City of Napa, Mount Veeder, Oak Knoll

Oak Knoll District in City of Napa

Oak Knoll District

The Napa Valley is an appellation, which means that the climate and terrain have a distinct impact on grapes grown here causing certain characteristics to shine through, compared to grapes grown elsewhere in the world.  The wines made from grapes grown here are internationally admired, and this is a great place to come wine tasting and have some fun.

In addition to all of Napa Valley being an appellation, there are actually 15 other subappellations within the valley as well.  If you read below, you will see our favorite wine tasting rooms and food destinations in the city of Napa, as well as two appellations, Mount Veeder and the Oak Knoll District.

Favorite Tasting Rooms in the City of Napa, Mount Veeder, and the Oak Knoll District

Falcor – One of several tasting rooms in Napa’s Corporate Park at the south end of the city, this winery and tasting salon also offers a food and wine pairing with 48 hours’ notice.  We really like their Trosseau Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, and their Bordeaux-style blend Le Bijou.  2511 Napa Valley Corporate Drive, Suite 115  (888) 402-9463.

Hendry – This family-owned estate winery makes consistently delicious wine across ten different varietals and the lessons learned from more than 70 harvests on this property come through on the palate.  While we are always impressed by their entire spectrum of wines, our favorites include the unoaked Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Blocks 7 and 22 Zinfandel, Primitivo, and the Block 8 Cabernet Sauvignon.  3104 Redwood Road, Napa  (707) 226-8320  [reservation required]

Hess Collection – One of the first 10 wineries to receive certification for the Napa Green Winery program, Hess Collection winery also houses an interesting modern art collection based on 20 living artists.  The most reliable wines here are the Mount Veeder Chardonnay, the Hess Collection Cabernet Sauvignon, and the 19 Block Cuvee.  4411 Redwood Road, Napa  (707) 255-1144

Hyde de Villaine (HdV) – This is a family venture between Larry Hyde of Napa Valley (owner of Hyde Vineyards in Carneros) and Aubert & Pamela de Villaine of Burgundy (Aubert de Villaine is one of Burgundy’s most recognized individuals, born and raised in the rich traditions of France’s greatest winemaking techniques).  The winemaker, Stéphane Vivier, was born and raised in France and joined HdV in 2002.  We were most enamored by their Chardonnays and a Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon blend called “Belle Cousine.”   588 Trancas Street, Napa  (707-251-9121)  [reservation required] 

John Anthony Vineyards – Small family winery offering wines from vineyards in the Oak Knoll District, Carneros and Coombsville regions with a convenient tasting room next to the Avia Hotel.  Very nice Sauvignon Blanc, and an impressive Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc as well.  1440 First Street, Napa  (707) 265-7711

Judd’s Hill – Son of pioneering vintners Art and Bunnie Finkelstein, Judd Finkelstein and his wife Holly hand-craft delicious wines at the southern end of Silverado Trail where they limit their production to 3000 cases per year.  The Cabernet Sauvignons shine here.  2332 Silverado Trail, Napa  (707) 255-2332  [reservation required]

O’Brien Estate – When you visit this 33 acre estate, you will have a friendly and casual wine tasting experience in the owners’ backyard sitting at picnic tables under oak trees.   After you fall in love with the wines (which you will) you should come back in July for their “Date Night at the Drive-In,” an event where they serve food and wine and then show a movie on the side of their barn.  We especially like their Chardonnay, Merlot, Flirtation Rosé, and Seduction Bordeaux Blend.   1200 Orchard Avenue, Napa  (707) 252-8463  [reservation required]

Robert Biale Vineyards – One of California’s best Zinfandel producers, this winery has a great story behind their Black Chicken Zinfandel wine. Several of their wines are so popular that only wine club members are able to buy them. Our favorites here are their Sangiovese and the wide range of Zinfandels (Aldo’s Vineyard, Black Chicken, Old Crane Ranch, Grande, Monte Rosso, Stagecoach, and Valsecchi, to name a few).  4038 Big Ranch Road, Napa  (707) 257-7555 [reservation required]

