SOURCE: Louis M. Martini

Louis M. Martini

September 15, 2011 13:26 ET

One Perfect Napa Valley Day Through the Eyes of a Winemaker

Mike Martini's Seven Must-Sees During Harvest Season

ST. HELENA, CA--(Marketwire - Sep 15, 2011) - Harvest season, which extends from August to November, is the perfect time to head to Napa Valley. It's the time of year when the vines are bursting with rich color, the smell of grapes lingers and the scorching summer heat transitions to a crisp yet sunny fall.

"I always suggest people visit Napa Valley during harvest, as the weather and surroundings enhance every outing," said third-generation winemaker Mike Martini at Louis M. Martini® Winery. For those visiting the famed wine region, he includes the following activities on his list of must-sees:

  • Fuel: To fuel up for a big day, Martini recommends stopping by the Model Bakery at the Oxbow Public Market (644 First St., Bldg. B) to pick up a world-class house-made English muffin and a tall café latte.

  • Tour: To learn more about the cultural and environmental heritage of the Napa Valley, visit the Napa Valley Museum in Yountville (55 Presidents Circle). Its changing exhibits represent a diverse range of subjects, from fine arts to history to natural sciences.

  • Munch: To prevent mid-day hunger pangs and prepare you for a hike in the afternoon, Martini recommends visiting the Fatted Calf near the Oxbow Public Market in Napa (644 C First St.). Pick up a premade sandwich from the restaurant's fresh menu to enjoy later in the day.

  • Drive: One of Martini's favorite rides is through Calistoga around Conn Dam through Sage Canyon, up Hwy. 128 overlooking Lake Berryessa through Pope Valley to Angwin.

  • Hike: Work off lunch by heading to Calistoga's Robert Louis Stevenson State Park (3801 St. Helena Hwy.) for your daily dose of exercise. The steady, five-mile climb to the top of Mt. St. Helena -- the Bay Area's highest publicly accessible (by trail) peak -- rewards hikers with views spanning the distance from the San Francisco skyline to Mount Lassen.

  • Gifts: Pick up gifts for friends and family at the St. Helena Olive Oil Co. The store's two locations (St. Helena: 1351 Main St.; Rutherford: 8576 St. Helena Hwy.) offer gourmet extra virgin olive oil, Napa Valley wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar and toiletries, including shaving creams, bath salts, lotions and soaps.

  • Sip: Mike's family winery, Louis M. Martini Winery (254 St. Helena Hwy. S.), just one mile south of St. Helena along historic Hwy. 29, is renowned for its Cabernet Sauvignon. Stop by the tasting room for a bottle of the valley's signature Cabernet Sauvignon to enjoy in the winery's tree-lined courtyard.

About Louis M. Martini®
For more than 75 years, the Louis M. Martini Winery has crafted award-winning wines from the flagship grape of Napa Valley: Cabernet Sauvignon. With the simple premise that the best grapes make the best wines, Founder Louis M. Martini set out to acquire the finest terroir in what is now one of the world's most renowned wine producing regions. In 1977, Michael Martini, third generation family winemaker, took the helm. Merging art and science in the winery in 2003, he introduced Cellar 254, an "artist's studio" to experiment with small production, artisan red wines. Today, the winery continues the tradition in which it was established: pursuing the best Cabernet Sauvignon that the region can offer. The Louis M. Martini Winery and tasting room are located on Highway 29 in St. Helena, Calif. For more information, please visit

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