Best Dining at Wineries in Napa Valley

Ah, California Wine Country. Sunny vineyards and a sense of European ease that doesn’t require a 10+ hour flight across the Atlantic. When people hear “California Wine Country” they almost always think of Napa Valley and Sonoma County, and for a good reason. Between the two, there are over 100,000 acres of vineyards and countless award-winning wineries. But which should you visit? Answer: both, eventually. In the meantime, here are our picks for some of the best winery dining experiences Napa Valley has to offer.

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Louis M. Martini Winery: Outdoor Cabana Experience + Underground Cellar Experience

Bask in the shade of your own private cabana or immerse yourself in the depths and history of the Louis M. Martini estate in their underground 85-year-old barrel cellar during lavish two-hour tastings. Sip on four wines from their Lot 1 paired with Italian bites like flat bread lavash with olive tapenade, and small-lot releases paired with specialty food creations from Chef Aaron Meneghelli, respectively. Reservations are required. louismartini.com

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Opus One

Uniquely designed with a sophisticated earth house vibe, it’s no surprise that they are one of Napa Valley’s certified Green wineries. As committed stewards of the environment, from conservation to consumption, they have implemented over 100 environmentally-friendly procedures that not only benefit the winery and their customers, but the surroundings longterm. Take in panoramic views of their serene estate vineyards and 120-year-old olive trees while sampling flights of wine on their courtyard veranda. opusonewinery.com

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Priest Ranch: Bacon & Wine Experience

Bacon and wine? Divine. If you agree, or are the slightest bit intrigued, the Bacon Experience at Priest Ranch in Yountville is for you: four thick cuts of pork belly meticulously seasoned to enhance the notes in their respective wine pairings. Priest Ranch takes pride in their adventurousness and unique varietals, so expect wines like Grenache Blanc and Brut Rosé of Syrah in addition to Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc at this and their other tasting offerings. priestranchwines.com

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Silver Trident: Chip Extravaganza

Antithetical to the old saying “chip off the old block,” this boutique Yountville family winery takes their spin on the ol’ wine tasting and it involves only the best kind of chips: small-batch, artisanal potato chips. The Potato Chip Extravaganza pairs five potato chip varieties from small producers throughout the country with Silver Trident’s rosé, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, red blend, and Cabernet Sauvignon, respectively. Enjoy this novel approach to wine pairings in their elegantly casual home setting — their space is decked out with Ralph Lauren home décor and furniture. silvertridentwinery.com

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Trefethen Family Vineyard: “Taste the Estate”

Sometimes it’s easier to visit someone else’s family… especially if they’re a winemaking family. All tastings for this certified Napa Green winery and vineyard are held in the Villa, previously the family home. Take a gander around the grounds on their guided “Taste the Estate” tour. Savor expansive gardens along with wines from their Legacy Collection. Pairing menu features bites like Chardonnay with caviar, Merlot and lamb loin with roasted baby carrots, cumin yogurt drizzle, and a carrot top chimichurri. Read: they offer Curated visits which are customizable to your interests — from private tastings to educational chef-led pairings and more. trefethen.com

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Theorem Vineyards

Basking in ample sunlight, facing both Mount St. Helena and Diamond Mountain, lives Theorem Vineyards, a 60-acre estate in Calistoga. Swirl one (or more) of their seven wines — Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Syrah — and float in the majesty of the landscape, the peacefulness of the grounds, and the reimagined and reborn 1878 historic site. Tastings are by appointment only. theoremvineyards.com

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