On my list of things I wanted to see on a recent drive through the Napa valley (Napa is just 45 miles away) was the recently renovated Oakville Grocery. We have been stopping in the 130-year-old market (the oldest continually operating grocery in California) for years, but hadn’t visited since they completed a major, five-months-in-works renovation.
Like most things in the Valley, the prices of gourmet items like flour de sel Caramel Corn and olive oil-fried breadsticks can be a bit dear, so I let my camera do the shopping… for the most part. But this is the perfect spot to pick out a picnic to bring along to a winery (we liked the setting at Cuvaison on our last visit), or to stop for a break from a bike ride and take in the views out back.
The mostly locally-sourced market could also serve as a precursor to a fantastic tour of the valley, highlighting the growers and producers you might want to seek out yourself: honey made in Sonoma? Can we visit the hive? Cheese from a goat farm nearby? Do they offer tastings? Biodynamic winery up the road? How’s that different from Organic? Let’s make an appointment for a tour and see. In other words, bring along a map and a pen.
P.S. Our travelogue, 48 hours in the Napa Valley.