Robert Craig Winery – Come here!  The owners are lovely, the hospitality staff are friendly, and the wines are just awesome. This is your opportunity to learn how terroir can influence the same grape varietal, as Robert Craig makes separate Cabernet Sauvignons from Mount Veeder, Howell Mountain, Diamond Mountain, Spring Mountain, and also makes a Bordeaux-style Cabernet Sauvignon blend called Affinity. We love all of their Cabernets, and the Gap’s Crown Vineyard Chardonnay and Howell Mountain Zinfandel (from Black Sears vineyard) are also excellent. Although the Robert Craig winery is up on Howell Mountain, their tasting salon is in the city of Napa. On a very limited basis, reservations for tastings at the Howell Mountain winery may be arranged.  625 Imperial Way, Napa  (707) 252-2250  [reservation required] 

Trefethen Family Vineyards – This winery was originally built in 1886 as Eschol Winery, by the person who designed other classic wineries such as Greystone (now the Culinary Institute of America), Far Niente, and Inglenook.  The Trefethens purchased this property in 1968 and restored it, and it is now on the National Register of Historic Places.  The Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon are particularly impressive here.  1160 Oak Knoll Avenue, Napa  (866) 895-7696  [reservation required for parties of 7 or more]

Y Rousseau WinesThis small family-owned winery produces food-friendly wines made in the Old World French Style.  We really enjoy the traditional Napa wines (Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon) at Y Rousseau but there is a soft spot in our hearts for the less commonly found varietals Colombard and Tannat that are crafted into absolutely stunning treats here.  Winemaker/Owner Yannick Rousseau and his wife Susan opened their tasting room in May 2013 and we strongly encourage you to visit.   902 Enterprise Way, Suite O, Napa  415-713-4203   [reservation required]

 

Favorite Food Stops in the City of Napa, Mount Veeder, and the Oak Knoll District

ABC (Alexis Baking Company)We, and many others, consider this the best casual place in Napa Valley for breakfast/brunch, with specials each day driven by seasonal produce. The regular menu includes Breakfast Sandwiches (Ham & Cheddar, Ortega Chile & Jack, Smoked Salmon & Capers), Omelettes, Huevos Rancheros, and Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Seasonal Fruit.  Baked goods include Muffins, Scones, Cookies and Brownies.  If you need a cake, come here for happiness (and maybe order ahead) because choices include Apricot Pistachio, Carrot, Coconut, German Chocolate, Chocolate Caramel and/or Blum’s Coffee Crunch Cakes.  Cake sizes range from 6” round to full sheet, depending on type.  1517 3rd Street, Napa  (707) 258-1827

Andie’s Café – Popular with locals for decades, this very small restaurant is next to a car wash so it’s fairly easy to spot.  Known for using quality ingredients, they serve breakfast starting at 7 am (8 am on weekends) but they’re most famous for their burgers.  Andie’s has 1/3 lb or ½ pound versions made with fresh ground chuck include a Cheese Burger, Bacon and Blue Cheese Burger, Spicy Chipotle Burger, Western Burger and the Andie’s Burger (Grilled Onions, Grilled Mushrooms, Avocado and Jack Cheese.  Sides include Fries, Garlic Fries, Sweet Potato Fries and Onion Rings.  1042 Freeway Drive, Napa  (707) 259-1107

Angele Restaurant and Bar – French Country restaurant housed in an old boathouse, offering wine, cocktails, and great Bistro food either inside a rustic yet elegant dining room or outside on a large riverfront terrace along the Napa River.  The menu evolves based on seasonal choices, and is executed well.  How French?  Depending on season, menu items will include Oysters, Escargots, Housemade Patés, Steak Tartare, Crispy Veal Shortbreads, Salade Lyonnaise, Niçoise Salad, Croque Monsieur, Steak Frites, Moules Frites, and Duck Confit.  540 Main Street, Napa  (707) 252-8115

