"entertaining" wineries in the napa area
Sorry for yet another board on Napa wineries...
But, my mother and I are venturing up to the Napa Valley for the first time in the first week of May. We have some restaurants picked out (redd, terra, longmeadow ranch - critics welcome) and we are picking out the wineries around these locations. I think we decided to rent a house in either st. helen or yountville. Does anyone have any insight into which location might be better (in terms of things to do in the town, farmer's markets, etc)? Also, we would like to go to wineries where we could have a picnic, ride bikes between a couple of them, see some art, etc. I guess you could call these "entertaining" wineries...even though a lovely glass of cab is entertaining enough. In terms of wine, I am a cab person and my mother is very fond of chards. But, we're really up for anything! Price isn't too much of an issue. Thanks in advance for the help!
You are definitely better suited to staying in St. Helena for art and local events; they have a nice movie theater that has a lot of artsy stuff (Tuesdays is "Courtroom Drama Day" with guest speakers), and a more congenial downtown for wandering. Also, Cook Restaurant in St. Helena is an exceptional "locals place."
Yountville is more tourist-driven with those types of shops and restaurants - nothing else to do and the walk from one end of town to another would take less than half-hour. More to do in St. Helena.
None of the family and friends who visit me are serious wine drinkers, so I pick the wineries to visit for their entertainment value.
My favorites are:
-- Sterling near Calistoga for its arial gondola ride with an amazing view of the valley.
-- Buena Vista in Sonoma for its history and general loveliness.
-- Benziger in Valley of the Moon for its green practices and tram tour of the vinyards.