Discover New Things to Do In Napa Valley Wine Country

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By • Feb 16th, 2010 • Category: California Hot Spots

Here are some great new happenings and changes to Napa Valley. Remember, winter visits to the wineries are just as fun as in the summer, so take advantage of low season rates and discover some of these new things to do in Napa Valley:

• Long Meadow Ranch in St. Helena has opened the Long Meadow Ranch Winery & Farmstead restaurant, a sustainable food, wine and agricultural center. Farmstead restaurant offers fresh farm-to-table dining and is open for lunch and dinner daily. The new Long Meadow Ranch Winery Tasting Room, that opened in December, features wine and olive oil tastings, while docent-led vegetable garden and wine flavor tours will provide engaging educational experiences for lovers of local food and wine. There’s also a seasonal farm stand and organic nursery. Long Meadow Ranch Winery & Farmstead is located at 738 Main Street in St. Helena. For more information, please visit http://www.longmeadowranch.com. Reservations can be made by calling the Farmstead restaurant at (707) 963-9181 or at http://www.farmsteadnapa.com.

• In Yountville, the new 20-room Tuscan-inspired Hotel Luca & Cantinetta Piero opened in mid-December 2009. Foods of Tuscany are at the heart of Cantinetta Piero menus, which focus on seasonal ingredients and regional products including seafood and shellfish from the nearby coast. Game and meat from the inland and mountain regions and produce from local farms will also delight guests. An added amenity, the Luca Spa, embodies the Napa Valley and Tuscan philosophy of love of life and wellness of being. Hotel Luca is located at 6774 Washington Street, Yountville; CA. Rates at Hotel Luca range from $295-$650 per night and include breakfast for two. Travelers interested in booking reservations or for information may telephone 707-944-8080 or visit the hotel’s web site http://www.hotellucanapa.com.

• At the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena, the new Marketplace store, a 16-seat Flavor Bar (opening Feb 22), and a new menu of classes greets food and wine enthusiasts. Central to the Flavor Bar experience will be tastings featuring chocolate, plus “Taste Like a Chef: Calibrate your palate! An exploration in Flavor,” that focuses on the taste senses of sour, sweet, bitter and more. Then by late spring the Flavor Bar will open the country’s only Oleotecha, where olive oils from around the world await to be discovered and enjoyed. For the home chef, the CIA offers a new line up of weekend classes. Enthusiasts may choose from a 2-hour wine tasting or hands-on cooking class, a 6-hour hands-on cooking class based on a CIA cookbook or spend a whole week in culinary Boot Camp. Upcoming topics include The Glorious Foods of Greece, Hot Latin Cooking, Flavors of Wine Country Boot Camp, Artisan Breads at Home, and Cake Decorating. For more information, please call 707-967-2320 or visit http://www.ciachef.edu/enthusiasts.

• St. Supery winery in Rutherford celebrates their 90th anniversary as a winemaking family in 2010. By appointment, anniversary tastings will feature library tastings of their Classic Cabernet, Elu, Dollarhide Cabernet and Rutherford Cabernet. Tastings will be hosted in their new tasting gallery, where walls of original artwork feature their bottle label art as well as monthly shows featuring local artists. Please call 707-963-4507 or visit http://www.stsupery.com.

• Staglin Family Vineyard, also in Rutherford, will soon complete renovations begun in 2008 on its historic 1868 Manley house. Once open, it will become the winery’s new hospitality center, featuring a full commercial kitchen for events. The grand opening celebrations, slated for spring, will also coincide with a fete commemorating their 25th year in the wine business. http://www.staglinfamily.com or call 707-963-3994.

• Renowned chef and headliner of both Iron Chef and Iron Chef America, Masaharu Morimoto, will be opening a restaurant at downtown Napa’s Riverfront development this summer. The concept will mirror Morimoto’s “contemporary Japanese cuisine” style combining Asian and Western traditions, and will include a sushi bar, a lounge and outdoor dining area on the Riverwalk overlooking the Napa River.

• Downtown Napa’s Riverfront project will also feature another Food Network star’s restaurant. Host of “Tyler’s Ultimate,” Chef Tyler Florence, has plans to open a rotisserie by Summer 2010. The eatery, Tyler Florence’s Rotisserie & Wine, will showcase locally and sustainably raised meats and menu offerings will highlight other regional and seasonal fare.

• Also in the City of Napa, the annual Napa Downtown Wine Tasting Card has two more tasting rooms added to it for 2010. “New” members on the card are Tool Box and Uncorked at Oxbow. There are 18 tasting rooms located downtown within walking distance of each other – more than anywhere else in the world. Fourteen participate in this program, which allows the consumer to buy a tasting card for $20 and then enjoy ten-cent tastings at those rooms. For more information or to purchase a card visit http://www.NapaDowntown.com.

• The Norman Rose Tavern opened its doors December 2009. Since opening, the new gastropub has quickly become one of the hottest eateries in downtown Napa. The Norman Rose Tavern menu provides a local, sustainable approach to classics like burgers, fish and chips and hearty salads, with an upgrade by utilizing all the fresh, seasonal and quality ingredients found in the North Bay. They have 12 beers on tap as well as a great wine list. Visit http://www.normanrosenapa.com for more information.

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