Magazine article Sunset

Napa Valley Day Trip Yountville

Magazine article Sunset

Napa Valley Day Trip Yountville

Article excerpt

Why go now: The crush crowds are long gone, leaving Napa Valley's best food and wine ripe for the picking. Splurge without the sting: Yountville is a big-ticket destination (hello, French Laundry!), but in February, hotels and restaurants roll out the deals to fill beds and tables. Population: Less than 3,000. Star city: Yountville restaurants account for six Michelin stars--and they're all within six blocks. Sunday-brunch must: A bacon-infused Bloody Mary and the Hang-town Fry omelet with fried Tomales Bay oysters at Michelin-starred Redd ($$; 6480 Washington St.; 707/344-2222). No need for wheels: A new slate of high-style tasting rooms packs a day's worth of wine sipping into an easy-to-walk four-block strip. Man cannot live on cult Cab alone: Between tastes check out the Art Walk (townofyountville.com), a mishmash of more than 30 outdoor sculptures, which winds through downtown.

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1. Warm up and wind down

Chilly winter evenings call for crackling fires, and you won't find a better one than the sofa-lined slow-burner at Bottega Napa Valley. Opt for a Campari cocktail, then watch chefs drop by for an after-hours beer. $$; in V Marketplace, 6525 Washington St.; 707/945-1050.

2. Art or wine? Both, please

Couched in a restored century-old stone manor, Ma(i)sonry Napa Valley shows off a collection of fine art, high-design furnishings, and wines with no tasting room to call their own, including proprietor Michael Polenske's Blackbird label. Make an appointment for a guided tasting (from $10), and, upstairs, don't miss the oil-on-paper costumes designed by Greg Lauren, nephew of clothier Ralph Lauren. …

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