Weekend in Wine Country
A long weekend in Napa always does the soul some good. Long country roads, miles of grape vines, slow afternoons, good wine, and good food. Whenever I am in wine country, it doesn’t take long before the daydreaming begins. The Napa Valley encompasses everything I love and I always bring home some new inspiration I gathered on the trip.
On this particular trip, it rained and rained, which wasn’t ideal for walking around, but added a cosy charm. We did get one day of sun, which we took full advantage of.
In other posts, I have gone into more in-depth recommendations for St. Helena, which I will include below. Continue down for a round-up of the weekend!
Las Alcobas is a great combination of modern and traditional. It is a house set on the Beringer Estate, with new freestanding buildings behind it that hold the rooms, pool, spa, and barn for events. My favorite thing to do there is wander down around cocktail hour and sit on the front porch while the sun sets over St. Helena. But since it was pouring rain this time, it is also lovely to tuck inside and order a few tasty dishes off their happy hour menu.
This gourmet happy hour menu is leaps and bounds beyond any sort of happy hour I have ever seen, with a selection of the most delicious options. My favorites include the burrata and citrus dish (they replace with whatever fruit is in season) and the homemade potato chips with dip.
As you can see, most of the rooms are set overlooking the vineyards. It is beautiful at all times of day, especially when the sun is first coming up over the mountains.
This time, we chose to explore Yountville since I know St. Helena fairly well by now. I was desperate to try La Calenda, Thomas Keller’s new Mexican restaurant. Everything was delicious, especially the Tacos al Pastor and Enchiladas Mole. I want to come back here and eat around the whole menu.
Another new place we tried is Redd Wood, known for there wood-fired pizzas and pastas.
After lunch, we walked over to the French Laundry to take a look at their gardens. Everything was really starting to get green and you could see the layout of where all the vegetables and herbs were. Since it is late spring, you could see the last of the strawberries bearing their fruit and I’m sure being incorporated into their menu that changes daily. As a new and excited gardener, I really enjoyed seeing this.
We had dinner at The Charter Oak, always a favorite. I highly suggest sitting at the bar for the people watching, cocktail making, and to be in the thick of it all. We ordered a feast of a grilled ribeye with old-fashioned steak sauce, lima beans, mushrooms, heirloom iceberg salad, and durum wheat spaghetti in the style of cacio e pepe. Their desserts are not be missed, we ordered the pavlova with olive oil custard and blood oranges, a mochi cake with zabaione and strawberries, and their buffalo milk icecream with rye seed caramel sauce.
Another wonderful weekend in wine country! We did not go home hungry.