The 10 Best Wine & Food Pairings at Napa Valley Wineries

  • Food
  • by DAISY BARRINGER
  • on JUNE 4, 2024
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Food

The 10 Best Wine & Food Pairings at Napa Valley Wineries

By Daisy Barringer June 4, 2024

Gone are the days when the only food you could procure at a Napa Valley winery was breadsticks, maybe a cheese plate, and, if you were really lucky, a gourmet picnic lunch. Today, more and more Napa wineries are leaning into the idea that wine is best enjoyed with food.

In fact, many wineries are hiring talented chefs to work directly with the winemakers to create food menus that pair perfectly with the wines and also showcase the region’s seasonal bounty—much of which is often grown on the Wine Country estates and is just as, if not even more, delicious than any meal one would get dining at a restaurant. It’s a chance for visitors to elevate the typical wine tasting experience while relaxing with a fantastic meal and learning more about the wine than they ever would standing in a tasting room. Read on to learn about 10 Napa Valley wineries that are offering exceptional wine and culinary journeys of all kinds.

Hess Person Estates
Photo Courtesy of Hess Persson Estates.

One of the region’s oldest wineries on Mount Veeder, Hess Persson Estates expresses this rugged terrain through its elegant and balanced wines. Hess provides several unique food and wine tasting experiences for visitors. Reserve the Tour of the Palate for a walking tour of the Hess Art Collection, followed by a tasting of limited-production, estate wines paired with a three-course menu from Executive Chef Chad Hendrickson. There’s also an ATV Vineyard Tour, for those gourmands feeling a bit more adventurous. After a tour of the estate on a luxurious ATV, you’ll sit down for a memorable food and wine tasting.

4411 Redwood Road, Napa, CA 94558, (707) 255-1144

Food and Wine Pairing Experiences at Clif Family Winery
Food and Wine Pairing Experiences. Photo Courtesy of Clif Family Winery.

Clif Family Winery strives to create a more sustainable world through the enjoyment of wine and food. Winemaker Laura Barrett and Executive Chef Magnus Young have created several exceptional tasting experiences that pair the winery’s small-production Howell Mountain Estate wines with organic, seasonal produce directly from the Clif Family Farm. The best way to start your day is with the brunch-inspired Rise & Wine tasting. If you’re a Mountain-grown wine aficionado, reserve the King of the Mountain experience. You’ll sip on four Howell Mountain wines and eat expertly created bites that highlight and showcase the nuances of each wine. All tastings occur on the outdoor terrace with vineyard views during the warmer months, or by the intimate fireside during the cooler months.

709 Main Street, St. Helena, CA 94574, (707) 968-0625

Arch & Tower
Enjoy wine, housemade bites, and river views at Arch & Tower in downtown Napa. Photo courtesy of Arch & Tower

Robert Mondavi, the first person to open a major winery in Napa Valley after Prohibition, was known for his appreciation of wine and food, so it only makes sense that his iconic winery would offer culinary experiences. While the actual Robert Mondavi winery undergoes renovations, visitors can head over to its brand-new location in downtown Napa, called Arch & Tower. Here, experiences are designed to take visitors through an exploration of wine, food, and culture. Don’t miss The Legend Lunch, a leisurely lunch that takes place at communal tables by the Napa River, showcasing three internationally-inspired (yet locally-sourced) courses paired with wines from The Estates Collection. For something on the lighter side, the Arch & Tower Golden Hour is a great option, featuring wines by the glass and snacks a la carte offered until 7:00 PM daily.

930 3rd Street, Napa, CA 94559, (707) 766-6328 x2

Silverado Vineyards
Photo courtesy of Silverado Vineyards

Nestled in the picturesque Stags Leap District, Silverado Vineyards has been dedicated to crafting exceptional small-lot, estate-grown wines for nearly four decades. Here, visitors are not only treated to breathtaking views of the Valley but can also indulge in the winery’s new Wine & Caviar experience. This luxurious offering features four white wines, a special pour of Cabernet, and indulgent caviar, accompanied by house-made potato chips and crème fraîche. It’s an opportunity to elevate the typical wine tasting experience, all while soaking in the stunning surroundings.

6121 Silverado Trail, Napa, CA 94558, (707) 257-1770

Round Pond Estate.
Sit on the terrace while you enjoy a culinary journey through Wine Country. Photo Courtesy of Round Pond Estate

Located in the prestigious Rutherford AVA in Napa Valley, Round Pond is known for its high-end Cabernet Sauvignon, gorgeous estate with views of the Mayacamas Mountains, and olive oil production. During the Il Pranzo food and wine tasting experience, guests go on a culinary journey that begins with a tour of the winery garden, vineyards, and olive grove, followed by a four-course food and wine pairing featuring ingredients seen on the tour. It’s a beautiful (and delicious) way to spend a day in Wine Country.

