Courtesy of Robert Mondavi Winery

Explore rolling vineyard-filled hills, world-class restaurants, and top wineries.

March 11, 2013

California’s answer to Bordeaux or Tuscany, Napa Valley is a Mecca for wine lovers and foodies. Don’t be afraid to get lost on these scenic roads—you might find your favorite new vintage en route.

Related: Insider’s Guide to Napa Valley

Domaine Chandon

Domaine Chandon was founded in 1973 by the European company Moët-Hennessy; today it continues to combine traditional French winemaking practices with quality California fruit. A wide range of tastings and tours are available, including a sensory exhibit with plants releasing odors inherent in wines, as well as education on how sparkling wines are produced. The grounds house works by local artists, like a mushroom garden built with rocks.

Villagio Inn & Spa

Within this 23-acre estate (13,000 feet of which houses the Spa Villagio), flowing water pathways, fountains, and Mediterranean-style gardens surround a two-level Tuscan-style villa that holds 112-guestrooms and 26-mini suites. Family owned and operated since opening in 1998, all rooms come with a wood-burning fireplace, a complimentary bottle of Sauvignon Blanc, and private balcony or patio. Afternoon tea and a champagne breakfast buffet are included for guests every day, and the resort is connected to the V Marketplace, with dining options like notable celebrity chef Michael Chiarello’s Bottega restaurant. Being in downtown Yountville, there are several nearby options for shopping.

Whitehall Lane Winery & Vineyards

This winery has touches of the Southwest, especially the blue and yellow corn-colored paint that adorns the modern exterior. Because of its prime location in Rutherford, the tasting area fills quickly, so a spacious, reserve tasting room that resembles a modern restaurant is used for more exclusive experiences.

Robert Mondavi Winery

There is, perhaps, no greater influence on the Napa Valley than Robert Mondavi and his eponymous winery. Having built his facility in 1966 in the then-unknown town of Oakville, Mondavi used his religious background to incorporate sculptures of saints and elements of California’s missions into the design, along with rows of olive trees throughout the estate reminiscent of his Italian heritage. For guests, there are several ways to enjoy the wines, by way of tastings, seminars on history and winemaking, lunches from the executive chef with wine pairings, and 75-minute tours of the grounds and cellars.

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