Azzurro Pizzeria e Enoteca – This downtown Napa restaurant from a former Chef de Cuisine and partner at Tra Vigne and his wife offers a simple and comfortable design, with the feeling of a traditional Italian pizzeria.  Salads include Caesar, Wedge, Spinach, Panzanella (with Bouchon Bread) and Steak (with Five Dot Ranch Flat Iron).  For Pizzas, the Margherita, Salsiccia, Verde, and Funghi ones are sure bets or you can split the difference and try of the Manciatas: baked dough with a salad on top.  The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner 7 days a week, and if you need to feed a large party there’s a community table here you can reserve in advance.   1260 Main Street, Napa  (707) 255-5552

Bistro Don Giovanni – This is a Napa Valley institution offering rustic Italian fare using herbs, vegetables and produce from local farmers and ranches that raise humanely-treated, free-roaming livestock and poultry.  Fritto Misto, Carpaccio, Pizzas, Spaghetti & Clams, Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli with Lemon Cream, Rigatoni Bolognese, and Grilled Berkshire Pork Chop are excellent choices if you have trouble deciding.  The bar menu features hundreds of Napa Valley and Italian wines, as well as cocktails such as Italian Greyhound, Pear Drop, Sazerac Cocktail, Bellini and Moscow Mule.  4110 Howard Lane, Napa  (707) 224-3300

Carpe Diem Wine Bar – This sophisticated yet casual wine bar and restaurant in downtown Napa offers seasonally changing items under Executive Chef Scott Kendall.  The Main Menu includes a Carpe Diem Salad with Candied Walnuts, Smoked Trout Salad, Charred Octopus, Harissa Spiced Fries, Ostrich Burger, Diver Scallops and Shrimp & Grits.  We’re also big fans of the Happy Hour (Mon – Sat from 4-6 pm) with $2 off draft beers, selected glasses of wine for $7 each, and options such as Truffled Popcorn, the Carpe diem Salad and the Roasted Mushroom Flatbread.  1001 2nd Street, Napa  (707) 224-0800 

Celadon – Another award-winning restaurant in the historic Napa Mill, Celadon offers global comfort food in two locations: a lovely dining room inside, or a charming and sheltered courtyard outside.  Lunch and Dinner offerings include Pork Belly “Bahn Mi” Sliders, Dungeness Crab Cakes, Endive and Pear Salad, Pan-Roasted Mussels, Grilled Chicken Club, Top Sirloin Steak, Moroccan-Braised Lamb Shank, and a 5-Spice Duck Breast.  For dessert, aim for the Lemon Meringue Pie with Grand Mariner Sauce or the Cheesecake with Huckleberry Compote.  500 Main St, Suite G, Napa  (707) 254-9690

Cole’s Chop House – If you are looking for a Great American Steak House, come on over to this one located in the Williams-Keyser building since its opening in 2000. The usually-crowded restaurant features 21-day Dry-Aged Prime Steaks, Black Angus Beef, formula-fed Veal, New Zealand Lamb and fresh Seafood.  There are sides (including Creamed Spinach, Sautéed Mushrooms and Baked Potato) and plenty of sauces to choose from, such as Béarnaise, Brandy & Green Peppercorn, Wild Mushroom Bordelaise, and Point Reyes Blue Cheese Compound Butter.  FYI, Cole’s is also recognized as a “Great Bourbon Bar of America” with over 175 hand-selected bourbons so come enjoy some pours or flights.    1122 Main Street, Napa  (707) 224-6328

Compline – This downtown wine bar, restaurant, and wine retail shop from Master Sommelier Matt Stamp and Ryan Stetins is open Wedesday through Monday.  The retail shop (open 10 am to 11 pm) offers interesting wines from across the globe, with most bottles priced from $10-$40.  Under Executive Chef Yancy Windsperger, the restaurant wowed us with our favorite dishes including Duck Fat Fries, Stone Fruit Salad, Tostones Con Pollo (on Fried Plantains), Hangar Steak with Chimichurri Sauce, Grilled Chicken, and the Burger with Cheddar and Grilled Onions.  If you’re looking for one more glass of outstanding wine, please note that the Wine Bar stays open until midnight (except for Tuesdays, obviously).  Compline also offers many wine classes and other events so be sure to check out their online calendar.  1300 First Street, Suite 312, Napa  (707) 492-8150  

