(Courtesy of Clif Family Winery)

8 Napa Valley Tasting Rooms That Serve a Solid, Delicious Lunch

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Julia Child once said, "Wine is meant to be enjoyed with food—that's the point of it." It's also inadvisable to sip on an empty stomach. So here are eight Napa Valley tasting rooms where you can eat a solid lunch as you wine.

(Courtesy of Charles Krug Winery)

Charles Krug Winery

The oldest winery in Napa Valley fires up the wood-burning pizza oven at Cucina di Rosa every summer through October, churning out classic Italian pies (11am to 4pm, Thursday through Monday) to devour on their spacious, well-shaded lawn with a glass (or bottle) of vino. We suggest you start inside to taste through Charles Krug's lineup of wines before heading outside for lunch. Pizzas are big enough to share with a friend and are made with ingredients mostly sourced from the estate's garden. You can also order up a plate of Italian cured meats and cheeses from the recently added salumeria (11am to 4pm daily). // 2800 Main St. (St. Helena), charleskrugwinery.com


Clif Family Winery

The cycling-themed Velo Vino tasting room has much more to munch on than Clif Bars. Parked outside the winery Tuesday through Sunday, the Clif Family Bruschetteria food truck touts a seasonal, Italian-inspired menu that goes down smoothly with a glass of made-for-summer rosé of grenache. All ingredients for the menu—including salads, porchetta, rotisserie chicken, and side—are sourced from Clif Family's own certified organic farm and other local purveyors. You can't go wrong, but we suggest choosing from the daily selection of unconventional bruschette—the Angello is a concoction of spiced lamb, baba ghanoush, cucumber, yogurt tahini, dukkah, and mint. // 709 Main St. (St. Helena), cliffamily.com


CRU @ The Annex

Designed to feel like a cozy living room, CRU @ The Annex encourages patrons to BYOL (bring your own lunch) to enjoy casually with CRU wines, lounging either inside or on the outdoor patio. With the Oxbow Public Market a block away, the options are both endless and delicious. If you're a pinot drinker, order one of C Casa's inventive tacos (think spiced lamb with goat cheese) to go; or, wash down fresh oysters from Hog Island Oyster Co. with CRU's chilled sauvignon blanc. For something more filling, grab a pie from the just-opened LiveFire Pizza and pair with a zinfandel. // 1046 McKinstry St. (Napa), cruattheannex.com


Moone Tsai Wines at Brasswood Napa Valley

Brasswood is a one-stop shop for small-batch wines, food, shopping, and events. Schedule an appointment to taste through Moone Tsai Wines, a very limited-production project headed by renowned winemaker Philippe Melka, then settle in for a five-course lunch ($125) at the Brasswood Bar + Kitchen. The food portion of the experience may kick off with a glass of chardonnay and a plate of mouthwatering, made-to-order mozzarella before meandering into the reds and savory fare such as warm Brussels sprout salad, herb-infused pappardelle with short rib sugo, and a juicy ribeye slider topped with Cambozola cheese. We finished with a rich butterscotch panna cotta and rosemary cookies for dessert. // By appointment, 311 St. Helena Hwy (St. Helena), brasswood.com, moonetsai.com

(Courtesy of RiverHouse by Bespoke Collection)

RiverHouse by Bespoke Collection

Part art gallery, part tasting room, this new addition to Downtown Napa's riverfront is rubbing elbows with its famous next door neighbor, Morimoto Napa. At noon and 1pm daily, a bento box lunch ($95)—packed with the chef's choice of sushi, tempura calamari salad, and teriyaki beef with seasoned vegetables—is served alongside a tasting of four Blackbird Vineyards reds. You definitely won't leave hungry. // By appointment, 604 Main St. (Napa), bespokecollection.com/riverhouse


Robert Sinskey

The robust Chef's Table experience ($175) at Robert Sinskey kicks off with a glass of pinot blanc and tour of the estate and its gardens, where many of the ingredients are sourced for this exclusive food and wine pairing. Decorated chef Maria Helm Sinskey (wife of Robert) meticulously crafts five courses to complement seven wine selections, all to be savored in the wine library, tucked away in the caves. The ultra-seasonal menu changes weekly but often includes a soup, a salad, a pasta dish, a hearty main portion—sometimes including lamb raised at the winery's pasture—and something sweet. As for the wines, guests get the opportunity to sample a couple of library vintages, tasting them side-by-side with the current release. // Saturday and Sunday by appointment, 6320 Silverado Trail (Napa), robertsinskey.com

(Courtesy of VGS Chateau Potelle)

VGS Chateau Potelle

If it's romance you're after, book VGS Chateau Potelle's Lunch Above the Clouds ($200). You'll meet at the winery's mountain vineyard and, after a short-but-steep hike through the vines, you'll reach Cloud 9, a cozy mountaintop table shaded beneath a gazebo. Having worked up an appetite, you'll leisurely nom through a five-course lunch prepared by chef Ken Frank (of Michelin-starred La Toque) and designed to pair with VGS wines. The seasonal menu changes often, but your lunch will kick off with rosé and a starter (think smoked salmon rillettes), followed by a glass of pineapple-rich sauvignon blanc and possibly chef's famous chopped salad, made of roughly 15 ingredients. As you head into the reds, the main course might bring grilled lamb or a slow-roasted shaved pork loin. Finish with an artisanal cheese plate and dessert. PS: VGS stands for Very Good Shit, and this lunch is just that. // By appointment, 1200 Dowdell Lane (St. Helena), vgschateaupotelle.com


Stewart Cellars

Take your tasting flight to the sunny courtyard at family-run Stewart Cellars, one of Yountville's newest tasting rooms, and pair it with lunch from Gather Café, where chef Sarah Heller (Bouchon Bistro and the Restaurant at Meadowood) serves up light, health-conscious dishes that match seamlessly with the winery's first vintage of barrel-aged sauvignon blanc. But before you go, check the winery's website—Gather closes for renovation on July 3rd; reopening is still TBD. // 6752 Washington St. (Yountville), stewartcellars.com

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