairs at the bar. Its a great way to get "a night off" and not feel too touristy, yet still enjoy wonderful food and service. Further, no reservation is needed while sitting at the bar and the bartenders are top notch conversationalists.

      Hope this helps!

      1. The restaurant at Meadowood is very very good. Also for cocktails auberge is nice. Other suggestions in and around Yountville, Redd, Mustards and Bistro Don Giovanni.

        2 Replies
        1. re: mick

          I second the Restaurant at the Meadowood. Probably the most romantic dinner I've ever had - perfect for a honeymoon. If your wallet allows, do the tasting menu with wine parings. Out of the maybe 20 tasting menus I have done over the last two years, this was easily the most memorable, tasteful and educational experience.

          1. re: lamster

            That's what I was thinking as well -- even though Meadowood's address is in St. Helena it's actually off the east side of the Silverado Trail in a rustic setting that's much quieter and more romantic than the more bustling "scene" restaurants in the towns along Hwy 29.

        2. Definitely go to Ubuntu and good luck with French Laundry.

          Also, don't miss checking out Oxbow Public Market in Napa city. It's got a lot of fun gourmet stuff, and some casual eating places for times when you don't want to worry about reservations or crowds. Hog Island Oysters just open there too.

          For mornings (or afternoon snacks) you should swing by Bouchon Bakery. Some people call it a chain, but I loved everything I got there:

          BTW, if people tell you to try out Bottega, the new place by Michael Chiarello, I would pass because it's overrated.

          1. Please, please make your way to the Oxbow Public Market and pick up a picnic....I would go for pate from Fatted Calf, a baguette (right next door), some strawberries, and a good hunk of Bay Area cheese....then I would head over to Alpha Omega winery to indulge in some fabulous wine and said tasty treats on their BEAUTIFUL patio!

            Oxbow Public Market
            610 First Street, Napa, CA 94559

            Alpha Omega Winery
            1155 Mee Ln St, Helena, CA

            1 Reply
            1. re: PorktoPurslane

              Love your screen name, P2P, but would do something much different.

              Sunshine Market is tops for picnic fixin's for me. Whole Foods is phenomenal -- the prepared foods "deli" section is enormous. Even Vallergas works well. Yes, Oxbow will work but there are several other wonderful options.

              Alpha Omega Winery is far down the list of wineries for me. I do think their quality has improved in the last year. Even so, there are far better wineries at which to spend one's precious vacation time and money. Here's a good thread that goes over many options: