What’s New in Napa Valley: Where to Eat, Drink and Stay

Discover what's new in Napa Valley this spring, from the new Slanted Door restaurant to the opening of exciting new tasting rooms.

A wet winter in Wine Country is paving the way for a beautiful spring. As hillsides turn emerald green and wildflowers emerge, Napa Valley is raising a glass to the warm days ahead and serving up new experiences to celebrate new beginnings. Here are a few trending places to sip, eat and stay right now.

New places to taste wine

Orin Swift Cellars

The ribbon has been cut at the new Orin Swift Cellars tasting room in downtown St. Helena. The new space is located in a bank building that dates back to the early 1920s and hosts private tastings in the old bank vault.

Orin Swift Cellars founder and winemaker David Phinney played a hands-on role in remodeling the historic bank building into a tasting room, opting to leave its beautiful old bones exposed and decorating it with vintage furniture and fine art (some of Phinney’s photographs also hang on the walls).

Visitors to Orin Swift Cellars can choose between four tastings: Rock, Paper, Scissors and The Vault. Rock ($45) is a standing tasting by the bar, Paper ($65) is a seated tasting, Scissors ($125) is hosted in the original Orin Swift tasting room next door and features rare, limited-production wines, and The Vault ($80) takes places in the old bank vault and includes magnums or library selections.

1321 Main St., St Helena, 707-968-3342, orinswift.com

Vault experience at Orin Swift Cellars in St. Helena
Vault wine tasting experience at Orin Swift Cellars in St. Helena. (Orin Swift Cellars)
The Gentleman Farmer Bungalow

In downtown Napa, a 1926 California craftsman has been transformed into The Gentleman Farmer Bungalow: The Studio for Gustatory Well-Being. The welcoming, homey space is dedicated to food and wine experiences, prepared by husbands and vintners Jeff Durham and Joey Wołosz.

Durham and Wołosz are the founders of small Napa winery Gentleman Farmer Wines. Visitors to their Napa bungalow will be able to sample their wines with multicourse meals inspired by the couple’s family recipes, such as roasts, rillettes and soufflés.

The six-course Gentleman Farmer’s Lunch ($250) is the signature experience, but guests can also book dinners ($450) or breakfasts ($90-$125) with a morning meditation guided by Wołosz in The Bungalow, or a 5K run with Durham along the Napa River.

1564 First St., Napa, gentlemanfarmerwines.com/experiences

Gentleman Farmer in Napa
Husbands and vintners  Joey Wołosz and Jeff Durham at the Gentleman Farmer Bungalow in Downtown Napa. (Gentleman Farmer)

New places to eat (and drink)

Slanted Door

Famed San Francisco Vietnamese restaurant Slanted Door has opened a Napa outpost. Fans of celebrity chef Charles Phan will recognize popular dishes on the dinner menu, including green papaya salad and shaking beef. But if it’s pho you are craving, plan accordingly — it’s only available at lunch.

The new Napa restaurant is housed in an 8,000-square-foot building, which used to house the Kitchen Collective, a private cooking club that closed in 2020. “It’s stunningly beautiful modern setting of glass walls, a 220-seat dining room and a glassed-in kitchen, all anchored by an elegantly finished, tree-studded dining courtyard was expensive, to say the least,” said food critic Carey Sweet in her review in The Press Democrat.

1650 Soscol Ave., Napa. Lunch 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., happy hour 3 to 5 p.m., dinner 5 to 10 p.m. daily. 707-287-1197, slanteddoor.com/napa

Wood fired wild head on prawns, silk road spices, shallots and olive oil at Slanted Door in Napa, Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024. (Erik Castro / For The Press Democrat)
Wood fired wild head on prawns, silk road spices, shallots and olive oil at Slanted Door in Napa. (Erik Castro / For The Press Democrat)
The Kitchen at Priest Ranch 

Tough decisions need to be made when dining at Yountville newcomer The Kitchen at Priest Ranch. Do you opt for the KPR Smashburger paired with a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon, or the Crispy Chicken Sando with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc? We recommend you go with a friend so you can order both. Oh, and don’t forget the fried house pickles. Did we mention breakfast is served all day and there’s a rooftop dining area?

6488 Washington St., Yountville. Open 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday to Monday. thekitchenatpr.com, 707-947-4017

Kitchen at Priest Ranch Chicken Sandwich
Crispy Chicken Sando at The Kitchen at Priest Ranch in Yountville. (The Kitchen at Priest Ranch)

New places to stay

Brannan Lofts

Calistoga founder Sam Brannan built 25 resort cottages in and around the Napa Valley town. Brannan Cottage Inn, built in 1862, has six rooms and the historic lodging books up quickly. The newly opened Brannan Lofts helps eliminate disappointment for Calistoga visitors.

The new accommodations are located above the Picayune Cellars & Mercantile on Calistoga’s main drag, Lincoln Avenue, just a stone’s throw from Brannan Cottage Inn. Brannan Lofts features five rooms, four of which have kitchenettes with induction cooktops, refrigerators, and dishwashers.

1440 Lincoln Ave., second floor, Calistoga. brannancottageinn.com

Brannon Lofts in Calistoga
Brannan Lofts is the new sister hotel property of Calistoga’s historic Brannan Cottage Inn. (Brannan Cottage Inn)

Coming soon to Napa Valley

The Stateline Road Smokehouse pop-up at the Oxbow has ended, but the restaurant’s permanent location in Napa is on track to open its doors in June. For barbecue fans dreading the wait, chef Darryl Bell will be serving favorites at BottleRock Napa Valley at the end of May.

Stateline Road Smokehouse in Napa
Stateline Road Smokehouse is preparing to open its permanent location in the Rail-Arts District of Napa. (Stateline Road Smokehouse)

After six long years of planning and construction, Signorello Estate is preparing to debut its new winery in June after the original buildings were destroyed by the 2017 Atlas Fire. The new state-of-the-art winery is built into a hillside and will reportedly operate 100% off the grid. Signorello plans to offer private, seated tastings, as well as tours of the estate using an electric golf cart; reservations will be required.

Materra Cunat Family Vineyards is nearing the completion of its new hospitality space. Along with a trio of tasting areas, the new venue will showcase the family’s vast collection of antiques, which ranges from Japanese items to classic cars. Keep an eye out for an opening date sometime in June.