Compadres Rio Grille – This family-friendly Tex-Mex restaurant was started back in the 1980’s by General Manager Richard M. Enos and nowadays all three of his children are part-owners. The expected menu items include Guacamole, Queso Fundido, Ceviche, Nachos, Quesadillas, Tostadas, Tacos, Enchiladas and Burritos. The weekend Breakfast menu includes Huevos Rancheros, Eggs Benedict Olé, Chorizo con Papas and Chilaquiles con Huevos, as well as Pancakes, Omelets and Loco Moco. Happy Hour fans should note that weekdays, from 3-6 pm, Compadres is the home of the Progressive Margarita: $3 per glass and $15 per pitcher from 3-4, $4 per glass and $20 per pitcher from 4-5, and $5 per glass and $25 per pitcher from 5-6.   505 Lincoln Avenue, Napa  (707) 253-1111

Frida’s Mexican Grill – Named after Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, this casual restaurant with great service was established in 2007 by Owner and Executive Chef Arturo Delgadillo.  The menu features authentic Mexican cuisine such as Street Tacos, Sopa de Tortilla, Carnitas, Pollo Mole, Chile Verde, Steak Encebollado and Enchiladas Suizas.  Weekdays, the “Locals Lunch Specials”include Cobb Salad, Tostada Mexican, Traditional Taco Salad, Cup of Soup and a Taco, or Nachos (with Shredded Beef or Shredded Chicken) for under $10.  We’re also big fans of Happy Hour here, from 3 pm to 6 pm, 7 days a week.  1533 Trancas Street, Napa  (707) 252-3575

Fumé Bistro & Bar – This friendly casual restaurant is a little north of downtown Napa, off of Highway 29, and has a loyal local following. The seasonally-inspired menu boasts ingredients from the farmer’s market and regional growers.  Our favorite dishes include the Wood Oven Roasted Artichoke, Onion Rings, Iceberg Wedge Salad, Pear Salad, Smoked Chicken Penne, BBQ Baby Back Ribs, and the Grilled Pork Chop.  Also, the weekend Brunch menu is huge so you should be able to find something for everyone (including Bellini, Mimosa or Bloody Mary beverages).  4050 Byway East, Napa  (707) 257-1999

Gott’s Roadside Cafe – Formerly known as Taylor’s Automatic Refresher, this gourmet burger joint is a sister restaurant to the original up in St. Helena and a third location in San Francisco (at the Ferry Building).  If you’re not in the mood for a shake to go with your cheeseburger and fries, how about a beer or some wine?  644 1st Street, Napa  (707) 224-6900

Gran/Eléctrica – First Brooklyn, now Napa.  A hit restaurant in the heart of the DUMBO neighborhood has now branched out all the way to California with dishes rooted in seasonal ingredients and authentic Mexican cooking and techniques.  Inspired by artist Jose Guadalupe Posada, the wallpaper reflects Day of the Dead themes featuring Napa Valley landmarks.  The beverage program here features tequila and mezcal by small-batch and artisan distillers.  We suggest you start with either the House or Cucumber Margarita, and we also recommend the Vegetable Tacos and Carnitas Tacos.  The Happy Hour here (weekdays between 5 pm and 6:30 pm) offers $2 off the Tacos and a reduced price for the House Margarita.   1313 Main Street, Napa  (707) 258-1313 

Il Posto Trattoria – This family-style Trattoria serves comfort Italian food in a location that has been almost everything except a restaurant over the years (paint store, jean store, etc.).   You can find the expected dishes here prepared well (Pizza, Spaghetti and Meatballs, Chicken Parmigiana,Veal Saltimbocca) but it’s the less-common dishes we are most impressed by here (Bruschetta with Ricotta and Fava Beans, Ravioli with Swiss Chard and Ricotta, Penne in a Walnut Sauce with Crumbled Biscotti, and Oreccchiette with Italian Sausage, Cauliflower, and Red Cabbage).  4211 Solano Avenue, Napa  (707) 251-8600

