As much as we love San Francisco, sometimes we want to slow our pace, step away from the fog, and just sip cabernet under the Napa Valley sun. Although it’s a mere hour-long drive from SF, Napa’s idyllic vineyards and crave-worthy eateries feel like a world away. This is your guide to the best food, wineries, hotels, and services that the area has to offer.
It's long been the lament in Wine Country that the sidewalks roll up by nine o'clock every night. What’s a hungry soul to do, go to Denny’s? We think very not. Here are five delicious alternatives.
We all know and love the longstanding Bear Republic Brewing Company in Healdsburg, Lagunitas Brewing Company in Petaluma, and Russian River Brewing Company in Santa Rosa (famous for its annual and uproariously popular Pliny the Younger release). But how about these sudsy new gems in Sonoma?
Sadly, things got pretty shaky up in Napa on August 24. We've all seen the pictures of ruined buildings, toppled barrels at wineries, and businesses with broken glass. But now we need to see the pictures of how cleaned-up downtown Napa is looking, with over 90 percent of businesses back open—it has been an amazing recovery.
A jug of wine and you. That’s nice, sure, but a loaf of bread stuffed with handcrafted salumi, fancy cheeses, and local greens make for a perfect threesome when visiting wine country. Luckily, many wineries now offer a bevy of artisan picnic selections to enjoy with your bottle pinot. Here are some of our favorites:
What’s a sip of Syrah without Spot by your side? Tasting Cabernet Franc is more fun with Fido, and Merlot is merrier with your mutt to keep you company. More and more NorCal wineries are realizing the appeal of being dog-friendly, inviting four legged friends into the tasting rooms, onto the lawns, and for picnics beneath the shade trees. Just don’t let Buster steal the bocce balls.
With more than 50 miles of coastline along the Pacific into Mendocino County, we implore you to slap on some sunscreen, slip on some flip-flops, and head up north to one of these five choice sandy spots:
I had planned to dedicate my recent Wine Country weekend to a restoration of body and soul, which in my case means eating sensibly, reviving my dusty meditation practice, and partaking of semi-punishing fitness pursuits. I consider all three components the apex of virtue, and, for a mere mortal such as myself, the height of torture.
One of the covetable challenges of living in or near Wine Country is the abundance of first-class food and wine festivals occurring nearly every weekend—plus many weekdays—throughout the year.