Autumn Harvest in Napa Valley

Napa Valley 2

Napa Valley in October

Places to Explore in Napa Valley


Napa Valley is a wonderful excursion full of flavors for wine lovers and foodies alike.  Napa valley offers vineyards from Napa to Calistoga. Known for robust reds, visitors can visit wineries for tasting, shop in local stores, dine in wonderful restaurants and enjoy the scenic views that the valley offers.


There are many ways to experience Napa.  Maybe you want to stay with your favorite vineyards, perhaps you want to experience new wines, or maybe a combination of familiar and new.  Given that there are so many vineyards, it can be helpful to have a plan before going, but some may enjoy the experience more by exploring.  One could spend all day reading if we discussed every Vineyard in the Napa area, so we’ll just name a few starting in the North.  

Sterling Vineyards:  (Calistoga, CA):  Sterling is a fantastic place to start your tour.  In the morning, you can take their aerial tram to the top of the mountain and enjoy a splendid views of the valley.  You may even catch the morning fog from the vineyards mission style location.  Seek out the Reserve tasting for some great wines.

Trichero:  (St. Helena)

Charles Krug:  (St. Helena) 

Rombauer:  (St. Helena) 

Beringer:  (St. Helena) Enjoy a tasting at Beringer or a Reservice tasting at Beringer’s beautiful Rhine House.  Don’t miss the stain glass in the Rhine House.

Merryvale:  (St. Helena)  Call in advance for premium tastings.

Nickel & Nickel:  (Oakville)

Opus One:  (Oakville)

Silver Oak:  (Oakville)

Far Niente:  (Oakville)

Provenance:  (Rutherford)

Caymus Vineyards:  (Rutherford)


From picnics to elegant top restaurants, there are many places to dine in the Napa Valley.  Deciding early is key if you are trying to get into one of the more popular restaurants, so call for reservations once you decide.

A great option for lunch is to picnic.  You’ll find many others partaking, especially when the weather is nice.  Places like V. Sattui have everything that you need for a picnic.  You can buy picnic foods, wine and picnic on-site.—Winery/Picnic-Grounds

In the Fall, the fireplace outside of the Farmstead Restaurant at Long Meadow Ranch offers a relaxing environment to enjoy a glass of wine.  They also offer great food in a casual environment inside the restaurant and many of the ingredients are sourced locally or at Long Meadow Ranch.

The French Laundry, a Thomas Keller restaurant, is a top choice for many visitors.  Call early for reservations if you would like a coveted spot in this Yountville, CA restaurant. 

Also in Yountville, you will find another restaurant by Thomas Keller, Bouchon.  Less expensive, but still a wonderful experience.  Try french classics in this french bistro.

Bouchon Bakery is located next to Bouchon.  Stop here if your craving a wonderful pastries such as macaroons.

The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) has culinary creations at their St. Helena, CA Restuarant.  Check their website for opening and events.

Getting There:

Airports:  San Francisco, Oakland or Sacramento offer commercial flights on several airlines.

Side Notes:  

Enjoying wine tasting and tours can be much fun, but stay safe and have a designated driver or hire a driver.  There are also shuttle services offered in the area. Check with your hotel or B&B to see if one is offered.

Research and call ahead to ensure that you get into your favorite vineyards.  Many wineries close early and some of the top wineries need reservations.  Planning ahead will give your more time to enjoy the beautiful Napa Valley!

Wine tastings range from Free, to $80+ for reserve and private tastings.

Several wineries offer discounts on cases and wine carriers can be purchased (or sometimes free) from the vineyards.  Check your flight and local laws for information regarding purchasing and traveling with wine.

Enjoy Napa & Cheers!


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