Wine Country Busman's Holiday: Visiting the "Other" Wine Country in Napa
I had a great time with family and friends on Memorial Day. What did we do? We visited the other wine country. We headed to Napa (the city of) for the afternoon. Since I live and work primarily in Sonoma County, it is fun to have a getaway in the wine country! Downtown Napa is quite pretty, and the city and county of Napa are working to increase tourism there. It doesn’t hurt that a whole raft of excellent restaurants are walkable downtown: Celadon, Angele, Ubuntu (on sabbatical?) and others. We had a great lunch at Angele, sitting outdoors right on the Napa River. Angele is a collaboration from Claude Rouas, legendary for L’Etoile on Nob Hill in San Francisco, Auberge de Soleil, further north in Rutherford (one of the most stunningly beautiful settings I have seen for a restaurant) and more recently, Redd in Yountville. The restaurant is built in an old ship chandlery, right downtown, and a great spot for a delicious but casual lunch or dinner.
After lunch we walked a mile or so over to the Oxbow Market and I have a new (for me) foodie destination for a quick meal or snack when I am in the area. I would actually drive out of my way to stop here. Oxbow is a wine country spin on the concept of the Ferry Plaza Marketplace in SF, bringing together food and wine from seafood to ice cream, wine to cheese, charcuterie to fine coffee and more. Most of the products are locally sourced or from local vendors, following the locavore trend.
Anyway, I didn’t intend to write a PR puff piece for Napa. It is just that I live driving over the county line, and feeling like I am on an instant vacation! Back to your regularly scheduled Sonoma County programming shortly!