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Get to know Yountville

Small but mighty, tiny Yountville sits halfway between Napa and St. Helena with a humbled sophistication that towers high above its vines. Celebrated chefs and an always-nearby bounty of fresh ingredients have conspired to make this town of barely 3,000 Napa Valley’s culinary capital. Perhaps you’ve heard of a little restaurant called The French Laundry — it’s right here, and in good company. Locals take great pride in the Yountville’s charm, friendliness and colorful history. First called Sebastopol, the Sonoma County town beat it to the punch; thus, it was renamed to honor settler George C. Yount, whose Rancho Caymus enveloped its borders. Today, you’ll find a friendly hamlet of superb shopping, premium wineries and outdoor adventures. It has a station stop on the Napa Valley Wine Train, where passengers can hop off for a tasting at Domaine Chandon. V Marketplace occupies the historic 1870s winery complex, and it’s a charmingly eclectic destination for treasures of all sorts.

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Living in Wine Country

At the 1976 Judgment of Paris, Napa Valley wines won out their French counterparts in every single category, catapulting the region’s wine to global celebrity. But that pivotal blind tasting merely marked a moment 150 years in fermentation. Early settlers were quick to uncork the growing potential of the area’s fair-weathered Provençal landscape, with the earliest vines planted by fur traders at Fort Ross in 1817. Commercial winemaking here took hold by the Gold Rush, and today you’ll find hundreds of vineyards from the Silverado Trail to the rugged, redwood-fringed Pacific coast. Together, Napa and Sonoma counties comprise the largest viticulture region in the United States and the epicenter of all things culinary. You’ll find a series of small towns blending Nantucket-level charm with a maverick, wild west edge, filled to the rim with quaint boutiques, artisanal mercantiles, cheesemongers, and Michelin-starred restaurants. When you’re not swishing your glass, there’s world-class recreation, hot air balloons and plenty else.