Napa & Sonoma Travel Guide

Discover some of Crystal’s favorite things to do in Napa & Sonoma.



Madrona Manor – A beautiful Victorian B&B in the heart of Sonoma County with a fabulous Michelin rated restaurant on premise. This is one of the best meals we’ve had out there. Fantastic sommelier and chef team! Fine dining at its best.

1001 Westside Rd, Healdsburg, CA
(800) 258-400

Scopa, Downtown Healdsburg, Sonoma – Head here for a taste of Italy in CA. You definitely need reservations. We enjoy sitting at the bar in the back. It’s very authentic. You have to try the chef’s “Nonna Chicken” with polenta served in a cast iron crock. I never order chicken out, but this was fantastic! This is casual and delicious! Crazy good deals on Italian wines.

109 A Plaza Street
Healdsburg, CA
(707) 433-5282

Auberge de Soleil, Rutherford – This is a fantastic dining experience! They offer multiple courses with wine pairings. Make sure to get a table on the balcony overlooking all of Napa Valley when you make your reservation. This was the highlight of our honeymoon. They also have a sister property Angele in downtown Napa, that is amazing.

180 Rutherford Hill Road
Rutherford, CA
(800) 348-5406

Bounty Hunter, Downtown Napa – Looking for something a little more casual that appeals to both sexes, this is the place! Wine bar &BBQ under one roof. Rustic, casual, great wine list (40 wines by the glass) and great food!

975 First Street, Napa, CA
(707) 226-3976

Bottega, Yountville, California – Chef Michael Chiarello’s signature restaurant does not disappoint. This is a must stop on all of my trips to the region. Authentic, rustic Italian cuisine at its best. We also were in for a special treat, on our last visit. Chiarello personally stopped by our table for a quick chat. While you’re there, make sure to visit Napa Style, Chiarello’s home goods store,  which is located next door to the restaurant.  You can sample an array of delicious olive oils, sip on a glass of wine and savor a delicious panini while you shop at Napa Style. (Picture from left to right: Chef Michael Chiarello, Crystal Cameron & her husband Tom Schaad)

6525 Washington Street, Yountville, CA
(707) 945-1050


Oakville Grocery, – A perfect place to pick up a picnic lunch (gourmet items & sandwiches) for your wine tasting journey. They have a location in Napa & Sonoma.

7856 St. Helena Highway, Oakville, CA

124 Matheson Street, Healdsburg, CA

Oxbow Market, Downtown Napa – Another awesome place to pick up a picnic lunch for a day of wine tasting. From gourmet cheeses and charcuterie to fresh baked breads and chocolates, all your culinary need are covered here.

610 & 644 1st St Napa CA

Wineries/Vineyards/Tasting Rooms

John Anthony Tasting Room, Downtown Napa – A really great place for a glass of wine before dinner or a nightcap. They also have a vineyard that you can tour, but this was by far one of the better “tasting rooms.” We purchased a bottle that we are holding onto for our 5th anniversary.

1440 First Street, Napa, CA
(707) 265-7711

Cakebread Cellars, Napa – Beautiful grounds, great tour. They have fantastic wine club.

8300 St Helena Hwy
Napa, CA

Grgich Hills, Napa – Winemaker and owner Mike Grgich is a legend. He is the winemaker responsible for the award-winning 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay that won the prestigious 1976 Judgement of Paris. This little event is what put American wine on the international wine map.

1829 St Helena Hwy
Rutherford, CA
(707) 963-2784

Jordan Winery, Healdsburg, Sonoma – One of my absolute favorites! The family modeled this estate after Chateau Margaux in Bordeaux France. It’s majestic especially during the fall. Take the tour and you will be treated to a vertical flight of library wines in their hidden library. Appointments required!

