(Courtesy of @cliffamily)

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


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 10 Napa Valley tasting rooms where you can eat a solid lunch as you wine.

Charles Krug Winery

The oldest winery in Napa Valley fires up the wood-burning pizza oven at Cucina di Rosa, 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 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 (11:30 am to 4pm, Tuesday through Sunday, Wednesdays until 7:30pm), 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 Buffalo Chicken is a concoction of chopped chicken, farm hot sauce, shaved celery, and blue cheese dressing. // 709 Main St. (St. Helena), cliffamily.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 limited-production winery with a tasting room on the Brasswood Estate, 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

RiverHouse by Bespoke Collection

Part art gallery, part tasting room, this Downtown Napa riverfront spot is rubbing elbows with its famous next door neighbor, Morimoto Napa. At noon and 1pm daily, a bento box lunch ($105)—packed with the chef's choice of sushi, tempura, teriyaki beef, and pork gyoza—is served alongside the Blackbird Vineyards Portfolio Tasting. You definitely won't leave hungry. // By appointment, 604 Main St. (Napa), bespokecollection.com/riverhouse

Stewart Cellars

Take your tasting flight to the sunny courtyard at family-run Stewart Cellars, and pair it with lunch from Southside Café's Yountville outpost, located on Stewart Cellars' property, where California cuisine—think asparagus salad with chorizo vinaigrette, shrimp ceviche tostadas, and charred jalapeño hummus and poached egg protein bowls—pair seamlessly with the winery's first vintage of barrel-aged sauvignon blanc. // Walk-ins welcome, 6752 Washington St. (Yountville), stewartcellars.com

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 wine selections, all to be savored in the wine library, tucked away in the caves at noon daily. 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. // By appointment, 6320 Silverado Trail (Napa), robertsinskey.com

Round Pond Estate

Round Pond Estate's lunch and wine pairing offered at 11:30 am, Monday through Saturday, also known as Il Pranzo ($150), kicks off with a tour of the winery's olive grove and gardens—in addition to lots of veggies, the garden boasts sensory plantings that mimic the aromas of Cabernet and Sauvignon Blanc. After working up an appetite, you'll move to the terrace overlooking the vineyards for a multi-course lunch featuring seasonal ingredients and recipes by Executive Chef Jamie Prouten that pair perfectly with Round Pond's wines. If you're more into brunch fare, make an appointment for the four hour Garden-to-Table Brunch offered on Sundays. // By appointment, 875 Rutherford Rd. (Rutherford), roundpond.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 LiveFire Pizza and pair with a zinfandel. // 1046 McKinstry St. (Napa), oxbowpublicmarket.com

VGS Chateau Potelle

If it's romance you're after, book VGS Chateau Potelle's Epicurean Garden Lunch ($225). Leisurely nom through a five-course lunch prepared by chef Ken Frank (of Michelin-starred La Toque) and designed to pair with VGS wines from the VGS Tasting House's outdoor garden. 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

Joseph Phelps Vineyards

Stop by Joseph Phelps Vineyards for Bountiful Table ($275), a delectable, three hour food and wine pairing (Fridays and Saturdays at 12pm). Begin your feast with passed canapés and vineyard views from the outdoor terrace, then make your way into the dining room for a multi course lunch comprised of seasonal plates by Executive Chef Brian Sutton, each paired with a Joseph Phelps wine. On Wednesdays and Thursdays at noon, Joseph Phelps also offers Playful Plates ($195), where a Wine Educator guides diners through a relaxed five flight wine tasting paired with complementary dishes. // By appointment, 200 Taplin Road St. (St. Helena), josephphelps.com

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