With the rustling of fall leaves, and crisp, cool air comes a yearning for the harvest season in the Napa Valley. Our annual trip this year to America’s wine Mecca did not disappoint, and we were dazzled by the swirl of (many) fragrant glasses, and tantalizing tastes around every corner. The girls and I spent time in the town of Napa, as well as our favorite wine village of St. Helena. Here are some of the amazing places that we enjoyed during our recent adventures through food and wine.
Vintner’s Collective: 1245 Main St. Napa, CA 94559, (707) 255-7150 Vintner’s Collective is a multi-winery tasting room, featuring the spoils of some boutique local wineries. The staff is extremely personable (ask for Andy), and knowledgable on all of the wines that you’ll taste while in their shop. To really try a diverse tasting of the region, make sure that you ask for the house favorites. We loved the wines from Ancien. Try their crisp Chardonnay or sprightly Pinot Noir.
Then there was Mumm…
Mumm Napa: 8445 Silverado Trail, Rutherford, CA 94573, (800) 686-6272 Mumm really is a sacred place. The legendary sparkling wine producer is located in the heart of Napa Valley, on a gorgeous property that exudes the essence of what a trip to the region is all about. You can relax & enjoy a tasting of a variety of their wines while overlooking the vines on the patio or in the tasting salon. If you have thought well ahead, you can enjoy reserved seating on the Oak Terrace (think: exclusive tasting of vineyard specialties, and misters for hot Napa afternoons). The service here is unparalleled, but reservations are a good idea during the busy season.
For us, no trip to Napa is complete without a stop at V. Sattui.
V. Sattui Winery: 1111 White Lane. St. Helena, CA 94574. (707) 963-7774 Browse their deli and specialty food shop prior to visiting their tasting room and wine store. Then gather all the necessities for a picnic out on their grounds. They also do a house BBQ on Fridays with house smoked meats and delicious sides.
Angele: 540 Main St. Napa, CA, (707) 252-8115 For some authentic french fare, stop by Angele located on Main Street in Napa. Their French Onion Soup is to die for.
Bounty Hunter: 975 First St., Napa 94559, (707) 226-3976 If you’re looking for a place to stop for an appetizer and some local smoked BBQ flavor, check out Bounty Hunter. They have an amazing cheese plate pairing, as well as the best beer can chicken this side of the Mississippi.
Bonus: play the ‘guess-the-wine’ game. A house choice mystery bottle is concealed in a paper bag. Guess the varietal and region, and its free!
Oxbow Public Market: 644 1st St # D Napa, CA 94559, (707) 226-6529 Oxbow is a marketplace that is reminiscent of La Boqueria in Spain, but of course on a much smaller scale, and with the flavors of the artisans and purveyors of Napa. Browse the stalls for some great gift items like regional cheese or chocolate, or post up at one of the bars and enjoy happy hour. While you’re there, try a Ceviche shot (pictured below!) from Pica Pica Bar.
And finally, we had to take a trip to see the Parallel Vines (owned by some dear friends of mine!). Parallel is a winery based in St. Helena, but is the product of 4 partnered friends, from the Park City / Salt Lake City Area who all share a love of wine and skiing (‘parallel’ skiing’). Their winemaker, famed Philippe Melka, creates a Cabernet Savingnon that is a deep, rich, robust cab often described as a ‘Cab lover’s Cab’. My favorite Chardonnay worldwide is Parallel’s, which I call: oakey, smokey, and beautiful (my catchphrase which I personally think they should trademark…).