1474 Alexander Valley Rd
Healdsburg, CA 95448
(707) 431-5250

A. Raffanelli Winery, Healdsburg, Sonoma – 4th generation winemakers from Italy. Reminiscint of a Tuscan estate. Very rustic. Best Zinfandels in California (in my humble opinion). Appointments required. They don’t have a formal tasting room, but if you can get in they will take you on personal tour through the caves and you’ll taste wines in their processing room. It was a great experience.
4685 W Dry Creek Rd, Healdsburg, CA 95448
(707) 433-1385

Carol Shelton Wines, Sonoma – If you love Zinfandel, this is a must stop! Carol Shelton is widely cited as the most awarded winemaker in the United States. She has won countless medals for her wines and has been honored as Winemaker of the Year numerous times.
3354-B Coffee Lane, Santa Rosa, CA 95403

Schramsberg, Calistoga – This is “America’s Sparkling Wine House.” Schramsberg is located in Northern Napa, but it’s not too far from Healdsburg. They have been in existence since the late 1800’s. They are still producing sparkling wine in the traditional method. When you take the cave tour, you may get to see the riddler in action! Appointment required.


1400 Schramsberg Rd, Calistoga, CA 94515
(707) 942-4558

Super Bowl Bubbles

Beer may be the beverage of choice at many Super Bowl parties, but I wouldn’t rule out bubbles for the big game.  Believe me, the ladies will be more than thankful!  Sparkling wines are versatile, boast nice acidity and help cleanse the palate. They add a touch of class to bar food and work great with everything from chips to buffalo wings to crab dip.

Since we are celebrating an American past time, here’s a list of my top 5 American sparkling wines under $35:

  1. Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs, Napa, California ($32)
  2. Thibaut-Jannison Blanc de Chardonnay, Charlotteville, Virginia ($28)
  3. Trump Blanc de Blanc, Charlottesville, Virginia ($25)
  4. Gruet Brut, New Mexico ($16)
  5. Gloria Ferrer Brut, Sonoma, California  ($20)

There are also some great still wines that make perfect pairings with your favorite pigskin treats. Here are a few ideas that I hope will help inspire your game day menu!

  • Guacamole – Pairs well with Sauvignon Blanc and if you like it extra spicy try a Riesling instead.  A dry sparkling would also do the trick!  Check out the Kim Crawford or Ponga Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand for under $15.
  • Crab & Artichoke Dip – This creamy delight calls for a wine with high acidity and crisp finish like a Pinot Gris or Sauvignon Blanc.  An unoaked Chardonnay would also work well. Check out the Chatham Vineyards Church Creek Steel Chardonnay from the Eastern Shore of Virginia.  The Hendry Pinot Gris and the Tiamo Pinot Grigio are budget friendly wines under $15.
  • Hot Wings – I love adding a little class to bar food by pairing hot wings with a nice sparkling wine like Brut Champagne. If you’re looking for a budget friendly alternative, check out a Cava from Spain. The Dibon Cava & Rondell are both nice party wines under $10.
  • Chili – I will admit Chili has to be one of the hardest dishes on the planet to pair with wine.  If the chili has a nice balance with a rustic depth of flavor not too much heat, a big, bold, jammy Zin would be a nice choice.  If you’re going for the knock your socks off kind of heat that will make a grown man cry, you may want to stick with an ice cold beer!
  • Potato Chips & Dip – I love the way a nice sparkling balances the saltiness of the chips. This is a must try!
  • Short Rib Sliders w/Bacon Bleu Slaw – This has to be one of my all time favorite guilty pleasures and game time treats.  This hearty crowd pleaser calls for a big bold Zinfandel. I really like the Sobon Estate Fiddletown Zinfandel and the Predator Zinfandel for budget friendly options. A nice meaty Syrah would also be a nice match.
  • Meat Lovers Pizza – There are many options for a hearty pizza including a Zinfandel, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Barbera, Chianti or a Vino Nobile.
  • Prosciutto wrapped asparagus w/balsamic glaze – Pinot Gris or Sauvignon Blanc.