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Sip & Savor: The Fall Tastes of Napa Valley

November 10, 2022 / Tasting & Learning

Autumn is one of the most beautiful and whimsical times to visit Napa Valley, full of brilliantly colored trees and crisp, fresh air. It’s also home to a selection of incredible seasonal food and drink offerings, and we’re not talking about a certain pumpkin-spiced beverage. Aromatic, satisfying, and nostalgic — three words that come to mind when we think of fall flavors. Napa offers all the rich and savory cuisine you’d expect during the fall. So, before you sit down to Thanksgiving dinner at the end of the season, here are a few fabulous culinary experiences along our route, from sit-down meals to laid-back picnics, that celebrate all the mouth-watering tastes of fall.

A Leisurely Afternoon Grazing in Yountville

Treat yourself to the true spirit of Napa with wine, cheese, and a laid-back afternoon. Domaine Chandon, a name synonymous with quality and legendary sparkling wine, lets you pair your favorite bottle with locally made artisanal cheeses and charcuterie, thanks to the Garden Grazing package (It’s no secret, sparkling wine and charcuterie are a to-die-for pairing!). So grab your gourmet garden box filled with cured meats from Sonoma’s Journeyman Meat Salumeria and pair spicy soppressata with the creaminess of goat cheese from Northern California’s Humboldt Fog Cypress Grove. This combination absolutely sings with Domaine Chandon’s demi-sec sparkling and is the perfect way to relax as you enjoy these indulgent treats among the lush fall foliage.


Dine Overlooking the Vines in Oakville

If you’re looking for an elevated lunch with expertly curated pairings, seasonal menu items, and sweeping views, the Vineyard to Table Lunch at Robert Mondavi is your ideal dining experience. Settle in on the patio overlooking serene gardens and legendary To Kalon vines, and let the culinary team treat you to an unforgettable meal. Their seasonal menu features locally sourced items and gourmet fare that pair beautifully with The Estates Tier collection. Featuring Robert Mondavi’s notable bottles and hallmark Napa varietals, this collection delivers robust and perfect-for-fall Stags’ Leap cabernet sauvignon or the esteemed Fumé Blanc — a blend of zesty sauvignon blanc and rich sémillon. If you’re in the mood for casual tasting experiences while sampling the range of Mondavi’s portfolio, you’ve got options. The Estates Collection and To Kalon Reserve Tastings let you personalize your flight, savor small bites, and take in picturesque vineyard views.


Casual Al Fresco Fun in St. Helena

Is there anything better than spending a fall day outdoors with flowing wine, bountiful bites, and great company? V. Sattui is a charming family-owned vineyard on the Wine Train route that transports you to rustic Italian days gone by. Their artisan deli and marketplace — open daily — lets guests pair fantastic house-made charcuterie, savory paninis, and other fresh specialty food items with incredible scenery on their two-and-a-half acre picnic grounds. Sample house-made bresaola from the salumeria, choose from over 200 types of cheese, and top it all off with a seasonal fruit tart or espresso-infused tiramisu. Plus, on weekends, guests can enjoy a visit from the V. Sattui food truck, supplying grilled seasonal options, pizza, gourmet sweet treats, and more. Of course, a decadent fall picnic isn’t complete without a bottle of wine to keep you as warm as the vibrant autumn colors. Try pairing your charcuterie options with a bold cabernet, opulent zinfandel, or oaked chardonnay to round out the fall feast.


Great Tastes and Tours in Rutherford

Next stop, St. Supéry. This winery produces 100% estate-grown and certified Napa Green wines — a designation given to vineyards focused on reducing their carbon footprint. St. Supéry hosts a variety of tastings where guests can learn more about sustainable winemaking practices, including the Wine & Food Pairing Experience. Guests will enjoy a seated tasting of four estate wines paired with farm-to-table small bites sourced from the winery’s Culinary Garden and Dollarhide Estate Ranch. Book for November’s Taste of the Estate, and before or after your tasting, explore the expansive vineyard and gardens bursting with harvest season delights.


All Aboard For Romance on the Rails

Prefer to stay on board and away from the crowds with your significant other? Enjoy fabulous fall offerings in an intimate setting complete with fall scenery and seasonal fare. Make a dinner reservation for Romance on the Rails to wine and dine with your sweetheart. Executive Chef Rodrigo curates seasonal menus highlighting Napa’s harvest season bounty. Hosted in the Vista Dome, enjoy a gourmet dinner while taking in a dwindling fall sunset and the unparalleled starlit Napa sky.

These are just a few stops along the Wine Train Route celebrating the tastes of autumn. So, don’t wait. Plan your trip, ride the rails, and take in the glory of fall in Napa Valley.