We frequent wine country many times a year and it’s always a grand time! When planning a trip to wine country, there are many regions to consider: Napa Valley, Sonoma, Healdsburg, Calistoga, and Yountville amongst others. The charming town St. Helena is located within the Napa Valley. It’s 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 trip. Use this guide to plan the perfect wine country getaway in St. Helena!
St. Helena Napa Valley Highlights
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1. Peju Winery
The grounds of Peju Winery is a fairytale dream. It’s lush, dotted with fountains and sculptures, a coi pond, and a castle. Come here to enjoy reds, whites, and bubbly. We opted for their signature PEJU Wine and Dine experience where guests are offered a private seating and a private host. Our dining experience was set up in the vineyards, and it was surreal being surrounded by ripe cabernet sauvignon grapes on all sides! We Indulged in four courses of culinary wonder paired to perfection with wines. Afterwards, we enjoyed a glass of wine and took the self-guided garden art walk through the property’s historic grounds.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. Silverado Vineyards
Silverado Vineyards sustainably farm 360 acres across six estate vineyards in the Napa Valley. From these, the winery produces estate and single-vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, and Chardonnay as well as a variety of other small production wines. Enjoy a table-side wine service from a host will introduce you to their history, winemaking styles, and the unique characteristics of each wine while you enjoy the views of the Stags Leap District. We paired our wine with caviar!
5. Schramsberg Vineyards
Explore Schramsberg historic caves while sipping on limited production sparkling wines. Schramsberg Vineyards focuses on producing the finest and most complex handcrafted sparkling wines in California, and we could definitely taste the difference! They ferment using Méthode Traditionelle, the same process used by Champagne from France. It’s a labor-intensive and costly process whereby wine undergoes a secondary fermentation inside the bottle, creating bubbles. These bottles then age in their underground cave to mature and become complex. Their cave tour and delicious bubbly tasting, without a doubt, one of my favorite experiences in wine country and I can’t want to return!
6. 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.
7. 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.
1. 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.
2. Luxury Shopping at Elyse Walker
Elyse Walker is a luxury boutique in the heart of St.Helena downtown. They carry lots of hand-picked styles from Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga, Dior, Valentino, YSL, and more.
3. Admire Art Galleries
We visited countless galleries on Main Street, including MEUSE Gallery and Caldwell Snyder Gallery.
1. Acacia House by Chris Cosentino
Acacia House is located within the Alila Napa Valley hotel’s restored Georgian farmhouse. They’re all about farm-to-table, showcasing Napa’s best local organic, and sustainable ingredients. Their herbs are hand picked from their garden. Enjoy a relaxed and refined evening, sipping local wines, signature cocktails, and incredible culinary creations.
2. 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.
3. 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+.
4. 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!
1. Alila Napa Valley
Alila Napa Valley is a boutique luxury resort. It’s a modern oasis with a sprinkle of Napa Valley charm. The luxe suites overlook the Beringer vineyards, so the views are beathtaking! The rooms are luxurious. Ours was outfitted with a soaking tub and fire pit on the balcony. The hotel has a full spa, a farm-to-table restaurant, and a heated pool with cabanas to enjoy the crisp valley air (which is now perfumed with sweet ripe grapes). It’s a quick 10-minute walk to the St.Helena’s downtown shops and restaurants
2. Wydown Hotel
We stayed at the charming Wydown Hotel during our first trip. 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!