From early on, St. Helena was the commercial hub of central Napa Valley. John York, who lived on what is now Dean York Lane, and David Hudson, whose house is still located at Beringer Winery, were among the first white residents. Prior to this, the area was inhabited by a Yukian-speaking group named the Wappo. In 1868 the railroad reached the town and it became an important shipping center for fruit, grain and mining products. Around the same time, people began to plant vineyards and the wine industry started to grow. In 1876, St. Helena was incorporated as a town — visit the historic downtown for a glimpse into the past.
Amidst towering redwood trees in the heart of town is the enchanted Harvest Inn. Tudor-style buildings dot the 8-acre resort which features 81 rooms, a family and an adult pool — both with hot tubs — as well as in-room wine and an onsite restaurant, Harvest Table. Helmed by Executive Chef Vincent Sanchez, the restaurant serves high-end California fare using local ingredients. Prior to his post here, Sanchez worked in esteemed local establishments including Ad Hoc in Yountville and The Girl and the Fig in Sonoma. With individual HVAC units in every room, sprawling cabernet vineyards to stroll, as well as contactless check-in and check-out, the Harvest Inn is a socially-distant dream getaway.
Enjoy elevated, American farmhouse cuisine made in a farmer nursery barn at Farmstead — Long Meadow Ranch’s restaurant. Long Meadow Ranch is a family-owned business that produces grass-fed beef and lamb, extra virgin olive oil and estate-grown grapes and wine among other items in the Mayacamas Mountains. The restaurant — which has been reset to provide a safe eating space — showcases this bounty on its refined, yet approachable menu that includes home-smoked ribs, warm burrata and a selection of well-balanced cocktails. Tequila fans, check out the Porch Swing — Tanteo jalapeno tequila, watermelon, combier, lime, agave, basil, and a chili salt rim.
In the southern part of St. Helena, off Highway 29, is the Clif Family Tasting Room. Named Velo Vino, which in Italian means “Bicycle Wine,” a variety of tasting options are offered here that take place on a recently rearranged and spaced patio. All of the Clif Family wines are made at a nearby custom crush facility with grapes that have been sourced from vineyards that are generally farmed organically. A perfect spot for those looking for a quality experience without splurging, the Clif Family wines are among the most affordable priced wines in town. Oh and the bike theme? It’s no accident — the founders co-own Clif Bar.
Please check for the latest information on coronavirus restrictions and/or local wildfires before visiting the above venues.
How to Help
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For more on Marin:
- Following Marin’s Cheese Trail
- Bay Area’s Next Generation of Peacemakers
- A Better Buzz: Hard Kombucha
Kasia Pawlowska loves words. A native of Poland, Kasia moved to the States when she was seven. The San Francisco State University creative writing graduate went on to write for publications like the San Francisco Bay Guardian and KQED Arts among others prior to joining the Marin Magazine staff. Topics Kasia has covered include travel, trends, mushroom hunting, an award-winning series on social media addiction, and loads of other random things. When she’s not busy blogging or researching and writing articles, she’s either at home writing postcards and reading or going to shows. Recently, Kasia has been trying to branch out and diversify, ie: use different emojis. Her quest for the perfect chip is a never-ending endeavor.