While celebrity chef Thomas Keller put the town on the culinary map when he took over The French Laundry in 1994, it has since developed into a world-class destination of dining, shopping, lodging, spas, and wine tasting—sometimes all rolled into one. Consider the ultra-swanky, LEED Platinum–certified Bardessono resort, with its high-end farm-to-table Lucy Restaurant & Bar, a spa, and a lounge showcasing food and cocktails fed by on-site gardens. The resort is also walking distance to notable tasting rooms like Ma(i)sonry Napa Valley, housed in a historic stone building and featuring an art gallery where you can sample wines from more than 20 vintner partners.
Indeed, the whole community of Yountville is walkable, with easy access to such covetable items as high-end chapeaux at Montecristi Panama Hats, wine bottles recycled into chic jewelry at Yount Street Glass, and home and culinary niceties from the Domain Home & Garden shop, across from chef Michael Chiarello’s award-winning Bottega restaurant.
For a sign of how this tiny enclave of less than 3,000 souls has evolved into a true lifestyle destination, just look at luxury Silver Trident Winery. The Tuscan-style stone building sits in the heart of downtown and features an elegantly appointed living room, dining room, and library with decor (all for sale) from Ralph Lauren Home. Then, there’s the glittery JCB Tasting Salon from global vintner Jean-Charles Boisset, resplendent with jewels and Baccarat crystal as well as wine.
Insider tip: Those on a tighter budget can experience Keller’s culinary genius by making a reservation at the aforementioned Ad Hoc, his more casual restaurant on Washington Street, or by ordering a boxed lunch from his to-go service Addendum, at the same address.