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Wine/Food advice/refinement for First Napa/Sonoma/Russian River Valley Experience

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Wine/Food advice/refinement for First Napa/Sonoma/Russian River Valley Experience

shariberri | Jun 12, 2017 08:51 PM

Hello CHs, hopefully some of you will take a moment to provide some much valued advice!
DH and I are headed to Napa/Sonoma for the first time and are so excited, but also overwhelmed with planning! I am looking for input on food/wine. We have some firm plans and some recommendations and I've spent time reading as many recent posts as I could find.
We have three nights in Napa (staying at Village) and three nights in Sonoma (staying at Beltane Ranch).

Napa Food:
We are going to The French Laundry (beyond excited!!) on our third night in Napa- this is the standout plan of our entire trip of course. I just booked Ad Hoc for our first night. second night I'm not sure what to add in. I did look at The Restaurant at Meadowood- not sure if this is overkill given that we are headed to TFL. Is there another style/chef that we would be wise to enjoy in Napa?

For other meals we wondered about Bouchon for dinner (will we be in Thomas Keller overload?) and for picnic items, Auberge du Soleil for a drink. I have had two people recommend Redd but I don't think it gets much CH love? Other places suggested were Bottega and Hurley's

Napa Wine:
Grigich is our only must do.
We hear Sterling is worth while for the view/tram
Any thoughts about Quintessa, Fantesca or Caymus
Where should we head for great Zinfandel/Chardonnay and what about Sparkling wines?

Sonoma Food:
We are fairly open here. Only thing booked is Farmhouse Inn on our last night.
Have read good things about Fremont and Cochon Volant BBQ Smoke House- which one? Also Girl and the Fig and Idlewild Salumi?

Are there any great markets or bakery we should hit for a night in/low key picnic?

Sonoma Wine:
At more of a loss here. Any stand out experiences?
We know we would like to spend one day exploring RRV and Merry Edwards is on our list.
Any thoughts on Lynmar?

I am not sure how much to plan and how much to just let unfold! Thank you to all that made it to the end of my post, and TIA for your feedback!!

The French Laundry,
Ad Hoc,
The Restaurant at Meadowood,
Bouchon Bistro,
Auberge du Soleil, an Auberge Resort,
Redd Restaurant,
Bottega Napa Valley,
Hurley's,
Farmhouse Inn,
Cochon Volant,
The Girl & The Fig,
Terrapin Creek,
Glen Ellen Star,
the fig cafe & winebar,
Healdsburg SHED,
Diavola Pizzeria & Salumeria,
Idlewild Wines
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