We frequent wine country many times a year and it’s always a grand time! When planning a trip to wine country, there are so many regions to consider: Napa Valley, Sonoma, Healdsburg, Calistoga, St. Helena, and Yountville amongst others. We had never been to St. Helena before, so choosing this region was an easy choice! The charming town St. Helena is home to some of the country’s best wineries and restaurants. You can experience wineries that feature world class award-winning wines. You can dine at restaurants that feature farm-to-table menus showcasing the bounty of the region. St. Helena is excellent as a day trip or a weekend getaway. Use this guide to plan the perfect wine country getaway in St. Helena!
We planned our trip around the wineries in @sthelenaca‘s Little Book of Big Experiences Wine Passport. The book gives VIP Access to 14 of Napa Valley’s Favorite Wineries! Not only does it get you wine tastings at each place, but also unique experiences like food pairings and pours of rare batch wines. The book costs $75, but all the complementary wine tastings add up to over $800 in value! It’s such an incredible deal! You can purchase the book at sthelena.com/store
1. BRASSWOOD CELLARS
Brasswood Cellars is a small production winery with a gorgeous outdoor space, a cafe, and a full restaurant. The estate offers their wine in this location only. You can walk-in for a signature tasting or make an appointment for a luxurious experience in one of their private rooms. Brasswood Bar + Bakery + Kitchen uses the best of the season to drive their menu. We love to reserve this winery around brunch/lunch time.
2. AXR NAPA VALLEY
AXR Napa Valley is a historic winery surrounded by towering redwood trees and a very enchanting moss garden known as the “fairy garden.” Each of their tasting rooms are decorated in swoon-worthy mid-century modern decor. There’s plenty of outdoor space with heated lamps too. Come in to try their sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, and their big bold cabernet sauvignon.
3. BERINGER ESTATE
Beringer needs no introduction. Their grounds are vast. We did a self-guided walking tour with a glass of wine. You can also partake in a delicious flight of limited release wines ranging from light-bodied whites to fruit-driven reds.
4. HALL WINES
HALL is a modern art gallery + winery. The Wine and Art Exploration experience at HALL features some of the most internationally acclaimed artwork and structures. With over 35 pieces of contemporary art, this 150 year old winery is really one of its kind. They also have a grand lawn area, perfect for relaxing with your glass of cab.
We did the The Art of Cabernet Experience, a 60-minute exploration flight of five award-winning Cabernet Sauvignons.
6. EXPLORE MAIN STREET HISTORIC WALKING TOUR
St. Helena’s Main Street is dotted with boutique shops, art galleries, bakeries, cafes, and lots of photo ops!
The downtown is laden with much history. St. Helena was founded in 1876. The brick, stone, and woodwork buildings are all original, built in the late 1800’s. Even the streetlights (known as electroliers) can tell their own stories, they were installed in 1913 for the Vintage Festival.
7. ADMIRE ART GALLERIES
We visited countless galleries on Main Street, including MEUSE Gallery and Caldwell Snyder Gallery.
5. DINE IN A YURT AT CHARTER OAK RESTAURANT
The Charter Oak Restaurant is located in the heart of the Napa Valley. Their dishes are centered around a family-style dining experience with simple, approachable, and seasonal food. Expect grilled meats, beautiful vegetables from their 3.5-acre farm, local wines, and delicious cocktails.
We did their Yurt Dining experience, which was accompanied with it’s own menu. It was an intimate setting. We feasted on caviar, ceviche, black cod, duck, and many accompaniments.
8. BREAKFAST AT MODEL BAKERY
Model Bakery is known for their delicious baked goods, but one thing’s for sure: you have to order their Oprah Muffins. Made popular by Oprah Winfrey, these english muffins live up to the hype! Their croissants and muffins are also A+.
9. DINNER AT FARMSTEAD RESTAURANT AT LONG MEADOW RANCH
Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch is as farm-to-table-table as it gets in St. Helena. Their dishes feature the best of the season.
We love how their menu explains the ingredients that are in season, “Our estate-grown wine, olive oil, grass-fed highland beef and lamb, honey, and fresh eggs are featured on our menu year-round. This season, fresh from the farm ingredients include: meyer lemon, squash, broccolini, brussel sprouts, chicories, kale, lettuces, potatoes, celery, and fennel.”
Also, THEIR CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES ARE TO DIE FOR!
10. STAY AT WYDOWN HOTEL
We stayed at the charming Wydown Hotel. Location is everything! The boutique hotel features 12 warm rooms overlooking Main Street in St Helena. Their lobby is filled with beautiful and precious art pieces from local artists and galleries. The hotel also offers fresh complimentary breakfast.
Sthelena.com is a great resource to help you plan your St. Helena getaway.
For more inspiration for a trip to wine country, check out my detailed Travel Guide to Napa Valley and my Ultimate Sonoma Food and Travel Guide. If you have any questions, leave a comment below or message me on Instagram @croissantsandcaviar!
And as always, thanks for stopping by!