Pull up a chair, and pop a cork—here are some great new places to feed your Wine Country appetite this month.
The gracious Harvest Inn finally has a restaurant to call its own, courtesy of celebrity chef Charlie Palmer. At this cosmopolitan salute to Cal-Med cooking, chef Levi Mezick (formerly of Restaurant 1833 in Monterey) crafts signatures like grilled asparagus with crispy breaded-golden yolk egg, tangy Caesar emulsion, and dollops of salty trout roe, plus a delicate poached Petrale sole with saffron nage, lemon thyme, and garden beans from the restaurants own culinary gardens. // Harvest Inn, One Main Street, St. Helena
Must eat: Family style whole roasted truffle chicken with Parmesan polenta, morel mushrooms, and English peas.
The setting is the historic Stanly Ranch Estate vineyard, originally owned by late 1880s wine pioneer Judge John Stanly, resplendent with a modern (solar powered!) farmhouse opening to courtyards hills and gardens. Take a tour of the historic property, taste, then enjoy an optional picnic lunch. // 1451 Stanly Lane, Napa
Must drink: 2012 Starmont Stanly Ranch Syrah
Fresh from chef Jason Kupper (opening chef of The Thomas, Napa) and partner Ben Koenig (The Thomas’ general manager), comes this fast-food celebration of high-end, local ingredients and heritage meats. Order at the counter, and fill up on braised lemongrass Niman Ranch Berkshire pork in a Dutch Crunch roll with Asian pickles, or grilled Jamaican jerk chicken stuffed in Chinese bao buns with pineapple habanero sauce. // 824 Bel Aire Plaza, Napa
Must eat: Crispy chickpea falafel with crunchy cabbage slaw, hummus, lemon tahini sauce, and housemade harissa in a home baked pita
This airy, polished wood decorated gem from former Viansa Winery owner Lloyd Davis features his new brand, drawing from vineyards all over Sonoma Wine Country, including Carneros, the Sonoma Coast, Russian River Valley, Alexander Valley, Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma Valley, and Rockpile. Seated tastings include wine glass and wine/food pairing education. // 103 West Napa Street, Sonoma
Must drink: Sparkling Sonoma County Rosé blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Semillon and Syrah
The Stewart Family has been mighty busy at the revival of this 150-year-old estate (formerly the Valley of the Moon Winery). They’ve just completed building a new small lot winery, which crafts wines from their estate vineyards originally planted in 1863, extensively remodeled the hospitality center, and launched a new tasting program featuring cheese and wine pairings, barrel tastings, and off-road vineyards hikes. // 777 Madrone Road, Glen Ellen
What to drink: 2010 Estate Grown Sonoma Valley Barbera