8 Reasons to Spend a Day in St. Helena

NO|MA House Cafe & Collective (Photo by John Merkyl)

There are so many options for a 24-hour Wine Country getaway. One of our top picks? St. Helena. The AVA is not very large in terms of square miles, but it’s home to roughly 400 vineyards, some dating back to the 1800s. You won’t have any trouble finding a tasting room or vineyard to visit, but be sure to leave time for a leisurely stroll down Main Street. The shopping is some of the best in the North Bay and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better meal. We discovered a few new spots and revisited some tried-and-true favorites. Here are some recommendations to get you started.


Beringer Vineyards

2000 Main Street

A visit to the 140-year-old Rhine House is an experience in itself, but don’t pass up the wine. We love the Sip & Stroll ($20 pp), but if you want an immersive visit try the Taste of Beringer Tour ($95 pp). The 75-minute experience includes a guided tour of the estate and gardens, followed by a seated tasting of winery-exclusive and reserve wines. The culinary team creates seasonal bites to complement each wine.



1327 Railroad Avenue

The eatery, which opened at the end of last year, is a must-visit. The setting is bright and beautiful, the menu is a seafood-heavy, delicious compilation of dishes, and come happy hour, it’s where all the locals gather. A hidden gem.


Clif Family Winery

709 Main Street

A favorite among wine-loving cycling enthusiasts — you can’t beat the buzzy, friendly nature of this anything-but-stuffy tasting room. It even offers a plant-based tasting menu, a rarity. Book a tasting at the bar or grab a bite from the food truck (Wednesday through Sunday), a glass of wine and a spot outside. And don’t forget to take home a jar of the handmade jam.



1381 Main Street

Fashion mavens, this is the mother ship. From clothing to jewelry and accessories, you will only find the best of the best here. On May 16, Elyse will host her third annual Rockout/Knockout fundraiser at The Charter Oak, which has raised more than $3 million for early cancer detection. Visit www.shhfoundation.org/events/rockout-knockout-cancer for tickets.


Markham Vineyards, St. Helena

2812 St. Helena Highway North

The winery, dating back to 1879, is the fourth oldest in the valley. But with its beautiful new tasting room — remodeled during the pandemic — it’s open, airy and decidedly modern. Winemaker Kimberlee Nicholls has been making Bordeaux varietals for more than 30 years and her expertise is apparent with every sip. If merlot is your red of choice, celebrate the 20th anniversary of Sideways with their merlot-centric tasting experience.


NO|MA House Cafe & Collective

1429 Main Street

One of the newest additions to Main Street, the cafe and flawlessly curated retail boutique is the casually chic lunch spot we have been waiting for. Breakfast is served all day, but the tartines and a glass of wine are Wine Country perfection. Be warned, it’s nearly impossible to leave empty-handed.


Orin Swift Cellars

1321 Main Street

The new tasting room, opened in downtown’s historic Art Deco bank building, is decked out in lounge-worthy vintage furniture, and for the super-observant there are some design Easter eggs waiting to be discovered. Tasting experiences range from $45 to $125 and promise a twist on the conventional.


PRESS Restaurant

587 St. Helena Highway

Awarded a Michelin star in December 2022, Chef Philip Tessier’s take on California cuisine is unambiguously sophisticated. We were enchanted by the presentation alone. The restaurant also boasts the largest collection of Napa Valley wines in the world.


PRESS restaurant wine cellar
PRESS’ impressive wine collection (Photo by Bonwing Lee)