It takes a lot more than an earthquake to shake up California’s most famous wine region.
Despite some damage to buildings and losses in the millions as a result of last August’s temblor, this wine region is still one of our favorite wine- and food-sampling destinations. It’s still beautiful, everyone is open for business…what are you waiting for?
We start our Napa adventure by flying into Sacramento International Airport. If you’re hungry, grab a bite at one of the yummy restaurants just after deplaning. Seriously–the airport eateries at SMF are serious food. Of particular note: Esquire Grill, Cafeteria 15L, and Burgers and Brew. Fuel up, wine-tasters, and get ready for a great visit.
The culinary team at Ella (pictured here) is on the forefront of Sacramento’s farm-to-fork movement, and you’re in for a real treat. World-class chefs here craft delicious, local fare that will be one of the most memorable parts of your visit to Northern California. To top it off, handcrafted cocktails (and yes, an amazing wine list) are a signature offering at Ella.
Oh, wait, we were talking about Napa, weren’t we?
Less than an hour from Sacramento, Napa offers a high concentration of wineries, tasting rooms, excellent restaurants and gorgeous scenery. If you’ve come this far, you already know this.
While there are literally hundreds of wineries and tasting rooms in Napa, we prefer the “savor method” of visiting this wine region. Take your time, use all of your senses, and enjoy. Remember, life is a journey–not a race.
River Terrace Inn, and the Napa River Inn, each just steps from downtown Napa, are great home bases for your Napa visit. We recommend tasting at no more than five wineries in one day. If you try to do too much, it will be a blur.
Both of these quaint spots offer a lovely morning breakfast, location alongside the bucolic Napa River, and afternoon wine tasting on site.
Chart your course for a leisurely stroll through downtown Napa and don’t miss dining downtown at The Thomas, with a beautiful rooftop terrace, unique cocktails, and impeccable service.
In downtown Napa, you’ll be delighted with the offerings at TORC, as well as the newly reopened City Winery, on the site of the historic Napa Valley Opera House. Here, you can indulge in a vast selection of wines straight from the barrel, enjoy plays and musical acts on the Opera House stage, and savor a delicious meal, all in one venue.
One of our favorite places to visit in Napa is the Oxbow Market, a place to savor all of the unique flavors of the Napa Valley.
From olive oil, to cheeses, and world-famous Hog Island oysters, this is your place to truly TASTE Napa.
While there are hundreds of wines to sample in Napa, and truly so many beautiful settings, we recommend two for starters. Jamieson Ranch, one of the very first wineries in Napa…great wines and so lovely! Make time to enjoy a wine pairing here.
A trip to Napa would not be complete without a visit to the spectacular Domaine Carneros. Classic architecture is just the beginning. Toast your Napa Valley adventure with some bubbly here.
Check out this interactive planning guide to map out more winery visits. And, remember, pace yourself. Napa was meant to be savored!