What: Follow this itinerary for an efficient yet relaxed day in Napa Valley filled with delicious food, wine, and an overweight corgi. Definitely make plans to have a designated driver (maybe invite a friend who’s allergic to alcohol…) or splurge and hire a driver for the day!
Mode(s) of Transportation: walking, car
Price Point: $$$ – $$$$
- Start: Simple Breakfast at your hotel [it’s often included] or at The Model Bakery inside Oxbow Public Market (Napa)
- Drive/Walk to: Buy food for a picnic lunch at Oxbow Public Market (Napa)
- Drive to: Wine Tasting and Picnic Lunch at Regusci Winery (Napa)
- Drive to: Wine Tasting at Hill Family Estate (Yountville)
- Walk to: Wine Tasting at Hope and Grace (Yountville)
- Walk to: Wine Tasting at Jessup Cellars Tasting Room (Yountville)
- Walk to: Wine Tasting at Girard Winery (Yountville)
- Walk to: Stroll through Thomas Keller’s French Laundry Vegetable Garden (Yountville)
- Walk to: Dinner at Bottega Ristorante, Bouchon, Bistro Jeanty, or Ad Hoc (Yountville)
Regusci Winery: A great family-owned winery in the Stags Leap District of Napa Valley with friendly, welcoming people and delicious reds. They have a large tasting room as well as outside patio space with gorgeous views. (Note: parties of 6 or more have to call ahead for a reservation). They also have beautiful picnic grounds and
allow encourage you to purchase a bottle of wine to enjoy with your meal. Oh, as if all of that doesn’t sound good enough already, Trixie, the 15-year-old corgi, will greet you upon your arrival.
Yountville: Yountville is probably my favorite part of the Napa Valley because it’s so charming and, most importantly, walkable.Though the “wineries” listed above are actually just tasting rooms, they are all still unique and beautiful in their own right. Start at Hill Family Estate and walk up Washington until you finally reach Girard Winery. (Why start at Hill? Because Jessup Cellars and Girard Winery close at 7pm, whereas most of the others close around 5pm.)
French Laundry Vegetable Gardens: We stumbled (literally, as the wine was definitely kicking in by then) upon this little garden after we finished up at Girard Winery and were amazed that the vegetable garden of Thomas Keller’s famous restaurant, French Laundry, was open to the public. Aren’t they afraid of people trampling over their beloved herbs?! Anyway, it’s a cute place to walk through, get some fresh air, and see Keller’s super-feathery chickens.
Bouchon Bistro: Thomas Keller’s “casual” French bistro. It’s good, but to be completely honest, I think it’s a little over-hyped and actually prefer Bistro Jeanty. Besides, Bouchon has locations in Las Vegas and Beverly Hills, so if you’re from those areas, you can definitely skip this one. (Make reservations here.)
Ad Hoc: Another one of Thomas Keller’s restaurants (seriously, he dominates Yountville). Not recommended for picky eaters, as they offer only one tasting menu per day and the food is served family-style. Great food, wine list, and ambiance, though! (Make reservations here.)