Wine Wednesday: What’s New in Napa Valley Wine Country

by Robin Barr Sussman on July 12, 2023 in Food+Drink,

Summer is sizzling in the Napa Valley as the grape harvest season gets under way. This famed wine country pocket has a lot in store for wine lovers right now, from Instagrammable tasting rooms in unexpected places to new resorts and updates of classics, and fine California cuisine served in cool spaces. If you live in Texas, cool sounds appealing right now, so here’s your getaway guide!

Harvest season in Napa. Photo courtesy Visit Napa Valley.

Wineries & Tasting Rooms


The Cypress House at ADAMVS. Courtesy photo.

If you reserve one winery tasting visit, make it ADAMVS near Calistoga by Denise and Stephen Adams. The elevated off-the-path boutique winery celebrates the magic of coveted Howell Mountain wines. Latin for “borne from our red earth,” ADAMVS reflects the estate’s highest elevation blocks comprised of iron-rich soils on Howell Mountain with three cuvees: TERES, QUINTVS, and ADAMVS. All three possess the purity, precision and elegant tannin structure reflective of the finest cabernet sauvignon – never heavy, always silky and bright with fruit. The ADAMVS French oak barrel fermented sauvignon blanc’s age-worthy style is unmistakable in textural and aromatic complexity – it’s unlike any other in the valley. Guest experiences are in the novel glass Cypress House tasting room or the Wine Library, both designed by architect Kurt Melander. The modern Wine Library has a retractable roof, a smaller tasting room for intimate dinner parties, a chef’s kitchen, and a wine collection. Advanced appointments required for private gatherings and tastings.

 Serge Sorokko Gallery + Martin Ray Tasting Room

Serge Sorokko Gallery with the Martin Ray Tasting Room. Photo Bruce Damonte.

This innovative tasting room resides inside a new art gallery downtown in the City of Napa. Art, award-winning wine and design converge at this one-of-a-kind experience within an architecturally stunning indoor-outdoor space. The gallery exhibits a rotating selection of American and European contemporary art, and the tasting room offers an evolving variety of single vineyard wines from Martin Ray Vineyards, one of the oldest wineries in California. The wine bar sells by the glass, bottle or case, including Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon, estate Russian River pinot noir, brut rosé sparkling and more. Sip and stroll the gallery or streetside underneath the shady breezeway.


Photo Courtesy Inglenook Estate.

One of the Napa Valley’s oldest and most historical wineries, now owned by director Francis Ford Coppola, recently added 22,000 feet of state-of-the-art wine caves to the old ones dating back to 1872. Chill out this summer with a Salon Tasting Flight hosted in the cave served with cheese and charcuterie. Or choose other experiences like the Heritage Tasting of red wines (including the flagship Rubicon), a private Library Tasting & Tour, or the Inglenook Bistro experience – a casual alfresco tasting under a canopy of trees with small plates on offer. The sprawling chateau winery, located in the town of Rutherford, is in high demand, so reserve ahead.

Elusa Winery at The Four Seasons Resort Napa Valley

Elusa Winery at the Four Seasons. Courtesy photo.

Off the Silverado Trail in the once sleepy town of Calistoga, The Four Seasons has vineyard views literally from every point of its property. The resort sports restaurants, an on-site winery, spa, heated pools with cabanas, and a bocce court. Its Elusa Winery is just steps from your villa. Tasting sessions are guided by wine experts and feature several organic cabernet sauvignon wines crafted by world-class winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown and Jonathan Walden.

Post at Carneros Resort & Spa

The Post at Carneros Tasting Room. Courtesy photo.

Carneros Resort is amazing on its own, but it just got better. Post, its new wine tasting room, a former post office, returns to its roots as a social hub with wine tasting by the glass or flights. The wine selections celebrate Sonoma and Napa Valley wine regions and tasting can be enjoyed indoors and the picture-perfect outdoors. The resort’s MARKET is adjacent to the tasting room and stocked with snacks, salads, cheeses and artisanal pizza.

Where to Stay

Meadowood Napa Valley

Tree House Room at Meadowood Spa. Courtesy photo.

The iconic resort near St. Helena recently completed extensive remodeling and refreshing its property. Besides world-class service and a beautiful wine country setting nestled among 250-acres of hilly forest, its highlights are many. Guest cottages and suites are extraordinary with vaulted wood-beam ceilings, a seating area with wood-burning fireplace, coffee bar, balconies and a roomy shaded terrace. The property has a restaurant, three pools, cabanas, hiking trails, tennis courts, and an award-winning spa (reserve the Zen-like treehouse for a couple’s treatment). Why ever leave? 

