March 20, 2016 (trips)
Tips for Napa Visitors

Many people ask me for some tips for things to do when they visit Napa. Here is my list.


Visit no more than 3 wineries per day (otherwise it gets too tiring and you won't enjoy the rest of the trip as much)

  • Ballentine: The staff are very friendly and they have a very wide selection of wines to taste. You should definitely try the Chenin Blanc (very refreshing... you *will* buy some!), all their Zinfandels, and also the Cabernet Franc. My brother-in-law (Bruce Devlin) is the winemaker. Recently had great Cabernet releases.
  • Cade: My sister-in-law Danielle Cyrot is the winemaker.  Cade is very fancy (leeds certified, caves etc... owned by Gordon Getty and Gavin Newsom). The wines are incredible, the views fantastic, and the tasting experience will completely ruin all future tasting sesstions.
  • Odette: the newest addition to the Plumpjack group. Beautiful and fantastic wines. And you can taste Plumpjack, Cade and Odette wines at one place.
  • Hess Collection is a fantastic mountain winery with a very cool art exhibition and beautiful mountain scenery.
  • Fontanella Family Winery is fantastic and close to town
  • Palmaz Vineyards has a great wine tour and tasting

  • Hotels


    • Bistro Jeanty (French Bistro)
    • Bottega (Michael Chiarello’s place)
    • Coquetta: great Spanish tapas and cocktails
    • Torq
    • The Farm at Carneros
    • Angele (French Bistro, inside/outside)
    • Celadon (California Cuisine, inside/outside)
    • La Taberna (Spanish wine bar/tapas, good vibe)
    • Boon Fly at Carneros (best breakfast!)
    • Farmstead (St. Helena) - Pretty place, nice outside, fireplace, outside bar, etc
    • R&D Kitchen (Yountville) - excellent lunch place

    Other things

    • Rent bikes and go for a nice leisurely ride (work off the food and a great way to experience the scenery). Here is a great summary of routes in the valley
    • Go for a hike at Alston Park
    • Hot air balloon rides
    • Olive oil tasting.
    • Get a limo for the afternoon's tasting
    • Golf at Chardonnay