Napa Valley Weekend: A Local Does the Town
By Jennie Haug*
As an 11-year resident and wife of a third generation local, I relish the opportunity to share my Napa Valley perspective with visitors, so join me on a local’s weekend exploration of the valley.
Our first stop is Artesa Vineyards & Winery in Carneros. Artesa features striking modern architecture, dramatic art, sparkling fountains and panoramic views of Carneros and the San Pablo bay. The wines are numerous, reasonably priced and very good.
Of particular interest at Artesa is the horizontal tasting of Pinot Noirs from Russian River and Carneros as well as a California blend. Artesa is also one of a handful of Napa Valley wineries to produce wines from the Spanish grape varieties Albarino and Tempranillo. A stroll into the Carneros Center reveals a topographical map and illuminative information about this special grape growing region. We explore the museum just off the tasting room, which offers a history of winemaking and a tribute to Artesa’s owner, Cordiníu of Spain and features wine related artifacts from as early as the 6th century B.C.
Artesa Vineyards & Winery
1345 Henry Road off Old Sonoma Road, Napa
Visitors Center: open daily 10am – 5pm
Complimentary winemaking tours at 11am and 2pm daily
No appointment necessary except for groups of 8 or more
Getting there: Artesa Vineyards & Winery is located in Carneros at the southwestern area of the Napa Valley. From the city of Napa, proceed south on Highway 29 to Highway 12/121 and drive west for 6 miles. Turn right at Old Sonoma Road, and take the first left onto Dealy Lane (which becomes Henry Road). Proceed 1½ miles to Artesa’s entrance, located on the left.
Eager to sample a few more wines and enjoy a snack, we wander to the Bounty Hunter Wine Bar in downtown Napa. Bounty Hunter features wines by the flight, glass or bottle, an eclectic selection of artisan beer and a short but tasty menu. Bounty Hunter also offers their unique and sought-after selection of “rare wines and provisions” in a celebrated biannual catalogue. An enormous selection of over 400 wines lines the exposed brick walls. We enjoy a generous plate of about eight different cheeses, and wash it down with sparkling wine and beer. The highlights of the cheese plate are a crumbly 5-year aged Gouda and a plush sour cream Brie.
975 First Street at Main Street, Napa
Sunday – Thursday 11am – 10pm
Friday & Saturday 11am – 1am (food served until 12am)
* Jennie Haug has lived in the Napa Valley for over a decade and works in the wine industry