July 16, 2009

Napa Picnic

Sometimes the best days are filled with spontaneity. Our Saturday adventure started at noon and with no plans. We decided to drive north and head up into Napa Valley.

My husband had wanted to the visit wineries from the movie Bottle Shock since we saw the movie on our flight home from Hong Kong. So, we began at the at the top of the Napa Valley at Chateau Montelena. Our late morning departure and the inevitable California traffic we arrived just after three in the afternoon.

Chateau Montelena is a beautiful building tucked away in the woods north of Calistoga. While the winery has thrived and profited from its reputation over the years, it has definitely seen a boost in visitors and customers since the release of the movie! We were joined by visitors and customers from around the globe.

Before leaving Calistoga we stopped at Summers Winery. This is a small, quiet winery less than a mile down the road. Situated in an unassuming house with a bocce ball court in the backyard, this winery lacked, in a very good way, the crowds of our previous stop. In addition, they sell very good wine at very reasonable prices!

Next we drove south to visit the Oxbow area of the town of Napa. This is a recently undergone gentrification and is now home to a new marketplace and shops. One of the shops is GustavoThrace, a boutique winery also associated with the movie.

We ended the day with dinner at Oxbow Public Market. The market has a great selection of food vendors! We decided on arepas and empanadas from Pica Pica Maize Kitchen. We took the food out on the deck at the back of the market and had a relaxing dinner watching the sunset! It was great. The food and setting were fantastic! Also, Oxbow Wine Merchant will provide corkage and glasses for any bottle of wine and has excellent desserts! This market is a perfect spot for a relaxing picnic dinner in Napa!

1 comment:

Bethany said...

Jessie- fun post! My first adventure with Oxbow market was last fall. I met a dear friend for her "40th birthday San Fran / Napa girls' weekend". After a fun day in SF, we convened at Oxbow market and got lost in the maze of interesting merchants there. After sampling olives, olive oils, breads, chocolates and teas, we purchased a big box of cupcakes for the birthday girl and headed out into the wineries. You're right- this is the perfect stop at the beginning or end of a wine country adventure. Thanks for reliving a good memory!