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"Gourmet" picnicking in Napa Valley (Oakville Grocery Co)?

KK | May 15, 200510:31 PM

So in Frommers, Fodors and other travel books, one recommendation they have when dining al fresco in Napa is picking up or pre-ordering a custom picnic basket from Oakville Grocery Company, then heading towards a winery, asking for their permission perhaps after a winery tour, to dine at their grounds (along with some wine tasting if you paid for it).

So I have some questions for the hounds who have done this before:

Is Oakville Grocery co. worth the hype for the picnic basket? I've been to their website and I don't see anything remarkably interesting. The missus isn't into cheese and/or salami, and having just those and bread might not be worth the $$ they seem to be charging. Assuming that is not the "custom basket", what are your recommendations for customizing? The sandwiches seem to be a safe it better to call ahead?

How does Oakville Grocery's "custom picnic baskets for two" compared to Dean & Deluca's (in St Helena I assume?)

Finally, once I pick up my picnic basket, what are some of the more nicer and easily available spots for this? I suppose Coppola or Mondavi are on the way, but those are last resorts. We're not crazy about wine, but do want to take a tour and be able to enjoy lunch on the grounds tables. Does this mean I have to bring the basket with me all the way?

Thaaaaaaanks :-)

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