Ashes & Diamonds Winery
4130 Howard Ln., Napa
Sitting somewhere between a community gathering hub and a winery, Ashes & Diamonds, a new Napa Valley-owned spot by Kashy Khaledi is looking to shake things up. Khaledi cut his teeth as an ad exec at the likes of Capitol Records and MTV before deciding to get into the wine business. The first clue that Ashes & Diamond is unlike any other winery in the Napa Valley is the design: porthole windows, stark white facade, and mid-century modern furnishings are a nod to the Napa Valley of the 1960s thanks to LA-based architect Barbara Bestor. As for the wine itself, Khaledi brought in organic and biodynamic wine makers Steve Matthiasson and Diana Snowden Seysses who are churning out a particularly good Blanc (a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon from three vineyards in the Oak Knoll District and Yountville). And, in a true nod to his music roots, Khaledi tapped Brian Roettinger, who concepted the album cover of Jay-Z’s Magna Carta Holy Grail, to design the wine labels. Their yearly membership program starts at three bottles ($345), and perks include access to the "leaders and conspirators" conversation series, plus,…
3200 Monticello Rd., Napa
Simply striking, in all ways: The Kenzo Estate is owned by Japanese-American businessman and vintner Kenzo Tsujimoto and is a work that marries his affinity for the region, wine, and simple aesthetics. After falling in love with Napa Valley decades ago, Tsujimoto debuted his wine in 2008 to much acclaim–but it wasn’t until 2010 that is dream of opening a tasting room for the public came true. Nestled in a drop-dead gorgeous valley, the estate covers 3,800 acres that include sweeping vineyards and a tasting room.
Robert Sinskey Vineyards
6320 Silverado Trail, Napa
This laid-back vineyard is one of the few places in Napa that's known for excellent Pinots, so it's a great way to break up the schedule if you're trying to squeeze in multiple vineyards in a day. The newly-renovated tasting room includes a huge fireplace for cooking in the great hall, which promises to be a welcome addition to their already-impressive food and wine pairing program.
6154 Silverado Trail, Napa
For a sophisticated, grown-up tasting experience, book an appointment at Shafer Vineyards. They're some of the most respected and longstanding winemakers in the valley, and their Chardonnay and Merlot (which you'll sip in their clean-lined, warmly decorated tasting room, with sweeping views of the property) are classics.
Oxbow Public Market, 644 1st St., Bldg. B, Napa
Okay, we know it's random, but Model makes the best English muffins (yes, they're that good). Oversized and layered with cornmeal, they're insanely light and often-copied. Model has been an institution in the area for almost 100 years, which means you can also trust them for great bread if you're putting together a picnic with other items from Oxbow. They also have a location in St. Helena.
Oxbow Public Market
644 First St., Napa
Oxbow Public Market is kind of like a gourmet farmers' market that's open 24/7, with vendors ranging from a vegetable grocer, to a wineshop, to an ice cream parlor. It's also home to some of our other favorites in the area, like Gott's and Hog Island Oyster.
6150 Silverado Trail, Napa
The historic, ivy-covered stone building where Stags' Leap hosts its tastings was built in 1890 using stone mined in a local quarry. The building and its lush grounds, which feature a bocce court, fruit orchard, native plant gardens, and an ancient stone cellar, are steeped in the history of the region; the house is even rumored to be haunted by a friendly ghost.