Andretti Winery - A surreal setting amidst an oasis of trees, away from the congested highway 29 and great place to either start or end any day of the week.
If you're into the main stream hot spots, just follow the big bus'... Otherwise, pay attention.
Start in advance, plan your trip by picking up a "Wine Country Weekly". Featured on page 40 is always a straight forward map that is anything but misleading. Circle Andretti Winery. When leaving Andretti, take 2 RIGHTS & 1 LEFT and head North on Silverado Trail.
The crossroads between Silverado Trail and Hwy 29 offer some of the best wine tasting facilities in the Napa Valley. From Oakville Crossroad, Rutherford Crossroad to Tubbs Lane in Calistoga, some of the best wineries are off of that ONE ROAD - Silverado Trail.
What makes a "Great" winery?
Anywhere you go, the wine will speak for itself... If you don't believe that, you haven't been wine tasting before.
Half of my experience has led me to believe that the service can make or break my experience at any given spot. If it is not "inviting" or for some reason makes you feel the slightest bit uncomfortable, turn around and walk right back out.
Some of the worst experiences recorded are when people go and "force" themselves into a situation that doesn't immediately present itself hospitable to their situation.
My number one place for getting a meal that won't leave much to the imagination is ALWAYS, Rutherford Grill**. Located right next to Beaulieu Vineyards, this is an awesome spot for both lunch &/Or Dinner.
Calistoga is like an un-tapped resource for great food and great wines. August Briggs*, Clos Pegase and places like Atalon* all do great things...
*More Casual/Comfortable establishments*
That's all you'll need for a 3 day excursion.
PS - If you're coming from a city and needing that nice, tranquil vacation - Don't stay in a CITY.