Napa Valley. A picturesque town of rolling vineyards and never ending sunsets. There’s a reason this slice of “Europe in America” gets over 3 million visitors a year. With more than four hundred wineries (comprising some eight hundred wine brands) as well as restaurants and shops, a visit to wine country can be a little daunting. Fear not friends! We’ve compiled a list of the top 9 must see attractions to make your planning a little easier!
Must See Wineries
1. Darioush Winery: Located on Silverado Trail road, this Persian inspired winery is a perfect juxtaposition of an ancient heritage and modern exploration. The winery’s philosophy is “make every guest feel more at home than home itself.” With rows of columns and walls of flowing water, it may not feel like home but you will definitely want to move in. Our Recommendation: try their 2014 DUEL. A blend of Cabernet and Shiraz that is out of this world.
2. Raymond Vineyards: Continuing with the uncommon, we have Raymond Vineyards. This winery is truly an experience. Every room has a unique style ranging from their velvet clad, ornate Red Tasting Room, to their Mannequin cloaked Crystal Cellar. They have a “Corridor of Senses” to help you experience the smell, texture and color of wines, and something they call their “Theater of Nature” to help you explore their biodynamic farming. Seriously guys you need three days to experience this winery.
3. 11|11 Wines: “Make Your Moment.” That is the tag line of this wonderfully unique winery. The name itself means something that could not have happened by chance and it’s not surprising considering the owners met on an airplane! The atmosphere is comfortable, mixing contemporary and rustic décor. Our friend the Sparkly Wine Mermaid describes the vibe as an “exotic traveling circus.” Be sure to add this winery to your Napa travels!
Must Taste Restaurants
1. Press Restaurant: Amazing food, lovely ambiance, and a killer wine list. This is a must. Our recommendation? Eat the Swordfish and drink The Penicillin! Dewar’s Scotch, Honey, Ginger, and Lemon. Trust us, it’ll cure you.
2. Rutherford Grill: there’s nothing better than sitting on the outside patio of Rutherford Grill on a sunny California day. Make sure to make a reservation ahead of time because this hot spot can get packed pretty quick! Get the French Dip, thank us later!
3. Bar Terra: Located in St Helena on Railroad Ave, Bar Terra combines straight lines with rustic stone walls, completing its rustic modern ambiance. There is no one recommendation for this restaurant. With menu options like Lobster Tortellini, Grilled Octopus, Wild Mushroom Risotto, and Bar Terra Ramen it’s impossible to choose.
Must Stay Hotels
1. Harvest Inn: Quaint cottages and brick fireplaces make this the perfect place to wind down after a long day of wine tasting! Added bonus, the onsite Restaurant, Harvest Table, is the perfect place for an end of the night drink and appetizer!
2. Wine Country Inn: the views at the Wine Country Inn will make you hesitate about actually leaving your hotel! This quaint B&B offers tons of amenities and several specials. They even have a package that includes a champagne hot air balloon ride! Sign us up!