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Let's Go To: Napa Valley, California


Visiting Napa Valley, also known as Wine Country isn't new for me. It's to the point where I can't even count how many times I've been there; maybe 20? I'm a huge wino; I studied wine quite a bit and have a small cellar at home. Don't be mistaken though, I'm nothing close to a Sommelier - unfortunately I'm not that talented. I do enjoy recommending wine to friends and pretending like I know a lot, though!

Napa having a vast amount of wine is a given but good wine needs good food and Napa Valley has the most amazing restaurants you'll ever eat at. So I decided I wanted to share 10 of my favorite wineries and restaurants in Napa Valley that I know you'll love!

Fall is harvest time in Napa and in my opinion the most beautiful season to go - not to mention the most ridiculously expensive time to go, too. The weather is boots-dark lips-sweater-weather (who doesn't love that?) and Napa Valley turns into this auburn, brown and yellow wonderland.


Biale Vineyards: If you enjoy Zinfandels, this is the place for you. Known for their predominantly Zinfandel lineup, Biale is a smaller, by appointment only vineyard. They are famous for their "Black Chicken" Zin, an absolute crowd pleaser. They have a small tasting room with some outdoor seating looking out at their vines and it's one of the most quiet, quaint and relaxing places in Napa.


Longmeadow Ranch Farmstead: I don't even know where to start. This restaurant is my absolute favorite. I swore I would try different restaurants in Napa each time I went but once I ate here a couple of years ago, dinner is always here. Their milk and mason jar with wild flowers deco and farm-to-table food is to die for. I always start with the Cheese Biscuits and the Charcuterie Board along with one of their creative cocktails. My main dish is always the Pork Chop with brocolini and grits ; I've never had a pork chop that delicious anywhere else. To finish it off, the Beignets with Bourbon Caramel.


Oakville Grocery Store: A small, rustic style grocery store with a cute bunny logo along the main road through Napa. Very little parking but extremely popular. They have a coffee stand, the best deli (with the best sandwiches!), a nice collection of wine and an adorable picnic seating area in the back. Definitely a stop everyone needs to make!


Opus One: People say some years of the Opus One is liquid gold and I tend to agree. Even if you aren't familiar with wine, at least visit the winery and make sure you don't miss it. The sign is lightly engraved into the pillars and is easy to drive past. Tastings are by appointment only and comes at a steep price; $50 per tasting but for only 1 pour of their current Opus One. If you can, take the tour and indulge in their beautiful limestone tower.

Kenzo Estate: This was my first visit and I already can't wait to go back. The founder, Mr. Kenzo is also the founder and CEO of CAPCOM, a gaming company in Japan (think Street Fighters). He's the biggest private owner of land in Napa Valley, a whopping 3000+ acres in the mountain. Once they open the gate for you, it takes a good 10-15 minutes just to get to the actual winery through winding roads through the mountainside. A very chic, modern, boutique feel of a winery with beautiful, smooth wines. Their Rose was by the far the best Rose I've ever had the pleasure of tasting.


Hall Wine: I've been a member for a little over a year now here and have no plans on quitting. The winery is worth the visit just for the art and sculptures throughout their property. They're known for their wine of course but also for their gigantic bunny sculpture in the entrance. They have a camel statue right by the tasting room and their bathrooms are painted completely red with black lights - you kind of have to be there to understand the vibe but it's worth a stop. If you love reds, their cab is my favorite right now!

Brix: Our signature Sunday Brunch spot. Another place we can't seem to leave for somewhere new. Their brunch buffet is more than worth the $50 price tag. Fresh oysters, creative salads, cheese tray, omelet station, dessert bar, oh my! The quality of the food is always guaranteed to be great and you can't beat the garden - ask for an outside table if you can!


Rutherford Grill: If you love artichokes, please try this place. I dare you to tell me that you just didn't pay $18 for the best grilled artichokes you've ever tasted in your life. I kid you not, we order an order each of artichokes and share one entree. Yes, it's that good.


The Fremont Diner: This isn't quite in Napa, it's actually in Sonoma. Let me tell you though, it's worth the extended drive. Depending on where you are in Napa, it might only be about 30 minutes to the diner. You can guarantee a 30 minute wait there any time you go. A dog friendly diner where they'll sit you with strangers at a picnic table and serve water in mason jars - I mean, can you say no? Their signature chicken sandwiches are so good, it makes you want to order 3 or 4 of them!


CADE Estate Winery: The trek up to CADE may not seem worth it. You lose reception entirely, the winding roads make you nervous let alone sick and it takes 20 minutes or so from the base of Howell Mountain in Angwin. Then you get to the winery and you forget the suffering you just went through. The view is astonishing and makes you breathless, just like their wine. They have a 100% Cabernet that will blow your mind.



Next stop: Toronto, Canada

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Travel Monkey

10 comments

  1. Replies
    1. Hi Bantal! Thank you so much and thank you for stopping by! xo

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  2. Looks great - and brought back many happy memories of our trip to Napa many years ago. We really should go back, it's such a fab place :) #mondayescapes

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    1. Hi Stephanie! Aww I'm glad it brought back happy memories! Thank you for stopping by! xo

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  3. Lovely post.. the views from CADE Estate Winery looks divine.. I'm craving those artichokes now!!

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    1. Hi Pri! Yes - CADE is amazing, I hope you'll get to visit there someday...oh and of course for the artichokes too! :) Thanks so much for stopping by! xo

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  4. Ohhh I'm a wino too!! But well, for me you are an expert :D I can tell by this post that at least an expert on Napa Valley you are. Such a great guide, I'm certainly saving it for next time I visit Cali :D
    Great photos by the way!

    Happy to have you on #MondayEscapes

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    1. Hi Allane! That's awesome you're a wino too! Oh gosh I am not an expert but thank you, haha :) Thank you for hosting #MondayEscapes and stopping by! xo

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  5. Napa Valley is definitely on my list! I visited California for a week early this year (for the first time ever) but unfortunately we didn't have any time to visit Napa as well! I'm keeping your suggestions for future use (hopefully)!

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    1. Hi Anna! Where in California did you visit? That's awesome, I hope you make it back soon! :) If you're in L.A ever, let me know - I'd be more than happy to take you around! Thanks for stopping by! xo

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