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1 Day in Napa

Hi all -- we are heading up to Napa for a day on Sunday with my parents. We just moved to norcal, so are still unfamiliar with the areas. We'd like to visit 3-4 wineries (sister will be our DD!), have a picnic lunch somewhere (recommendations for local markets would be wonderful also), and enjoy the scenery. Any suggestions for an itinerary? I'd rather stay away from the big, commercialized wineries & tours, and focus more on the smaller, locally run, cuter places. Thanks!

Re: 1 Day in Napa

  • There are so many wineries that your best bet would be to just drive and pull into the ones you like. You can also have a picnic lunch at some of them too, so that wouldnt be a problem.

    A couple of my faves are Caymus & Hall!

    Enjoy :)

  • I vote Cake bread, basically anything along the silverado traill
  • We were just in Napa last week.  We also prefer the smaller/no appts. necessary wineries.  Here are a few of my favorites:

    Clos Pegase has a wonderful tour.  They do it two times a day.  They have a great modern art collection that is also part of the tour. Even if you don't make it for the tour, it's still a great place.

    Sterling Vineyards is one of the larger ones, but the tram ride up the hill and self-guided tour are really worth it!  It's just across the street from Clos Pegase.

    Alpha Omega Winery doesn't have any of the bells or whistles of some of the others, but it is just so relaxing.  The tasting room employees are really friendly and knowledgeable and their wine is to die for!

    Robert Sinskey is wonderful.  We didn't go there this time, but last time we were there they did an awesome food pairing with the wine tasting.  Plus they have a koi pond, and I'm a sucker for feeding the koi!

    I'm not sure if they do box lunches on Sundays, but if they do you really need to get box lunches for your picnic from Addendum.  They are in a small building behind Ad Hoc (which is a Thomas Keller reastaurant).  I wanted so badly to try the fried chicken lunch, but they were closed the day we were there. 

    Bouchon Bakery (also Thomas Keller) is a must visit place!  They do have some savory items like salads & sandwiches, but their sweets are what everyone goes there for. My personal favorites are the nutter butter cookies, TKOs & bouchons.  I'm not a huge fan of macarons, but if you are then you will love them.

    Oakville Grocery makes really yummy sandwiches.  They aren't fancy, but have a good selection for your picnic.

    Dean & Deluca also has huge deli.  Not my favorite, as I feel like you're paying for the name, but maybe we were just there on an off day.

    Have a great time!  Napa Valley is one of my favorite places in the US!  I dream of retiring there some day....






  • Ditto the Silverado Trail. I liked Miner up there. I believe we ate our picnic lunch on one trip at Cuvaison and they had beautiful views, and you wouldn't have to mess around with 19.


    Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.
    Mark Twain

    My Travel Blog

  • "Napa" is really touristy so you might want to head to the surrounding areas, a little more off the beaten path. Silverado Trail as suggested is a good place. My favorite "locals" restaurant is Cook. It's in St. Helena. It's super tiny so make a reservation. The short ribs are AMAZING! Hess is a cool winery up away in the mountain. (20 minutes off main street) It's not your typical winery with rows and rows of vines. They have an art gallery that is usually amazing. Ask for Larry in the tasting room if you want to really enjoy yourselves! He's fun and very informative in a good way. (no snobbery) I also like Caymus for a private tasting. You'll pay premium, but it's a cool experience. As far as picnics go, not every allows them so check ahead. If you want to experience someplace with amazing views head to Auberge Du Soleil for breakfast or lunch. You just can't go wrong in the wine country that is for sure! I also recommend bringing your own bottle of vino to your restaurant. I have a list of the corking fees here if you're interested. Some don't even have corking fees. Big Smile
  • Thanks for all the suggestions, everyone! We're definitely not looking for touristy, so I really appreciate your suggestions!
  • If you want a casual lunch place, see if Taylor's Refresher is still open.  I second the suggestion for Clos Pegase, I also really liked Trefethen last time we were there.
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