48 hours in Napa Valley

Here’s another 48 hour travel guide. This time to the wonderful wine oasis that is Napa. First off I could not speak more highly of the hotel we stayed at the Bardessono. Beautiful, amazing service and great location in Yountville. Great rooms, with free wine and fabulous included breakfast at their Lucy restaurant.

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DAY 1

Promontory: our first stop was the wonderful Promontory winery. It’s the new project from Harlan estate and it was amazing. Great wine, great local and beautiful service. Here are some pictures of the beautiful place:

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this is a bronze map of the terrain of Bond, Harlan and PRomontory. A beautiful way to show the estate and the elevations they work with
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the views from the space are spectacular

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The tasting Room

for Lunch we made a quick stop at Oakville grocery. A delightful little place by the road, with great food and wine. A perfect time for a picnic with a great bottle of Far Niente wine. bonus points: great gluten free bread!

Napa Valley Reserve: our second stop of the day was at a hidden gem : Napa Valley Reserve. A private members club just next to Meadowood. Beautiful location, wonderful wine and a great afternoon.

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Loved all these bottles in different sizes
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The tasting room

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As we were staying in Yountville, in the afternoon we checked out the V marketplace that had a really great wine store called V Wine Cellar. Lots of wonderful pieces to be bought there.

Dinner was at Ad Hoc. Great Food, Great wine and a quick no nonsense restaurant. It might not be fine dining, but Thomas Keller in a casual style is totally worth it.

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DAY 2

before heading out my sister discovered the apparently super famous Model Bakery english muffins, which were right in front of the hotel. I obviously could not try them but her verdict was that they were as good as advertised.

First Winery of the day: Opus one. The wine obviously was amazing as it is, but really it was just going to the bar and ordering wine. You did get to see the terrace but tasting we booked dint give us a tour and given the level of personal one on one experiences we had on day 1, it just felt really commercial. The wine though is spectacular.

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Second winery of the day was Silver Oak. I really like their Napa wine (their Alexander, not as much but it still is a VERY solid wine). Apart from great wine to be had, our tour guide was amazing. If you go, hopefully you get Maddie ( think she was called Maddie  – anyways she was great)! We had a great tour of the grounds and the library tasting was spectacular, she gave us some good 2006 and 2008!

The logo

Our final tasting of the day (and still forgetting to have lunch) was Stags’ Leap. This is what happens when you are booking things quickly in the middle of Budget season. I thought i was Booking at Stag’s Leap but no I booked at Stags’ Leap (note the apostrophe difference- if you cant see it, well neither could I. I figured out i was in the wrong place once i arrived and apparently it happens a lot). The story is that there was a 13 year court battle, and both are using the name. Where we went is Stags’ Leap Winery (apostrophe after the s), the other is Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars. Way to make you confused. However we made the best of our visit and it is actually a beautiful castle and vineyard. The wine is not as good as the cask 23 of Stag’s Leap but the grounds were gorgeous and we did taste some really good pieces.

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For our last day dinner we went to the Restaurant at Meadowood. A Three star Michelin restaurant, and with some great word of mouth attached to it, we were very excited to try it. General thoughts: its good not great. The service is not up to the level of other 3 stars we have visited (And we actually did quite a lot this trip) and the food although good just wasn’t tasty/inventive enough to leave me astounded. It didn’t even crack my top 20.

Here is what we ate:

  • Green almonds treated like olives
  • Salad roll
  • Sunchoke beignet
  • Oyster nasturtium
  • Winter leaves daikon benne oil (their service was so spotty that they brought this twice to the table – we ate it twice – and when i asked they accepted their mistake) 
  • Caviar , smoked tendon cultured butter sabayon – probably the second best dish of the night, but quite mundane as well, I had a very similar one at Chef’s table a few days back. 
  • Whelk tiny onion – this was a cool dish and different in its treatment 
  • Local sole cover crop smoked wing rillette
  • Salt baked goldball turnip goats milk black truffle – super tasty veg option
  • Duck tea chrysanthemum

 

  • Breast of white Pekín duck glazed in preserved cherry juice – gorgeous presentation, but brought back a lot of Eleven Madison Park references
  • The rest of the duck in California rice
  • Prime rib fermented potato grilled hedgehog spicy salad – this meat might have been my favorite dish of the night. Simple but beautifully executed. the side dishes were superb
  • White truffle veined blue cheese beeswax poached pear
  • Pine sundae – This is my type of dessert. The pine caramel was spectacular. Best bite of the night.
  • Last bites

The best part of the meal, the 1997 Harland and 1997 Bryant Family that was had with it. Absolutely superb!

The beautiful farewell gift
The decor of the restaurant is pretty cool

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