As most of you know, I live in the Napa Valley. Because of this, I am frequently asked where to go for food, wine, and the best Napa experiences. While various wineries all have different niches they fill (small private parties vs. groups vs. food pairings vs. art displays, etc.), one of the wineries I always recommend to Napa newbs and am always bringing groups to is V. Sattui in St. Helena, CA off of the famous Highway 29.! Surely you’ve realized now that I love playing tourist in my backyard!
Recently, I was contacted by RelayRides to take part in their Hometown Hidden Gems page on Pinterest. I have to admit that I hadn’t heard of RelayRides until they contacted me. It’s a peer-to-peer way of sharing cars, sort of like an AirBnB, and it makes a lot of sense for people who either don’t use their cars often or who travel a lot. There are options to either rent your own car out (and make some skrilla on the side) or to rent a car when you need one for a reasonable price. RelayRides also has pretty sweet sounding airport rental program at SFO where you can leave your car there for free parking! when you fly out and some money if your car is rented while you’re away. This is great for people heading into SFO to head up to Napa Valley 🙂 Anyway, I was excited to share one of the “hidden gems” of Napa Valley that first came to mind for me, V. Sattui.
While some people know about V. Sattui — after all, it has been named “Winery of the Year”11 times!— many locals may not consider it when planning a wine tasting excursion due to the immense number of wineries located in our small little valley! I’ve always considered V. Sattui a Napa Valley “Hidden Gem” of sorts, because once you (re)discover it, you’ll want to come back again and again! You may remember that this is one of my favorite wineries to bring out of town friends and family to from 2013’s Birthday Week Recap.
Tastings at V. Sattui include selection of 6 wines to choose from for a very reasonable price! In addition to fabulous wines that are easy on the wallet (and only available at the winery or by ordering from the winery!), one of the most unique features of V. Sattui, is that it has a full-blow market adjacent to the tasting room! I’m talking gourmet cheeses, cured meats, local sweets, and amazing sandwiches.
My favorite thing to do at V. Sattui with a group of friends is to secure a spot on the grass out front, grab some snacks from the market (an assortment of meats, cheeses, and breads), purchase a bottle of wine (the staff will let you taste any wines that interest you at the counter before you buy), make sure to get some plastic glasses and to have your bottle opened by the person ringing you up and then head out to enjoy the gorgeous weather that the Napa Valley has to offer!
Even though they have a myriad of options for food, snacks and dessert inside, I love trying out some new options at their outdoor barbecue area. Only open on weekends (weather permitting), it’s well worth the sometimes long wait.
People wait in line for amazing pizzas, sandwiches, and even oysters! One of my all-time favorites to order at V. Sattui is the caprese sandwich, as seen below at my birthday/week/month celebration last year. You can take food from either the barbecue area or the market out to their picnic area to enjoy.
I just love the picnic area. And while no outside food is allowed on the grounds, you are right across the street from Dean & Deluca— another Napa Valley favorite! While bringing a blanket is a must for dining on the grass, there are also picnic tables available, if you can find one available!
To sum up my thoughts on V. Sattui: great wine, amazing food, and lots of space to picnic. What else could you want?!
If you’re looking to visit V. Sattui in St. Helena, tastings are held daily, Sunday through Friday 9:00-5:00pm and Saturday 9:00-5:30 pm. No reservation necessary for groups fewer than 10. Tastings are $15 per person for 6 tastings.
Note: While I was contacted by RelayRides to share a post on their Pinterest page, I only contributed my own thoughts and didn’t receive any goods from them. Rest assured, all of the above is my own opinion.
UPDATED 11/11/14 to give the correct RelayRides link and info on the exciting SFO parking option.