12 Fantastic Places to Taste Wine With Food in Napa Valley

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Photo by Long Meadow Ranch

12 Fantastic Places to Taste Wine With Food in Napa Valley

These wineries offer more than just cheese and crackers with their wines.

There are more than 400 options for wine tasting in Napa Valley, but only a handful of tasting rooms actually serve those wines the way they were meant to be sipped: with food.

Yet finally, there’s a growing trend in wineries foregoing the customary cheese and charcuterie board for elevated, hyper-seasonal and authentically farm-to-table wine and food experiences (all by appointment). Take Piazza Del Dotto’snew five-course Delicacies tasting, for instance, featuring a gourmet Maine Lobster Roll as the centerpiece of a former French Laundry chef’s Tuscan-inspired menu.

So watch out Thomas Keller — each experience on this list is on par with a visit to some of wine country’s top fine dining restaurants, and guests never leave hungry.

3111 Saint Helena Highway N
Saint Helena, CA 94574
(707) 968-5434

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Quite the anomaly in Napa Valley, Brasswood is a small production winery with 17,000 sq. ft. of caves, a restaurant, bakery and bottle shop all in one. This makes for an obvious and convenient pairing of the estate wines with dishes from the Brasswood Bar + Kitchen. The new Private Lunch Pairing ($125, available at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. daily) begins with a tour of the winery and caves, followed by four wines and plates: gooey, hand-pulled mozzarella, a mushroom and short rib sugo, herb crusted lamb, and a rich and creamy butterscotch panna cotta for dessert.

Brasswood

2. Joseph Phelps Vineyards

200 Taplin Rd
St Helena, CA 94574
(800) 707-5789

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The 360-degree vineyard views from Joseph Phelps’ hidden terrace are almost as appetizing as the Bountiful Table experience ($275 per person, available on Wednesdays, but moving to Fridays in 2018 ). Allie Phelps, sous chef and granddaughter of founder Joe Phelps, incorporates some of her grandmother’s recipes into the five-course meal, like “Barb’s” Yellow Tomato Gazpacho. Yet the star of the menu might just have to be the Foie Gras Tortellini, topped with chef Brian Sutton’s version of mushroom bacon, and served in poultry jus that took 28 hours to cook.

Emma K. Morris/Joseph Phelps Vineyards

3. Chef’s Table at Long Meadow Ranch

738 Main St
St Helena, CA 94574
(707) 963-4555

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The Chef’s Table experience ($145 per person, choose lunch or dinner) at Long Meadow Ranch literally goes from garden to table, starting out in the estate culinary garden for a peek at what you’ll soon dine on inside a cozy 1874 farmhouse. Former French Laundry chef Aaron Marthaler tends to keep it fresh and simple, but he’s not afraid to shake up the multi-course menu with an adventurous dish like corned beef tongue.

Long Meadow Ranch

4. Round Pond Estate Winery

875 Rutherford Rd
Napa, CA 94558
(707) 302-2575

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From the culinary gardens to their working olive oil mill, winery chef Jamie Prouten integrates estate produce, plus in-house oils and vinaigrettes into every single dish of Round Pond’s five-course Il Pranzo lunch ($125, Monday-Saturday at 11:30 a.m.). Following a winery tour and tasting, lunch and Round Pond wines are enjoyed al fresco on the rooftop terrace. The meal often starts with a baby lettuce salad paired with a fusion of vinaigrettes — like Blood Orange Lavender and Red Wine Herb — and finishes with the winery’s Signature Meyer Lemon Olive Oil Cake.

Round Pond Estate Winery/Bryan Gray Photography

5. B Cellars

703 Oakville Cross Rd
Napa, CA 94562
(707) 709-8787

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Aptly named Oakville Trek ($70, available daily), this wine and food tour of B Cellars’ winery, culinary gardens, production facilities, and caves, works up an appetite. Chef Derick Kuntz whips up small plates to pair with five wines along the journey, starting light with the sauvignon blanc and perhaps a seared shrimp with pineapple salad. The “B Bites” then get progressively more umami as the menu moves into the reds; think, a smoked duck ravioli paired with pinot noir.

B Cellars

6. Cakebread Cellars

8300 St Helena Hwy
Napa, CA 94558
(707) 963-5222

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Resident chef Tom Sixsmith gets creative with whatever’s growing in the winery’s estate garden for Cakebread’s Food and Wine Experience ($45 per person, offered Monday-Friday until November, then Thursday and Friday). Matching four wines with inventive bites, he’s been known to harvest cabbage to create a Korean kimchi pancake, or combine rhubarb with a red wine mustard to garnish juicy lamb rillettes.

