NAPA Valley: Fork in Hand…
FORK IN HAND
NAPA VALLEY’S “CULINARY CRUSHPAD” SIGNS ON TOP TOQUE, SECURES LEED PLATINUM STATUS, ADDS THREE TASTING SALONS and
RE-BRANDS/EXPANDS LUXURY PROPERTY
– From Swank to Funk, Town Delivers Diverse Mix of Tourism Options-
YOUNTVILLE – NAPA VALLEY, CA. (Spring/2010) – This Michelin six star town continues its evolution as Napa Valley’s top culinary outpost with a wealth of new options for travelers. Shift gears for a different take on touring California wine country with a tapestry of walk-friendly tasting rooms, bike-ready wineries and palate-blowing restaurants.
ON THE NEWS FRONT
Bardessono Goes Platinum – This 62-room eco-chic property sporting a green spa, underground geothermal system and smart guestrooms received the coveted LEED Platinum Certification (Feb./2010). The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) award was based on a number of green design and construction features that positively impact the hotel, restaurant and spa as well as the broader community. Bardessono is the third hotel in the world and second property in the nation to receive this distinction. www.bardessono.com
Somerston Wine Company Taps Yountville with $1 Million Project – Due to debut May/2010, the newly-constructed 4,000 sq. ft., retail/tasting venue will feature wines from the company’s three brands: Priest Ranch, Highflyer and Somerston as well as a locavore café, art and regional entertainment. The old world Italian-style design features a patio and rooftop terrace with floors and furniture milled from salvaged woods off the 1700-acre ranch. www.somerstonvineyards.com
French Laundry only California restaurant to make the Cut – In its eighth year, the S. Pellegrino’s World’s 50th Best Restaurant 2010, judged by an 806-member panel of the globe’s most venerated chefs, food critics and gourmands named the Laundry California’s ONLY restaurant winner. Eight other winners are in the U.S., six in France, five in Spain and Italy. Danish restaurant Noma took first place. Just in, James Beard Foundation has anointed Timothy Hollingsworth of the Laundry its Rising Star Chef of the Year Award, 2010. www.theworlds50best.com; www.frenchlaundry.com.
Seal the Deal – California’s “culinary crushpad”ups its epicurean ante with the addition of Hillstone Restaurant Group – mother ship of Houston’s, Gulfstream, R&D restaurants – firing up its stoves. The 20,000 sq. ft., shopping center, formerly housing Napa Valley Grille, will debut with a new eatery following renovation. Timeline TBD. Fork to Mouth: Yountville sports 13 restaurants and six Michelin stars within one square mile. Newcomers include Cantinetta Piero (2010), Bardessono (2009) and Bottega (2008). www.hillstone.com.
The Yountville Rebrands – The Yountville Inn has undergone a massive renovation and rebranding to The Yountville. Raising the bar on luxury digs, the property will feature 80 guestrooms and suites (expanded from 51) from 500 sq. ft. to 1050 sq. ft., walk in showers for two, soaking tubs, private patios, fireplaces, native fieldstone exteriors, Italian linens and a sleek Neo Classical décor. A new 4000 sq. ft., spa, bistro and wedding and event space serving 125 is also slated. The property is due to debut in the fall/2010.
New Swirling Venues – Two new wineries step up making Yountville one of the most walk-friendly tasting treks around. New: Self-proclaimed “Garagiste” winemaker Bryan Page opens Page Wine Cellars, showcasing Bordeaux-style blends and single varietal expressions from Revolver Wine Company. The salon is an homage to rock and roll with a 22-inch disco ball, wall dedicated to “The Man” — Johnny Cash – selection of showcase guitars and memorabilia. Next door, Cornerstone Cellars hits a high note serving two limited production Cabernet Sauvignons under the direction of winemaker Jeff Keene. The airy lounge, set in white and crimson, is the perfect stop between bites at Bistro Jeanty and Bottega. www.pagewinecellars.com, www.cornerstonecellars.com.
Kapcsandy Family Winery Cab Hits 100 Points – Tucked on a side street just east of town, this family-run winery is putting out some killer juice, as evidenced by Robert Parker’s recent 100 point score for the 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon. The Kapcsandy’s, Hungarian émigrés who tapped Beringer’s Star Lane Vineyard then replanted it under the reign of Helen Turley and John Wetlaufer, welcome visitors by appointment. www.kapcsandywines.com
Napa Valley Museum adds Gallery – Showcasing the permanent exhibit “Land and People of the Napa Valley” this display of rare artifacts opened April/2010 near the Lincoln Theater, Napa Valley. www.napavalleymuseum.org.
Vita Restaurant Starts Construction – Construction has started on Laura Cunningham’s new Italian eatery — Vita – named for her grandmother, Vita Morrell. The concept is an upscale Sicilian restaurant with the Thomas Keller Restaurant Group managing its day to day operations. The remodel of the 130-seat restaurant set in the former PJ Steak restaurant is expected to be extensive and is slated to include a pizza oven and bar among other amenities. 2011 debut.
Site of Napa Valley’s first planted vines (1838), Yountville sits at the epicenter of the region’s culinary scene sporting the Valley’s top-ranked restaurants (six Michelin stars), 24+ wineries and/or producers and 11 lodging properties. An ideal base for the avid oenophile, Yountville offers the county’s only hot air ballooning launch, five National Register of Historic Places sites, a microclimate pedigree with its own AVA, world-class shopping and performing arts. Located 55 mi./88 km. north of San Francisco, travelers can arrive via scenic Highway 29 or via Napa County Airport, Sacramento (SMF), Oakland (OAK) or San Francisco (SFO) international airports. For more information and travel inquiries, contact the Yountville Chamber of Commerce at 707.944.0904 or www.yountville.com.
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