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Napa Valley Guide: Where to Stay, Eat, and Sip in the Crown Jewel of California Wine Country

If you’re looking for something on the casual side, a burger at Gott’s Roadside can’t be beat. For a Mexico-style taqueria, head to Mothers and feast on their handmade corn tortillas, made-from-scratch salsas, seasonal grilled Elote, and meats marinated piece by piece (vegan and vegetarian options are also in the mix). If you want a taste of Chef Keller’s fare without The French Laundry price tag, head to his casual eatery Ad Hoc + Addendum. It’s a daily-changing, four-course menu and features American favorites like fried chicken and barbecue that are served family style. Of course, there’s always Oxbow Public Market with its many food vendors including an oyster bar and live fire pizzeria.

A dish at Auro. 

Photo: John Troxell / Courtesy of Four Seasons Napa Valley

For those who haven’t made it back to Napa in a few years, there are a few new spots you’ll want to add to your list. Recently-opened Scala Osteria (sister restaurant to the ever-popular Bistro Don Giovanni) brings seafood-driven southern Italian cuisine to Napa with its bright, spacious setting and covetable oyster bar. Napa Valley hot spot Ciccio just reopened under Chef Christopher Kostow and is worth it for the meatball stuffed peppers alone. Chef Morad Lahlou is set to open his first fast-casual concept, Moro in Oxbow Public Market in fall 2023 with the menu taking cues from the food stalls at Marrakesh’s famous night market, Jeema el-Fnaa. And Auro—the restaurant at the newish Four Seasons Resort Napa Valley—was just awarded a Michelin star for its weekly-changing, five-course tasting menu with highlights like California white duck, butter-poached Norwegian crab, and hazelnut chocolate tart.

Where to Taste

Napa Valley is home to hundreds and hundreds of wineries, so creating any sort of list is innately a daunting task—but rest assured pretty much any tasting you choose will add to the mosaic of what this historic region is all about. Speaking of history, let’s start with the old-timers. Inglenook is one of the oldest wineries in the valley, dating back to 1879 and with current ownership by Francis Ford Coppola who acquired it in the mid-’70s. The estate is graced with a picturesque chateau and the property has nearly 235 planted acres. Schramsberg is another big shot and for over 50 years has been committed to world-renowned sparkling wines in the méthode champenoise style. Chateau Montelena and Stags’ Leap Winery are both beloved wineries and well-known for their success in the 1976 wine tasting known as the Judgment of Paris. Heitz, Mayacamas, Far Niente, Robert Mondavi, Picayune Cellars, Domaine Caerneros, Pine Ridge Vineyards, and Beringer are also all historic wineries worth adding to a newcomer’s guide to understanding the Napa wine scene.



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