Top 10 North American Wine Destinations…#4 – St. Helena, California

Top 10 North American Wine Destinations

#4 – St. Helena, California

    For the ultimate wine country experience in California, there is only one place to stay: the Meadowood resort in the Napa Valley town of St. Helena.

     But there is one problem with staying at Meadowood: You may never want to leave. And that would make exploring the area’s wineries problematic.

     Among the amenities at Meadowood:

     * Championship croquet lawns

     * Seven tennis courts

     * A nine-hole golf course

     * Hiking trails

     * Swimming

     * A full-service health spa

     * A wide selection of guest rooms, suites and cottages

     * The Restaurant at Meadowood, offering Michelin two-star dining

     With all that… is there really a reason to leave?


     Because St. Helena is a hub of Napa Valley winemaking.

     It’s also a history-steeped area, home to the oldest continuously operating winery in the valley: Beringer Vineyards. The Beringer grounds are beautifully landscaped, and the estate offers the best tour program of any winery… anywhere.

     One of the best family estates in Napa Valley is Raymond Vineyard and Cellar, where the Raymonds have been making wine for five generations. There usually are older bottlings of Cabernet Sauvignon available for tasting, in addition to the current releases.

     For a wine country picnic, V. Sattui Winery offers tree-shaded grounds, fairly priced wines available only at the winery, and a well-stocked Italian marketplace and deli.

     A bit off the beaten path, Burgess Cellars is in a unique mountain setting and produces stunning renditions of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah.

     Other acclaimed estates in St. Helena include Viader, Hall, Casa Nuestra, Louis M. Martini, Franciscan, Conn Creek, St. Clement, Merryvale, Flora Springs, Newton, Provenance and Whitehall Lane.

     Dining options also abound, and PRESS has emerged as one of the top-tier stars. The custom wood-burning grill and rotisserie turns out flavorful preparations of Kobe ribeye, chicken, veal and seafood.

     For French culinary flair, Etoile Restaurant at Domaine Chandon features regional and seasonal cuisine with adventurous ingredients.

     Other lodging possibilities include the Harvest Inn with its eight acres of gardens, the Wine Country Inn with its stunning vineyard views, the Ink House B&B with its Victorian elegance, and the Shady Oaks Country Inn which is within walking distance of numerous wineries and restaurants.

     They may not match Meadowood’s long menu of amenities, but on the other hand, they’re much more affordable.

     Which means you’ll have more discretionary dollars for wining and dining… without ever leaving the cozy confines of St. Helena.

     Tomorrow: The countdown continues with #3.

Posted in Our Wine Travel Log
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