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Napa Valley/ San Francisco Recommendations

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Hi Everyone,

We are planning a trip to Napa/San Francisco in August and would love your recommendations. Looking for unique wineries in Napa and favorite restaurants in San Francisco. No limitations, we love all food! Just started looking throught this topic, so no need to reiterate, I am sure it is stated somewhere on this site:). Again, just started looking, so looking for some recommendations. Transportation is not an issue, we have a car and designated driver:) To be more specific......

Wineries: Looking more for experience than specific wines. Cool architecture, gardens, caves, cabernets.

San Francisco: Looking for good food with a relaxed atmosphere. Sushi is a favorite of the group. Also looking for local favorites. What is your favorite restaurant?

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    1. Napa-related:

      When I think architecture, the first winery that comes to mind is Quixote. The second is probably Palmaz. Both are exceptional, and for amazingly different reasons. For Quixote, it's the only Hundertwasser-designed building in North America. Meanwhile, Palmaz features the most amazing gravity flow operation I have ever seen. And then there are the classics: Schramsberg's caves, or the 1880's stonework of Far Niente, Rubicon (formerly Inglenook) or the CIA at Greystone (formerly Christian Brothers).

      www.thirstyreader.com

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      Greystone Restaurant
      2555 Main St St, Helena, CA

      Far Niente
      1350 Acacia Drive, Oakville, CA

      7 Replies
      1. re: ThirstyReader

        Check out Castello di Amerosa and Chateau Montelena in Calistoga and Artesa in Napa. Boulevard is a favorite of ours in San Francisco. Enjoy! :)

        1. re: syrahgirl

          I was looking at Greystone, actually made a reservaton there. Have been to FL, Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen, Bouchon, Celedon, and others - so Greystone is recommended? Was looking for a little more info, and have been reading this board for details, thanks!

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          Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen
          1327 Railroad Ave., St. Helena, CA 94574

          Greystone Restaurant
          2555 Main St St, Helena, CA

          Bouchon
          6534 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

          1. re: pizzajunkie

            Greystone has not been recommended for some time. They tend to try too hard and it always falls short.

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            Greystone Restaurant
            2555 Main St St, Helena, CA

            1. re: CarrieWas218

              It's wretched. Better chow elsewhere and for less money.
              Stay away from Castello di Amarosa as well. A ripoff, and seriously flawed wines.

        2. re: ThirstyReader

          ThirstyReader has good recs. Only go to CIA to see the school, not to eat.

          1. re: maria lorraine

            Napa winery experiences to consider for wine/architecture/interesting environments:

            * Schramsberg: tour and tasting of their sparkling wines in an historic 19th century cave environment. Educational and quite fun. My top pick for out of towners.

            * Pride Mountain: bring a picnic and enjoy the mountaintop location that straddles Napa and Sonoma counties. Excellent Cabernets and Cabernet Franc.

            * Far Niente: beautiful historic winery and exquisite gardens. Wines are pricey but fun to taste. Dolce, the dessert wine, is a treat at the tasting.

            * Darioush: Extravagant Persian dream (Persepolis comes to Napa!) of a building. But, they offer a lively tasting of their excellent wines. Their $50 merlot is very, very good.

            * Hess Collection: ok wines but outstanding site and modern art collection of the highest quality. Mt. Veeder hilltop property.

            * Quintessa: Swerving minimalist stone statement fronts this hyper-modern winery on the Silverado Trail. Personally guided tours include a vineyard walk and a tasting of their $150 Bordeaux blend.

            * Alpha Omega: Newish agri-chic winery in Rutherford. Friendly, accessible without reservations. Ask for a barrel tasting of their superb ERA proprietary red wine. A Michel Rolland blend -- delicious.

            * Clos Pegase: Michael Graves post-modern construction just south of Calistoga. Excellent art collection as well.

            * Cade: Brand new enviro friendly Howell Mountain outpost of exquisite modern design whose superb tasting room offers views all the way to SF Bay. Good Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernets.

            Have a great time!

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            Far Niente
            1350 Acacia Drive, Oakville, CA

            1. re: cortez

              Thank you so much for all the recommendations! Getting very excited for the trip and checking out some great food and wine!