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St. Helena area - Janurary visit

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St. Helena area - Janurary visit

Have done Napa, Yountville area- thought about staying in St. Helena area- or Healdsburg- which do you recommend?

Where to stay and eat in St. Helena? Greystone CIA i want to eat at for sure. Any special wineries not to miss in the area?

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1. Re: St. Helena area - Janurary visit

Harvest Inn is a nice place to stay in St. Helena. Terra and Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen are two great places to eat there. Freemark Abbey is a nice place to wine taste. Have fun! :).

2. Re: St. Helena area - Janurary visit

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Napa, CA
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3. Re: St. Helena area - Janurary visit

Both St. Helena and Healdsburg are excellent choices for staying a few days in the Wine Country. St. Helena is the center of the Napa Valley wine industry and home to many of the best wineries in the country. Healdsburg is probably the best location for exploring the Northern Sonoma County wine regions such as the Dry Creek area and the Alexander Valley and is also convenient to the Russian River wine region.

Both towns are a lot smaller than Napa or Santa Rosa and it's easy to walk around for shopping and dining. There are superb restaurants in both towns.

In St. Helena, besides the Wine Spectator Greystone restaurant there's Terra, Press, Cindy's Backstreet, Brassica, Farmstead, Market, La Condesa, Tra Vigne, and Cook. For less formal meals, there's Gott's Roadside and the Silverado Brewery as well as Gillwoods. Also, a little bit out of town is Meadowood with its 3 star Michelin restaurant as well as a less fancy and expensive Grill.

Although expensive, Meadowood is also a great place to stay. There's also a number of small B&Bs, the Wine Country Inn, the Inn at Southbridge, the Hotel St. Helena and the Harvest Inn mentioned above. There's even an old fashioned motel popular with budget travelers - the El Bonita.

I'll leave Healdsburg to the experts on the Sonoma boards for recommendations. Both towns can get very busy and traffic is an issue especially on weekends in high season. For winter or early spring visits though, both are wonderful places to visit.

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4. Re: St. Helena area - Janurary visit

What are your favorite varietals and styles? Do you like smaller wineries where you will be more likely to chat with the winemaker? Are you more partial toward cabernets than you are toward zinfandels and pinots? Knowing some of these keys, I can give you much better recommendations about which wineries will create the best experiences for your palate.

St. Helena...
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5. Re: St. Helena area - Janurary visit

Staying in St. Helena will be more-of-the-same vibe as your prior visits. As noted in other posts, St. Helena is a small town, bigger than Yountville, but much smaller than Napa. It's the core of Napa Valley, with much to offer and a convenient jumping off point for exploring all parts of the valley.

Heading over to Healdsburg will give you a very different experience than Napa Valley. The wines are different, the scenery is different, the wineries are spread out over a wide area, and I might say a bit more casual and less expensive (in general). Some say Healdsburg is what Napa Valley was like 20 years ago (and that could be a good or a bad thing, depending on your tastes).

I find Healdsburg to be very charming, with a town square and vibrant dining scene concentrated around the square, not unlike Sonoma. It is a good jumping off point to explore the Sonoma County wine region.

Depending on how long your visit is, it's not impractical to spend a day driving from St. Helena northwest into the Sonoma county wine region to explore, and return to St. Helena same day. Or, vice-versa. Plenty of gorgeous scenery and off-the-beaten-path wineries in-between, too.

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6. Re: St. Helena area - Janurary visit

Hi, Healdsburg is definitely a different experience. You can headquarter here and spend days visiting through our smaller AVA's. Alexander Valley, Dry Creek, Russian River Valley, Chalk Hill. I hope you'll be able to come see us at Rodney Strong Vineyards. Check out wineroad.com for the complete skinny on our area.

7. Re: St. Helena area - Janurary visit

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Removed on: 28 December 2012, 10:16