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Aug 17, 2010 10:07 AM

Napa and Sonoma Wineries itinerary + restaurant help for foodies


First and foremost, I'd like to thank this board for the wealth of information and advice provided. It is invaluable.

My husband and I will be travelling to Napa for the first time at the beginning of September. Although we can definitely appreciate a fine bottle of wine, we are by no means wine experts. We'll be staying in Napa for 2 full days (Marriott) and were hoping to spend one day in Napa and one day in Sonoma. We don't like to rush through many wineries and would also like to have a nice lunch in one of the wineries. So far the plan is as follows:
Day 1 - Napa
Breakfast at Auberge du Soleil
Chimney Rock

From the above list, what would be your recommendations re order of visit and which wineries we should eliminate? We do like Zins and Pinots. Also looking for nice views and scenery. Which winery would be best suited for lunch?

Day 2 - Sonoma
Where should we have breakfast?
Gary Farrell

Same questions as for day 1.

With regards to dinner reservations, we decided to forego the FL. Made reservation at Meadowood for one of the nights. Need to accomodate 2 more nights - what would be your recommendations? Looked in Redd, Ad Hoc etc.

Thank you in advance!

Ad Hoc
6476 Washington St., Yountville, CA 94599

Soleil Restaurant
625 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, CA 94301

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  1. I'm not aware of any wineries that serve lunch! There's a restaurant at Domaine Chandon --especially lovely for Sunday brunch. And you can buy picnic fixings and eat them on the grounds at V. Sattui, but otherwise I don't know...

    Chimney Rock makes imho the best Bordeaux blend in the Valley. We enjoyed their 1999 Elevage Sunday evening. have not had better from Bordeaux. The view from there is spectacular.

    Our favorite places to dine in Napa Valley are Bistro Jeanty and Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen. I'd like to try Ubuntu.

    Ubuntu Restaurant & Yoga Studio
    1140 Main Street, Napa, CA 94558

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

    3 Replies
    1. re: ChefJune

      Thanks ChefJune. Much appreciated. Now I'm thinking of skipping lunch all together and have a picnic instead.
      Are there any good breakfasts spots? We really enjoy a nice breakfast - great start to the day ;-)

      1. re: upscaleTO

        My Wife and I reall like Gillwoods Cafe in St. Helena for breakfast.

        Gillwoods Cafe
        1320 Napa Town Ctr, Napa, CA 94559

      2. re: ChefJune

        I agree with Cindy's and Bistro Jeanty, but disagree with Chimney Rock, because of the large number of wines with cellar taint from there (like cork taint but slightly different). Stay away from Sattui and Castello di Amarosa -- tourist traps and ripoffs.

        There's a huge number of great posts on Napa wineries already on this board if you'd care to
        do a search. In those posts, there's more than I could ever repeat here.

        Bistro Jeanty
        6510 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

      3. If you're going to be in Sonoma and can visit GoldenEye you won't regret it. Wonderful Pinot's. I think you may need an appointment. They are part of the Duckhorn family of wines and serve some fantastic Pinots.

        For dinner if you're able to go to Oenotri in Napa it's a fabulous experience.

        1425 1st St, Napa, CA 94559

        1. A private tour at (Arturo) Keller Estate Winery in Sonoma is pretty special if you are a fan of pinot noir. My wife and I were there last week and greatly enjoyed the wines and the dazzling architecture of the estate. Keller is a big car guy. You might see one of his collector cars there. You can always catch one of his collector cars at the Pebble Beach Concours in August. Call ahead for a reservation. This a fairly new place but keep an eye on them. Their 2006 precioso is pretty special.

          Bouchon, Thomas Keller's Yountville bistro, is a great lunch spot.

          Edited to add: Mercy, just noted the September timeframe.

          Keller Estate Winery
          5875 Lakeville Hwy, Petaluma, CA

          6534 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

          1 Reply