Souvenirs & Mementos
The distinctive personalities of each of Wine Country’s tiny cities are on full display in the storefronts and boutiques that comprise some of the country’s most cinematic downtowns.
Calistoga: Easy Rider
1441 Lincoln Avenue, Calistoga | (707) 942-1329
Calistogans are proud of their independent spirit: the shops and restaurants along their Lincoln Avenue main stretch exude a certain refreshing groundedness in contrast to their glossier Napa Valley brethren. Visitors bike over for sustenance and caffeine at popular local favorites like Calistoga Kitchen, Calistoga Roastery and JoLē, and then stay and shop awhile. One of our favorite shops in the Valley is Calistoga Olive Oil’s cheerful boutique. Naturally, the olive oils and vinegars are outstanding, but the all-natural bath and body products are so fragrantly nourishing that they’ve become part of our regular beauty beat. Lovingly fired and glazed in Calistoga for 35 years, the handiwork of Calistoga Pottery creators Sally and Jeff Manfredi has graced tables from Tra Vigne to Bottega. Their dinnerware – which can be customized in a variety of colors, glazes and designs – belongs on your tabletop too.
St. Helena: High Society
1201 Main Street, St. Helena | (707) 963-7423
The first time we fell in love with Napa, we were walking down St. Helena’s irresistible Main Street, and we’ve fallen for it again on every visit since. A collection of sweet storefronts barely stretching three blocks, start at venerable home decor haven Napa Valley Vintage Home and sigh with pleasure. Colorful French toss pillows line the left wall while well-known tableware collections dress the right. There is a sumptuous array of imported French table linens as well as an impressive Cire Trudon showing, and don’t forget to make your way upstairs to the attic for even more beautifully displayed coffee table books and furnishings. Just up from Vintage Home (and infamous karaoke dive Ana’s Cantina), you’ll find ACRES Home & Garden, an equally well-curated offering of unique furnishings and garden-inspired pieces in a beautiful, bright space.
Further up the street you’ll find shoe addict mothership Footcandy, and heavenly sweets of the more literal variety at chocolate atelier Woodhouse. The ‘cataloged by color’ displays in classic paperie Pennyweight are part of what make it the stop for elegant cards and gifts, and we love Fideaux for a clever mix of toys and treats that ensures we never return to our pups empty-handed. For a spot-on selection of wines from both well-established cult makers and the best up-and-comers, ACME Fine Wines is our go-to wine stop. Finally, there’s no need to shop til you drop: you’ll eat like a queen (or king) at Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen, Cook Tavern or Market, three tasty St. Helena lunch staples.
Yountville: Main Street
6525 Washington Street | (707) 945-1229
The town of Yountville may be tiny (its total population is under 3,000), but its culinary prowess has proven mighty, and the pleasant, tree-lined Washington Street has responded with plenty to do and see between bites. Bottega chef Michael Chiarello is well-regarded for his rustic Italian menu and impeccable taste, the latter of which is on deft display at his Wine Country lifestyle outpost NapaStyle. The extensive shop has plenty of unique items on offer like Bottega copper tumblers and leather wine bags, and you can sample the always solid Chiarello Family Vineyards wines at the in-house tasting bar. V Wine Cellar is another perennial stop when in Yountville. Not only are the staff some of the most helpful (and fun) people to talk shop with, but they consistently manage to get their hands on all the hard-to-find local favorites. Their wine club is a particularly choice option for Napa Valley vino fans. The rest of the V Marketplace is home to a cool collection of art, decor and women’s clothing, and is definitely worth a perusal before you take a seat in the fountain courtyard for your daily Bouchon break.
Napa: The Comeback Kid
610 & 644 1st Street, Napa | (707) 226-6529
Downtown Napa’s corners seem to be undergoing their renaissance, one by one. Perhaps the best example of this is artisanal playground Oxbow Public Market. Napa’s answer to San Francisco’s Ferry Building Marketplace, this is an all-star collection of brands with die-hard followings like Ritual Coffee Roasters, Three Twins Ice Cream and Hog Island Oyster Co. (not to mention a second chance to sample Gather favorites Model Bakery and Gott’s Roadside). The Fatted Calf has your next charcuterie board on lock, and The Monkey Flower Group’s little Eliza Doolittle cart will steal your heart and send you on your way with a perfect bouquet. Around the corner in an historic stone building is Vintner’s Collective, a tasting room and wine shop showcasing standout boutique producers under one roof. VC is home to a stable of winemakers that offer darn good wine at reasonable prices and the friendly staff, festive vibe and addictive cheese crackers always make for a fun afternoon.