La Taquiza – High-quality fish tacos are the name of the game at this Mexican casual dining restaurant.  Fish can be ordered “California Style” which is seasoned and grilled, or “Baja Style” which is battered and fried.  All of the dressings and salsas are made in-house too.  2007 Redwood Road, Suite 104, Napa  (707) 224-2320

La Toque – Chef Ken Frank’s elegant restaurant is the recipient of a Michelin star, having moved to its Westin Verasa location in September 2008.  The menu evolves constantly in order to show off seasonal ingredients, but you can either create your own multi-course experience or go with the nine-course Chef’s Degustation Menu (six savory courses + cheese course + intermezzo + dessert) or a six-course Vegetable Tasting Menu (five savory courses + dessert).  1314 McKinstry Street, Napa  (707) 257-5157

Live Fire Pizza – One of the newest restaurants at Oxbow, Live Fire’s menu features artisan wood-fire baked pizzas and wine country-inspired small plates. A Napa Valley-focused wine list, craft brews and Equator coffee are ready for you as well.  Our favorite pizzas include the Margherita, Bianca (Prosciutto San Danielle, Ricotta, Arugula), and Pepperoni and Peppers (made with Roasted Gypsy Peppers).  We also recommend the Fried Brussels Sprouts and Cauliflower, and cheesy Meatball Sandwich.  On weekends, the Live Fire menu features Breakfast Pizza, Yogurt with Fresh Fruit, and an excellent Ricotta Toast with Honey and Roasted Bananas.  Oxbow Public Market, 610 1st Street, Napa  (707) 346-3993

Napa Valley Bistro – Opened in 2013 by friends and chefs Bernardo Ayala and Ernesto Martinez, this family-friendly comfortable space is open for Lunch and Dinner (and Brunch on Sundays).   Menu items feature seasonal and sustainably raised products from local farms, while the recipes come from around the world including Vegetarian Spring Rolls, Chinese Chicken Salad, Chilaquiles, Potato Mascarpone Gnocchi, Fallon Hills Lamb Burger and St. Louis Ribs.  Happy Hour (Tuesdays through Friday, 3:30 to 6 pm) specials include choices such as BBQ Pork Sliders, Chicken Empanadas, and Ozzie’s Fries (dressed in Chili Garlic Sauce and Feta Cheese).   975 Clinton Street, Napa  (707) 666-2383 

Napa Valley Coffee Roasting Company – The Napa Valley Coffee Roasting Company first opened its doors in Napa in 1985 and added a second location in St. Helena in 1991.  They roast their coffee in 20-pound batches, ensuring the highest possible quality, and carry nine single-origin coffees from Indonesia, Africa, and the Americas.  The Napa Valley Coffee Roasting Company creates signature blends for Napa Valley’s prestigious restaurants and wineries as well as proprietary blends for non-profit organizations and charities.  Open daily until 7 pm for walk-in customers, you can also purchase their coffee online and/or join their Coffee Club for monthly shipments.  1400 Oak Avenue, St. Helena  (707) 963-4491 or 948 Main Street, Napa  (707) 224-2233

Norman Rose Tavern – Looking for a casual and comfortable bar/restaurant to go with friends for great food and TVs showing the game?  This is your place.  If you’re not in the mood for their excellent fish and chips, then a Cheeseburger, Hot Dog, or Grilled Chese Sandwich can be ordered here as well as fries made four different ways – Natural (Sea Salt and Pepper), BBQ, Truffle & Parmesan, or “Disco” (with pork sausage gravy and cheddar cheese).  1401 First Street, Napa  (707) 258-1516

Oenotri – Excellent Italian restaurant with a daily changing menu and some very interesting dishes in downtown Napa.  Genuine Neapolitan pizza, stellar pastas, and housemade salumi can be found here.  1425 First Street, Napa, CA  (707) 252-1022