Stanly Ranch

Photo Courtesy Stanly Ranch.

New to the City of Napa area is Stanley Ranch, part of the Auberge Resorts Collection. This concept is wine country casual situated on 712 acres of vineyards and ranch land providing lots of breathing room. The property has two pools (one is a lavender pool), a state-of-the-art spa, three restaurants, a garden, and a fitness center. Guest rooms are luxurious with fireplaces, heated bathroom floors, patios and an outdoor shower – in case you need an extra!


Photo Courtesy Solage.

This modern farmhouse-inspired resort in Calistoga is as cool as a cucumber. It recently got a refresh with renovations to all guestrooms, suites, and public spaces, and a new restaurant named PicoBar, which is designed as a modern barn. One of the main attractions is the spa with five geothermal pools for detoxifying rituals, as well as restorative and transformative spa treatments.

Where to Eat
New and classics

RH Yountville Restaurant

Photo Courtesy RH Restaurant.

The first standalone restaurant for Restoration Hardware is still the best. The vintage stone building with an Insta-worthy design will grab you – think dozens of modern chandeliers, towering ceilings and a historical wine vault. But the food – and the heavenly patio with a giant fireplace – will keep you coming back. The menu is classic American, and every dish is solidly executed. Try the grilled salmon, roasted wild mushrooms, or lobster roll.

The Charter Oak

The Charter Oak patio. Courtesy photo.

This restaurant in the heart of the Napa Valley is by chef Christopher Kostow of the Michelin three-starred The Restaurant at Meadowood. The dining experience is centered on a celebratory, family-style meal with simple and seasonal fare. Expect a menu of grilled meats, seafood, and produce highlighting the beautiful local products of the Napa Valley and beyond, including vegetables grown from Charter Oak’s nearby farm.

Bottega Napa Valley

Photo Courtesy Bottega.

Celebrity chef Michael Chiarello’s bustling Yountville spot seems to be a hit with everyone. Share some antipasti, tuck into a rich pasta like ravioli or risotto, or splurge on grilled bistecca or herb-crusted branzino. Sip on plenty of Italian-style cocktails and Italian wines.

Ad Hoc + Addendum

Photo Courtesy Ad Hoc.

This casual restaurant in Yountville by famed chef Thomas Keller serves American comfort food like fried chicken, pot roast, and yep, barbecue. Lighter fare includes beautiful salads. Expect a daily-changing menu and Sunday brunch.

Mangia Mi

Photo Courtesy Mangia Mi.

Newcomer Mangia Mi in Calistoga has an open kitchen and an ever changing chalkboard-style menu. Come hungry for house made pastas, giant meatballs with red sauce, fresh seafood, pizzas and a wine list boasting local vineyards.

Oakville Grocery

Photo Courtesy Oakville Grocery.

This 1881-circa roadside landmark in Oakville is the place to stop for great sandwiches and other picnic provisions while out wine tasting. Oakville Grocery also serves a Cali-fresh breakfast.

Oxbow Public Market

Oxbow Market. Photo David H. Collier, courtesy Visit Napa Valley.

The city of Napa keeps growing, and Oxbow is a welcome gathering space for enjoying food and drink. Expect mini versions of some local spots including burger fave Gott’s Roadside, The Model Bakery, Napa Valley Distillery, Bar Lucia, and much more!

Morimoto Asia

Napa River in the City of Napa near Morimoto Asia. Photo David H. Collier, courtesy Visit Napa Valley.

Also in downtown Napa on the Napa River is this newcomer from celeb-chef Morimoto – you may have seen him on the TV Food Network. The menu is vast with rice and noodles, dim sum, beef and chicken specialties, tons of seafood dishes, and shareable appetizers like sashimi and duck tacos.


Cover photo courtesy Visit Napa Valley

Robin Barr Sussman ( is a freelance culinary and travel writer who studied at the Culinary Institute of America Greystone, Calif. As a chef for Sonoma County wineries, her specialty was food and wine pairing. Sussman is a columnist for Houston CityBook Magazine, Prime Living and Houston House & Home. Her work also appears in Texas Monthly, Fodor’s and Private Clubs Magazine.