We Came for the Wine and Left with an Experience

International Pinot Noir Celebration or IPNC. It’s the wine that first gets your attention and lures you in.  And why not? 70 Pinot Noir producers from all over the world, descending on McMinnville Oregon, in the heart of the Willamette Valley, Oregon. What pinot noir lover could resist that call? We had heard about it [Read more ...]

The Best of Napa

We came, we tasted, we once again surrendered to the wines, the foods and the experiences of Napa Valley.  We provided blow-by-blow (o at least winery-by-winery and restaurant-by-restaurant descriptions of many of our favorite tops from our two week stay in Napa. Following are our three favorites in each of four categories:

Napa Wines; Napa [Read more ...]

Ashland Oregon’s–Amuse Restaurant

As with our previous drive to Portland, we divided our drive into two days be spending the night in Ashland. Although we decided against spending the evening at the Shakespeare Festival (Richard III and The Coaconuts), we did do dinner.

After exploring our options, we chose Amuse. A good decision. We split one appetizer, [Read more ...]

Napa Art and Music

Given all the focus on the valley’s incredible wineries and restaurants, one can be excused for not viewing it as a venue for seeing fine art. It is, however, more than worth searching out some of the valley’s often hidden artistic venues. Although we always try to visit a number of Yountville and St. Helena [Read more ...]

Upper Valley Restaurants—St. Helena to Calistoga

This trip saw a return to two of our oft-visited area restaurants, CIA and Solbar, one big disappointment and discovery of Archetype, another new (at least for us) valley favorite.

Archetype (St. Helena). What took us so long to discover this two-year old restaurant? We shared two dishes: peanut-crusted soft shell crab with hearts of [Read more ...]

Yountville and Rutherford Restaurants

Despite the incredible growth in Napa restaurants, Yountville remains  restaurant central for the Napa Valley. This being said, we did have to make one lunch stop at Auberge du Soleil in Rutherford. 

Ciccio (Yountville). Another new hit in this restaurant-obsessed town. The four of us began by splitting a crispy cherry tomato and pancetta [Read more ...]

Napa (City) Restaurants

Since we were staying in the city of Napa, our restaurant visits, especially for dinners, were focused around the city and nearby Yountville. Among our best (and in one case, worst) dining experiences were:

Boonfly Café. We had lunch at the always crowded, always delicious Boonfly Café (roasted chicken flatbread, cheeseburger with the fixings and [Read more ...]

Napa Wine Experiences—St. Helena to Calistoga

Our two weeks in Napa gave us the opportunity to spend more times than usual at a number of wineries. Some were new to us. Others, long-time favorites. The following posts on Napa Wine Experiences begins in Los Carneros, at the southern tip of the valley, and ends in St Helena and Calistoga, in the [Read more ...]

Napa Wine Experiences—Yountville to Oakville

Our two weeks in Napa gave us the opportunity to spend more times than usual at a number of wineries. Some were new to us. Others, long-time favorites. The following posts on Napa Wine Experiences begins in Los Carneros, at the southern tip of the valley, and ends in St Helena and Calistoga, in the [Read more ...]

Napa Wine Experiences—Los Carneros

Our two weeks in Napa gave us the opportunity to spend more times than usual at a number of wineries. Some were new to us. Others, long-time favorites. The following posts on Napa Wine Experiences begins in Los Carneros, at the the southern tip of the valley, and ends in St Helena and Calistoga, in [Read more ...]