Indian summer and California’s Napa Valley are all but synonymous: It’s harvest time and the weather is dry and clear. It’s also time do some of the best eating and drinking the world has to offer.
This is serious gastronomy: Yountville’s Washington Street alone has five combined Michelin stars, three for French Laundry and one apiece for Bouchon and Red. And I still have daydreams about Bistro Jeanty’s coq au vin and the mozzarella “a minuto” (made at the moment ordered) at Tra Vigne in St. Helena.
Among September events: the Napa Farmers Market (Tuesdays and Saturdays); cooking classes that include tours of local wineries and the market; wine and cheese pairings at St. Helena’s Merryvale Vineyards, and grape stomping at Grgich Hills Estate in Rutherford.
A more traditional way to work off some of those calories: the Canary Island palm-lined lap pool (pictured above) at the Solage Calistoga resort. Then start all over at the resort’s Solbar restaurant. On offer for breakfast: the pain perdu en brochette — French toast skewers with Swanton Farms strawberries and crème anglaise.