Oxbow Public Market – This popular market of specialty merchants seems to have one of everything you could possibly need.  Excellent quality purveyors of meat (Five Dot Ranch), charcuterie (Fatted Calf), breads (Model Bakery), cheese (Oxbow Cheese and Wine Merchant), spices (Whole Spice), cupcakes (Kara’s Cupcakes), ice cream (Three Twins Organic Ice Cream), coffee (Ritual Coffee Roasters), wine (Oxbow Cheese and Wine Merchant) and produce (Hudson Greens and Goods) are all here.  If you’re hungry for something else, you can also choose between oysters (Hog Island Oyster Company), cheeseburgers (Gott’s Roadside Cafe) or tacos (C Casa).  610 and 644 First Street, Napa

Pasta Prego Trattoria – Chef Marco Ruiz left Piatti in 1991 to open Pasta Prego, a popular Italian restaurant serving Napa residents and visitors until 2010.   New owner Matthew Miersch is a 3rd generation Napan who also owns a local real estate company.  Mr. Miersch and Chef Ruiz now present Pasta Prego in a new location closer to downtown, in the Old Rossi’s Deli building.  Open daily for dinner, you should try for the 10 bar seats if you can’t get a reservation in advance.  We are fans of the Golden and Red Beet Salad, the Caesar Salad and the many pastas.  Fusilli with Sautéed Salmon and Black Olives, Spaghetti with Pancetta-Wrapped Grilled Prawns, Spaghetti Bolognese and Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli with Citrus Cream are all strong choices.  1502 Main Street, Napa  (707) 492-8026

Sweetie Pies – This retail and wholesale bakery sells delicious baked goods direct to the public at this cute storefront in downtown Napa at the Hatt Building (also known as the Historic Napa Mill).  520 Main Street, Napa  (707) 257-7280 

Villa Corona – The place to go if all you want is some reasonably-priced authentic Mexican food made with fresh ingredients in a casual atmosphere.  Aim for the burritos, enchiladas, and tacos here (they also have another location in St. Helena).  3614 Bel Aire Plaza, Napa  (707) 257-8685

ZuZu –  Very popular tapas restaurant in the heart of the Old Town district of Napa.  The chefs here use fresh, seasonal ingredients to prepare classic and modern tapas to crowds of very satisfied customers.  Watermelon Gazpacho, Jamon Iberico, Tortilla Española, Bacalao, Pimientos de Padron, Albondigas, and the Lamb Burger are just some of the reliable selections here.  829 Main Street, Napa  (707) 224-8555

Other Links

Mount Veeder Appellation Council – Association of wineries and growers in the Mount Veeder AVA.

Napa Valley Vintners – Trade association promoting the Napa Valley appellation as the premiere winegrowing region.

Napa Valley Welcome Center – Helpful tourism center on the Riverfront in downtown Napa at 600 Main Street

 

Alexis Baking Company on UrbanspoonAndie's Cafe on UrbanspoonAngèle Restaurant and Bar on UrbanspoonAzzurro Pizzeria e Enoteca on Urbanspoon
Bistro Don Giovanni on UrbanspoonCarpe Diem Wine Bar on UrbanspoonCeladon on UrbanspoonCole's Chop House on Urbanspoon
Fume Bistro & Bar on UrbanspoonGenova Delicatessen and Ravioli Factory on UrbanspoonGott's Roadside on Urbanspoon
La Taquiza Fish Tacos on UrbanspoonLa Toque on UrbanspoonNapa Valley Coffee Roasting Company on UrbanspoonNew York Pizza Kitchen on Urbanspoon
The Norman Rose Tavern on UrbanspoonOenotri on UrbanspoonSweetie Pies on UrbanspoonVilla Corona Cocina Mexicana on UrbanspoonZuzu on Urbanspoon
Il Posto Trattoria on Urbanspoon


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City of Napa, Mount Veeder, Oak Knoll — 1 Comment

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