True, many wineries offer cheese and bread. But for those looking for something more substantial, here's our list of the Napa Valley wineries with the best eats.
Robert Sinskey Vineyards cooks up flavorful treats from their organic vineyard gardens to pair with each tasting and flight. Although specifics vary based on season, the chef will be front and center, saucing up a round of snacks to pair with their award-winning wines (I recommend the Cab Franc). Usually you’ll begin with a Gougere (French pastry) followed by tartlets, roasted almonds and olives, and local artisan cheeses with winery-made jams or preserves. Sinskey’s vineyards are certified organic and biodynamic so you can expect only the best ingredients in these bold wines and decadent snacks.
Long Meadow Ranch Winery (LMR) offers extra virgin olive oil with each wine tasting, but that's just the tip of the iceberg. They have three levels of wine and food experiences at their restored Gothic revival farmhouse tasting room. “The House Pairing” ($55) is a two-course meal paired with LMR wines and the “Farm-to-Table Experience” ($85) is three-courses and includes a tour of the gardens and vineyard (note: both require 24-hour advance notice). “The Napa Valley Dream” ($150) takes 3 hours, requires 48-hour advance notice and includes everything from caves and orchards to the finest wines, multiple courses, and desert. If you forgot to call ahead, walk next door to the family’s restaurant, Farmstead, and make sure you try the meatballs, one of the best appetizers in the valley.
There's been much buzz lately about Kenzo Estate for the beauty of their grounds and the quality of their wine, but they also have a killer lunch option. Lacking a kitchen of their own, Kenzo Estate caters from Thomas Keller’s Bouchon in Youtville to accompany their flight of four two-ounce tastings. Takeaway: you'll get to try wine from one of the hottest new wineries and food from a famous Napa restaurant without waiting for a table or cutting a tasting from your list. Call ahead for an appointment.
Cakebread Cellars not only offers pairing from their popular chef, Brian Streeter, (Thursday – Sunday) but often host all day, hands on, cooking classes and wine pairings in their vineyard kitchen. They are also known by wine club members and locals alike for the cuisine at their private events and host tours of their gardens and winemaking facility daily. All tastings at Cakebread are reservation only.
Domaine Chandon serves up plenty of bubbly and is the only winery in Napa Valley that actually houses a full restaurant. Etoile, which has received their second consecutive Michelin Star, serves seasonal cuisine paired with Chandon’s wide array of wines, and is open for lunch and dinner Thursday – Monday.
We’ve mentioned the extravagant and delicious food pairing options at Signorello Estate, Darioush and Vineyard 29 but also check out the Napa Valley Register for a detailed list of food pairings in the Valley.