I did my first wine tasting in the Napa valley years ago at Chateau Montalena. This facility is the most precious one in the valley because it won the first international award in the region. The Montalena wine won the grand prize at the Paris Concourse in 1976. Since the first wine production in the valley took place in 1859 by J. Pachett, you can safely say that the journey from the first product to an international award was fairly short. This award won by the Montalena wine in Paris was so important that it became the topic of a movie. I, too, enjoyed this movie that focused on the success of Napa Valley entrepreneurship that aimed to challenge the French wine industry.
One of the firsts in the region was the establishment of the first fine dining restaurant within Auberge Du Soleil. In my opinion, Auberge du Soleil is the best resort in the region along with Meadowood. It has a piece of the beauty of the Napa Valley among a vast green land. One if its characteristics that appeals to me is that children aren’t allowed in the hotel. It’s an ideal place to take a step back from all the hustle and bustle of daily life if you’re a businessman, a place to review your work if you’re a writer and have some piece of mind if you’re retired.
The facility has three restaurant-bars. The most important of these is The Restaurant, which has a Michelin star and the first fine dining restaurant of the valley. The indoor seating and the terrace in front both overlook the beautiful green coverage of Napa Valley. It’s a whole different experience to dine on the terrace when the weather is nice. I think the best time to enjoy this place is a warm Sunday afternoon. Since it won’t be possible to see the beauty of the valley at night, the ideal scenario is a meal made with fresh produce accompanied by a bottle of wine picked from a 15.000 item wine list during a warm day on the terrace.
I didn’t know if this was the case all the time, I didn’t ask, but my Sunday lunch was a fixed menu that consisted of four courses that cost 70 dollars, which is a reasonable price for a restaurant of this caliber. First a platter of poached wild shrimp with butter lettuce, avocado and orange, then an organic Sonoma chicken, quince poached in wine, chestnuts, bacon, fennel and lemon was just too much for one person. The prices of wine not included were also very reasonable. The valet service was free of charge.
What more could you ask for ? A breathtaking view…A tasty meal…A rich wine selection…And a reasonable price !