875 Rutherford Road, Rutherford, CA 94573, (707) 302-2575

Taste of Cabernet Experience at Sequoia Grove
A Taste of Cabernet Wine Tasting Experience. Photo Courtesy of Sequoia Grove.

This family-owned winery in Rutherford is a picturesque stop in Napa Valley, thanks to its historic tasting barn—constructed in 1908—set amidst towering Sequoia redwoods and sustainably-farmed vines. Photo ops aside, Sequoia Grove is a must-visit for its A Taste For Cabernet wine and food experience. Highlighting four culinary delights prepared in-house to enhance the flavors in the wine, Taste of Cabernet is a delicious way to discover why and how Napa Cabernet Sauvignon pairs well with a variety of foods.

8338 St. Helena Highway, Rutherford, CA 94558, (707) 339-5757

Enjoy classic Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. PEJU
Enjoy classic Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Photo Courtesy of PEJU Winery.

Peju Winery makes excellent Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot and also focuses on the guest experience, which makes it a popular Wine Country destination. The Napa Valley Rutherford estate is home to immaculate lawns, gorgeous gardens, meandering footpaths, and a 50-foot tower with a weathered copper roof that is home to the tasting room. The Reserve Tasting Experience features five of the winemaker’s favorite reserve, small-lot wines and comes with seasonal culinary accompaniments. You can also add a cheese plate to your Classic Seated Tasting or the Chef’s Sampler, which is available from Friday through Sunday. If you’re a member, you can reserve the exclusive Wine and Food Pairing experience.

8466 St. Helena Highway, Rutherford, CA 94573, (707) 963-3600

Louis M. Martini tasting experience
Enjoy a wonderfully prepared wine and food pairing experience. Photo Courtesy of Louis M. Martini.

Louis M. Martini has been crafting world-class Cabernet Sauvignon since 1933 and is one of Napa’s most iconic wineries. The winery offers several opportunities for food pairings, including the exclusive Underground Cellar Tasting, set in the historic underground cellar and featuring small-lot and library wines paired with fine-dining restaurant-worthy culinary creations. For a more relaxed visit that’s perfect for larger groups (up to ten people), there’s an Outdoor Cabana Tasting where guests enjoy a family-style, picnic-like meal of Italian-inspired cuisine paired with four wines.

254 St. Helena Highway, St. Helena, CA 94574, (707) 968-3362

Brian Arden Wines in Napa Valley
5-Course Farm-to-Table Experience. Photo Courtesy of Brian Arden Wines.

Brian Arden Wines is a small family-owned business that produces less than 2,500 cases a year, and a relative newcomer to Napa Valley’s Calistoga region having “just” opened in 2015, but the winery has already made a name for itself when it comes to hospitality. The Chef Experience begins with a glass of wine and a tour of the property, which leads to a “substantial lunch” prepared by the winery’s own chef and pairings, all while watching them prepare the meal in their open kitchen.

331 Silverado Trail N, Calistoga, CA 94515, (707) 942-4767

Ashes & Diamonds Winery
Photo Courtesy of Ashes & Diamonds Winery

A relative newcomer to the Napa Valley scene, Ashes & Diamonds opened in 2017 to immediate fanfare. The winery has a mid-century modern vibe meant to appeal to a younger crowd, but wine enthusiasts of all ages will appreciate the casual, family-style “California Nouvelle-inspired” food experience. The Wines + Food experience includes a luncheon that features fresh and wood-fired dishes, all made with seasonal ingredients, paired perfectly with a selection of Ashes & Diamonds wine.

4130 Howard Lane, Napa, CA 94558, (707) 666-4777

Conclusion

Also worth noting are these Napa Valley wineries that serve tasty and elevated snacks for those looking for a pairing that’s on the lighter side. Handwritten Wines offers a Bread & Butter experience, featuring four wines poured side-by-side with white truffle potato chips, Bouchon Bakery baguette, artisan butter, Coppa Salame, and P’tit Basque cheese. Priest Ranch Winery goes bold with a Bacon & Wine experience, which is exactly what it sounds like. At Silver Trident Winery, the Potato Chip Extravaganza is a crunchy, fun, salty way to taste wine, as is the Savory Cookie Pairing that can be added to any tasting flight at Tamber Bey Vineyards. For those who prefer something a little more high-brow, Davies Vineyard hosts a Wine & Caviar Brunch on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday mornings.