Great Small Town Getaways - Yountville, CAMar 26, 2016 11:46AM ● By Brian O
By Fran Miller and Pam Kessler
Distance from WC: 40 minutes
What your money can buy? Median home price: $755,000
Every great wine country adventure should begin or end in Yountville, the place Thomas Keller put on the map with his chic restaurant French Laundry. A food lover’s paradise, Yountville is also bursting with boutique hotels and wine collectives.
Relax amongst sculptures and fountains outside, or choose a cozy space inside, at Maisonry Winery Collective where the boutique wines pair perfectly with art. The ivy-covered manor is filled with local works of art and limited production wines, both available for purchase. Maisonry is just north of the heart of Yountville and a short walk to many acclaimed hotels and restaurants. (maisonry.com)
Another coveted tasting spot is hope & grace, modest producers of 3,500 cases annually. Focusing on limited production, winemaker Charles Hendricks creates 100 percent single vineyard vintages—Pinots, Cabs, Chards. For a nominal fee, you can taste them all at the hip Yountville salon. (hopeandgracewines.com)
The town is also home to other Keller hot spots, including his French bistro Bouchon, where meals can be made from starters alone: oysters, pate, and escargot, followed by savory crocks of French onion soup. You can be assured that everything in the polished dining room—from the frites that come with your flatiron steak to the potato puree beneath a plump sausage —adheres to Keller’s high standards. Save room for the chocolate chip cake at Bouchon Bakery next door. Sold by the bagful, the decadent cake chunks are the perfect gift to take home, if you can stop yourself from devouring them. (thomaskeller.com)
Hotels in town match the caliber of the food and wine. Bardessono (bardessono.com) is about as eco-chic as you can get, down to its platinum LEED certification. The Hotel Yountville (hotelyountville.com) aspires to a contemporary French farmhouse vibe. Before returning home, sample another type of gastronomy: grilled fish tacos topped with cabbage and tangy dressing at Tacos Garcia, a taco truck in the parking lot of the dive bar Pancha’s. Any place that makes Thomas Keller’s list of top places to eat is worth trying.