If you’re waking up to go wine tasting, odds are pretty good that you either need a solid brunch to soak up yesterday’s fun or something hearty to prepare you for a long day of wines and vines. Here are my picks for the seven best brunch spots in Napa Valley, broken down by specialty and experience:
Most people think of wine, food, vines and highway 29 when they think of Napa Valley, but there are plenty of other activities, like hiking, that won’t lead to a hangover or require much time in the car. The Vaca and Mayacama mountain ranges offer beautiful views, great hikes (although most of Napa is private land) and an opportunity to work off all that food and wine or appease your non-drinking companions. Here are 4 great hikes on either side of the valley and some resources to help you find hikes more suitable to your schedule, taste, or pace.
Coombsville has long been known as one of the best and most diverse grape growing regions in Napa Valley by winemakers and insiders, and it’s about to become the next hotspot for visitors in the know. The closest point in Napa Valley to San Francisco (bordering downtown Napa and only 14 miles from the bay), Coombsville is made up of vine-covered hills called “rolling benchlands," and is on the cusp of officially being deemed its own AVA (American Viticultural Area).
Tickets for Auction Napa Valley, the Valley’s biggest fundraiser and party of the year, go on sale tomorrow, March 31st at 8am and will likely sell out within the hour. The auction, which attracts the who's who of the wine industry as well as sprinklings of Hollywood celebs and Silicon Valley moguls, is a four-day wine bidding and partying extravaganza that takes place June 2-5 this year.
When hunger strikes during a wine tasting jaunt to Napa, the area's delis are often your most low-maintenance option. Here are our picks for the best delis in the valley to grab a satisfying bite to stay or to go.
Napa's Bialla Vineyards makes only 500 cases of wine a year and they don't want to make more. Their Cabernet Sauvignon is a part of a group of so-called "cult wines," meaning high-quality, limited-production varietals that sell out extremely quickly. The high price point of Bialla Cabernets ($125 a bottle) makes sense when you consider the care taken in producing the wine. Bialla hand-destems each grape, in what proprietor Vito Bialla calls "the ultimate in quality control and tradition." Bialla is one of the only vineyards in the valley who hand destems their grapes.
When you put 10 food trucks together in a square in Napa, along with a BYOW (bring-your-own-wine) vibe, it's no surprise that a party ensues. Which is what goes down the first Friday of every month at Oxbow Public Market. Locals and visitors alike bring chairs, large, expensive Ridel wine glasses and get to eatin.' Here's a list of the 10 trucks that grace this lively gathering. (6 pm till midnight the first Friday of every month).
Everyone's always on the lookout for solid wines under $15. The next time you're snagging a last-minute bottle for a dinner party, try one of Toolbox's tasty varietals, which are all only $14 and benefit Habitat for Humanity. The Toolbox team donates $1 a case to Habitat's building projects.
Although tourism slows this time of year in Napa, the mustard is blooming and you’ll find great deals, winemakers in tasting rooms, and more easily-made reservations all over the valley. So use the upcoming long weekend to freely revisit your favorite spots and try some new ones. Here's a list of our recommendations for fully enjoying Presidents' Day weekend in the valley.
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