Cakebread Cellars

7. Robert Mondavi Winery

7801 St Helena Hwy
Oakville, CA 94562
(707) 226-1395

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The Harvest of Joy tour and lunch ($125, Wednesday and Saturday at 11:30 a.m.) at the historic Robert Mondavi Winery culminates in a three-course lunch in the vineyard room with views of the famed To Kalon Vineyard. Longtime Mondavi winery chef Jeff Mosher selects the day’s dishes to pair with a trio of wines: a white, like the Fumé Blanc — Mondavi coined this wine as a way to increase the popularity of sauvignon blanc back in the 60s — a red and a dessert pouring. Fall starter options include a duck confit salad or pumpkin soup, followed by sea bass or grilled lamb shoulder for the main dish. A pumpkin semifreddo and oven roasted apple cake shine on the seasonal dessert list.

Robert Mondavi Winery

8. Silver Oak Cellars

915 Oakville Cross Rd
Oakville, CA 94562
(707) 942-7022

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Chef Dominic Orsini has mastered the art of sustainable cooking (he’s also a sommelier) using anything and everything at his disposal from the winery, even recycling vine cuttings to smoke meats and barrel staves to fire up the wood-burning oven. This makes Silver Oak’s Silver Wine and Food Pairing ($75, offered Monday-Thursday at 3 p.m.) the greenest around. The new fall menu pairs four red wines with plates like handmade, pork-stuffed agnolotti pasta in a bacon broth and 26-month aged gouda accompanied by three-month dry-aged beef Bresaola.

Silver Oak

9. Robert Sinskey Vineyards

6320 Silverado Trail
Napa, CA 94558
(707) 944-9090

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One of the early adopters of elevated food and wine pairings, Robert Sinskey’s most robust offering is the five-course Chef’s Table experience ($175, Saturday and Sunday at 12 p.m.), hosted in the intimate library room within the caves. Chef Maria Helm Sinskey (also the wife of proprietor Robert Sinskey) utilizes produce from the winery garden and almost always includes a dish featuring the estate’s pasture-raised lamb. In addition to dessert, you’ll often get a bonus treat in the form of a few samplings of library vintages.

Robert Sinskey/Robert Sinskey Vineyards

10. Piazza Del Dotto Winery & Caves

7466 St Helena Hwy
Napa, CA 94558
(707) 963-2134

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The Delicacies experience at the new Piazza Del Dotto ($95, available Thurs.-Mon. At 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.) is like a scene right out of Under the Tuscan Sun. The vibe is casual, but the food is anything but. French Laundry-trained chef Joshua Schwartz pairs a generous seven pours of wine with hearty plates like a Maine Lobster Roll on a handmade toasted brioche bun and a Snake River Farms Wagyu slider with black truffle.

Pizza Del Dotto Winery & Caves/Marc Fiorito – Gamma Nine Photography

11. Pine Ridge Vineyards

5901 Silverado Trail
Napa, CA 94558
(707) 252-9777

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Wine and dine inside Cellar 47, a cozy underground lair that’s tucked deep into Pine Ridge Vineyards’ hillside caves. The Savor Pine Ridge experience ($125 per person, offered daily) includes five Pine Ridge cabernet sauvignons, sourced from some of Napa Valley’s most distinct growing regions, with savory small plates. Nothing balances out these big, complex reds like a bite of smoked duck biscuit with fig jam, or a salty pork rillette, slathered on walnut toast and topped with sweet and sour prunes.

Atmosphere at Celebration Launch Cellar 47 at Pine Ridge Vineyards in Napa, CA
(Photo – Susana Bates for Drew Altizer Photography)

12. Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars

5766 Silverado Trail
Napa, CA 94558
(707) 261-6410

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This winery put Napa Valley wine on the map when their cabernet sauvignon won the 1976 Judgment of Paris, and now, their new Cellarius Kitchen Experience ($125 per person, offered Monday-Thursday at 1 p.m.) is putting all of their neighbors on notice. Whether he’s whipping up polenta from buttered popcorn or plating beet-stained salmon on a pink Himalayan sea salt block, Chef Travis Westrope’s creativity knows no bounds.

Stag’s Leap

Map points are listed North to South, not ranked. For more great bars and restaurants throughout the Valley, check out Eater’s Essential Napa picks, or head over to Sonoma for more options.

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