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Jan 20, 2014 04:25 PM

Finishing touches for our first trip to Napa !

My wife and I will be flying in sans kids for a short birthday weekend. I usually have more time to prepare but this trip was a bit spontaneous and I could sure use a little assistance. Thankfully a few recent threads have asked for similar information so I was able to do some research as well as from a few friends who have visited Napa before. We will be staying in St. Helena for 3 days and 2 nights. Besides catching up on our sleep and recharging our batteries, I am hoping to get a good samping of great food and wine since I don't get this opportunity very often with 4 kids, lol.

Our home base will be at Wine Country Inn. Time permitting, we are hoping to visit Joseph Phelps, Pride, Newton and Schramberg Vineyards. We would like to dine at Press, Goose & Gander, Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen, Zuzu and maybe have a picnic at one of the wineries. My wife does not drink but does enjoy gardens and nice scenery. I enjoy all varietals.

I would like to ask which wineries or restaurants you might drop from my list or any can't miss one I should add. Which ones do you recommend for lunch/dinner ? We will probably have our "nicer" dinner on Saturday. Where can you pick up gourmet picnic foods and which of my selected wineries would be the best place to picnic. Lastly, would you recommend any order of my selected places to make our trip smooth and relaxing. TIA !

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  1. Definitely go to Hall Winery in was a terrific tour and wine tasting in what was a jaw dropping cave and dining room...the chandelier was beyond belief. The wine was fantastic. I canceled my reservations at Press and wished I didn't. We went to Tra Vigne, Redd, and Rutherford Grill. Everyone on the boards love Rutherford, but they have something very similar in OC and it was just okay...very loud and food was nothing to write home about. Redd was good....and Tra Vigne was very good. We went to Pride...that was a great trip and tour as well. Excellent! was just okay and it was a quick stop. I've been to Cindy's their dinners and I love love love Brix for Sunday Brunch. We went to Peach Southern Bistro in Napa and loved their was very very good.

    1. For picnic supplies, you might check out the Sunshine Market in St. Helena. I "discovered" this place hiding in plain sight on my last visit to the valley and I was really pleased with the wealth of foodstuffs they have.

      2 Replies
      1. re: KatoK

        KatoK, thanks for the tip on Sunshine Market/St. Helena. We're always on the lookout for these kinds of places; often so hard to find out about.

        More on Sunshine Market:
        Open 7:30am to 8:30pm - 7 days per week

        A little more out of the way, if I remember correctly on the NE side of Napa in the residential area, is a market we can vouch for:
        Browns Valley Market (next to La Foret Chocolates
        )3263 Browns Valley Rd., Napa, CA

        The charcuterie section is mostly Saag, but the selection is extensive, far wider than we've seen elsewhere. Only problem is, they don't carry ice paks! If you visit, be sure to bring your own ice chest and ice.

        It's crowded at lunch; this seems to be where locals come to get their deli sandwiches. Nice independent specialty grocer.

        1. re: jaiko

          Yes Jaiko, I was really pleased to stumble onto the Sunshine Market, which also seems to be a local favorite. Prior to my discovery I would go to the Oakville Grocery or even, (under protest), the V. Sattui deli for provisions. Also recommended is the Napa Valley Olive Oil Mfg. Company shack for authentic Italian products and locally pressed oil.

          835 Charter Oak Ave
          St. Helena, CA 94574
          (707) 963-4173

      2. I like your current schedule. I'd stick with that. You might like Spring Mountain Vineyards, just about a mile out of town on Spring Mountain Road. Beautiful grounds and mansion. See what you can do to get into Far Niente and see its stunning grounds and amazing gardens/landscaping. Frog's Leap is also exemplary in this regard, though not so first-class. You have plenty to do for your time here, and I agree with KatoK, Sunshine Market is great. Make that one of your first stops. Don't try to do too much.

        1. For now, we have reservations at Press and Goose and Gander for dinner and tour/tasting appointments at Joseph Phelps, Newton, Pride and Spring Mountain Vineyards. We'll def be stopping at Sunshine Market for snacks and hope to have brunch/lunch at Brix and Cindy's if time permits.
          Thanks everyone for your advice and tips !