By Keesha Boyd
I recently took my first trip to Napa Valley, CA and I have to say…I am officially hooked. Besides the fact that I was traveling with a great group of people, it was as if the stars had all aligned to ensure a perfect weekend. The weather was picturesque and although I was only there for four days, two of which were spent in San Francisco, it was plenty of time to fall in love with the beautiful foliage, fantastic food and incredible wine. If you haven’t visited Napa (or San Fran) yet and are curious about where to go and what to do, then pack your bags, get on the next thing smoking and take this guide with you!
Wine, Wine and More Wine
Pine Ridge – Get your palette (and your wallet) ready for Fortis, their trademark Bordeaux blend. At $140 a bottle, you’ll want to savor every bit of its rich notes of currant, cherry and raspberry. Feel free to do so while sitting beneath their mysteriously romantic wine caves, set 130 ft below the vines and beautifully accented by the artwork of Dale Chihuly.
Grgich Hills Estate – The owner of this certified biodynamic winery, feisty 86 year old Mike Grgich, came all the way from Croatia with only a few dollars and a suitcase. Periodically he shows up to the winery to say hello and sign a few wine bottles. Look for a movie on his fascinating story to come out in the near future.
Lunch Fit for a Queen
Cuvee – They make a pinot noir sorbet that is to die for!
Brix – Love the lamb and argula pizza and the view of their very own organic produce growing outside
Lark Creek Steak (San Francisco) – I particularly enjoyed my pumpkin soup, savory and sweet.
Go for the View
Auberge du Soleil – Although the food and wine was good, when you see the view you won’t care what the food or wine tastes like!
Yountville, CA – Quaint little town center near Napa with great boutique shopping and lots of great restaurants.
Dinner for a True Foodie
Bottega – The braised short ribs fell off the bone, the beet salad was delectable and the service was impeccable. If you watch The Food Network then you’ll be excited to hear that this is Michael Chiarello’s restaurant.
The Slanted Door (San Francisco, CA) – Great place to “see and be seen” while at the same time partaking of a delicious meal. My personal favs were the yellow tail from the raw bar, and the vegetarian spring rolls. Trust me, you’ve never had a spring roll like this before!
Café Claude (San Francisco, CA) – Fantastic live music on Thursday night was the perfect backdrop to this fantastic French find nestled in an alleyway. Tasty beet salad and a yummy vegetarian Lasagne.