Napa Valley Journals

A Local's Guide to the Napa Valley

A travel journal to Napa Valley by drumzspace

Quote: Since moving to the Napa Valley six years ago, I've really grown to love and appreciate the locale more than any other place I've ever lived. In this journal I hope to help out fellow travelers to see the Napa Valley that my fiancee and I both love so much.

Foothill Cafe

Restaurant

Quote:
This is really a local's favorite. Tucked away in a non-descript (and fairly misleading) strip mall, Foothill Cafe boasts some of the best vegetables in the Napa Valley. Most of the food comes in substantial portions, but make sure you save room for the desserts.

The menu leans more to the ubiquitous "California Cuisine" angle, but rest assured you can get a great rack of smoked ribs or even tuck into some creative specials of the evening. The fish is always fresh, and the calamari appetizer is among the best of its type in the Valley.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 16, 2004

Foothill Cafe
2766 Old Sonoma Road
Napa Valley, California 94559
(707) 252-6178

Niebaum-Coppola Estate Winery

Attraction | "Niebaum-Coppola Winery"

Quote:
2006 Update: Niebaum-Coppola Winery has now moved north to Geyserville (in Alexander Valley). In the former Coppola winery spot now stands Rubicon Winery, which is Francis Ford Coppola's "premium" label. As of the time of this writing it was $25 per person to park your car and get a special "passport" to tour the (formerly free) grounds and taste some wine. Locals get in free, but it's still a pricey proposition for a wine with a limited name and *no* movie memorabilia. All the "touristy" film stuff moved to Geyserville. This writer has not taken the opportunity to visit Rubicon, but will certainly update the journal when that happens. As it stands, the Niebaum-Coppola experience is still recommended ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 16, 2004

Niebaum-Coppola Estate Winery
1991 St Helena Highway
Napa Valley, California 94570
(707) 968-1100

Quote:
After millions of dollars in renovations, the Napa Valley Opera House opened in 2003 to great anticipation, and thankfully it has delivered by bringing a wide range of cultural performances of all types to the formerly-sleepy downtown Napa area. Everything from classical piano performances to interperative dance and gypsy-pop music has been gracing the stage. Check their web site (http://www.nvoh.org) before you go for a schedule of performances.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 16, 2004

Napa Valley Opera House
1030 Main Street
Napa Valley, California
707-226-7372

Quote:
There is a variety of difficulty with the trails; there are two peaks that can be challenging to some hikers. There is definitely flat and easy terrain, though.

Bringing water in the winter months is a must- it gets extremely hot even in the shade there. There is also an entry fee in the Late Spring/Summer/Early Autumn months.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 16, 2004

Bothe-Napa Valley State Park
3801 St Helena Highway North
Calistoga, California 94515
+1 707 942 4575

Chef's Market

Attraction

Quote:
Every Friday evening (5-10) from late May to early October, there is the Chef's Market, where you can wine taste, eat from booths set up by restaurants, shop crafts and fresh produce from local farmers, and enjoy live music in three seperate locations. Lots of people show up to have a good time, and it really adds to the liveliness of downtown during the summer months.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 16, 2004

Chef's Market
First Street
Napa Valley, California

Bounty Hunter Rare Wine and Provisions

Attraction | "Bounty Hunter"

Quote:
The Bounty Hunter started off as a specialty wine retailer. If you wanted a unique or hard-to-get wine, that's who you'd call, and they'd deliver.

Now they've taken a century-old building downtown and turned it into a *very* fashionable wine bar and eatery. Mostly an over-30's set goes there, and it's fairly yuppie, but go anyway. The wines-by-the-glass selection (not only from Napa, but around the world) is quite interesting and will do the job as you nibble on selections from their appetizer menu. If you want to shoot the breeze after dinner and enjoy some great wines, the Bounty Hunter is not to be missed.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 16, 2004

Bounty Hunter Rare Wine and Provisions
101 South Coombs
Napa, California 94559
+1 707 255 0622

Copia: The American Center for for Wine,Food and Arts

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Copia: The Center for Wine, Food & the Arts"

Quote:
In what some people around here call "Robert Mondavi's monument to himself", you'll find the much ballyhooed Copia. There was much local turmoil when the center was being built (traffic & land use issues), and now they're doing their best to actually INCREASE the amount of traffic, as the attendance numbers have been unfavorable as of late. Perhaps it has to do with the overpriced admission ($12.50 for adults; $10.00 for seniors and $7.50 for children). Perhaps the lack of attendace stems from the almost-comically snooty attitude coming from the people working there. Maybe the low numbers are a sign that maybe a museum about food and wine is just too limited to bring in enough people. ...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on March 25, 2004

Copia: The American Center for for Wine,Food and Arts
500 First Street
Napa Valley, California 94559
(707) 259-1600

Rombauer Winery

Attraction

Quote:
Nestled in the trees at the top of a small hill on your way to Calistoga is Rombauer Winery. From the same family that gave you the world-famous cookbook "The Joy Of Cooking" comes a spectacular selection of wines with some of the friendliest tasting room staff I've ever met. The wines are not your average table wines; prices per bottle range roughly from $25-$60, although this will change with each release. There is no charge to taste. The grounds are not as manicured and "perfected" like you will see at Mondavi, Opus One, or Coppola, but there is a laid-back homey feel that is much more welcoming to the visitor. The shade from the trees offer a welcome respite during the potenti...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 25, 2004

Rombauer Winery
3522 Silverado Trail
Napa Valley, California 94574
800-622-2206

Clos Du Val Wine Company, Ltd.

Attraction | "Clos Du Val Winery"

Quote:
Among wine enthusiasts, Napa Valley's climate is known to be best suited for growing the cabernet sauvignon grapes. In my opinion, nowhere else in the valley is this climate utilized better than Clos Du Val where you're assured to get the best wine for your money. It's not necessarily cheap, but it's good.

The tasting room is a dark, cool, cavernous, room where one can taste a flight of wines for $5 per person.

Picnic grounds are available; this is a great place to bring a spread and relax, as the winery is set off the main road a bit.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 25, 2004

Clos Du Val Wine Company, Ltd.
5330 Silverado Trail
Napa Valley, California 94558
(707) 259 2200

V. Sattui Winery

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Quote:
Is it a gift shop? Is it a rest stop? Is it a picnic ground for the shoppers from the Dean & Deluca across the street? Or is it a place for free tastings of decent wine with the hard sell? V. Sattui is all three. I really hate saying this, as my grandfather used to be in the same winemaker's club as Daryl Sattui's father, but this Napa Valley "hot spot" is *way* overrated, *way* too crowded, and simply not worth the aggravation, traffic, and commercialism. The wine itself is good enough, and it's only sold on the premesis, of course. But one shouldn't need to walk through a gift shop in order to see the main attraction (reminiscent of the Winchester House in San Jose). Yes,...Read More

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on February 24, 2005

V. Sattui Winery
1111 White Lane
St. Helena, California 94574
(707) 963-7774