Published on November 26, 2016

The classic, chateau style is quintessential Napa Valley, although the region is beginning to take on a fresh, chic look. Travel expert and California resident Lacy Yamaoka gives us her guide for exploring Napa’s more modern, minimalist style.

Where to Stay:

Carneros Resort and Spa

Escape the bustling town of Napa and settle into the Carneros Resort where you can enjoy your own private cottage, porch, and even outdoor shower. The light palette, modern furniture, and palm trees complement the sprawling vineyard and farm-style architecture. 

Where to Sip:


Perched above the valley floor in Pritchard Hill, Ovid Winery features a minimalist, floor-to-ceiling glass tasting room with views as far as San Francisco. If Cabernet Sauvignon is your go-to, make your way up the hill for a private tasting and tour of this simple vineyard.

Where to Sip:

Artesa Winery

Another winery with views to die for is the family-owned Artesa vineyard. The terrace at Artesa allows walk-ins so if you’re looking to show up at a flexible time, it’s the perfect place to sip and relax with friends. Artesa uniquely has a resident artist, Gordon Heuther, who creates large-scale glass and sculpture installations for guests.

Where to Sip:

Opus One  

Modern materials of California redwood and stainless steel are mixed with the creaminess of Texas limestone to form the distinctive profile of this Napa winery. The quiet design of Opus One features a new world exterior with elements that blend into its natural surroundings.

Where to Sip:


This is the dream destination for any Andy Warhol admirer. Even though Warhol’s art isn’t exactly minimalist, it’s situated in a sleek, all-glass tasting room surrounded by waves of vineyards where it makes for great conversation. Visit the tasting room for an exclusive experience of tasting their lineup of wines while viewing their collection of original Andy Warhol screenprints. 

Where to Peek:

Dominus Estate

Swiss architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Mueron designed Dominus Estate, which is built of locally sourced basalt rock. And the winery’s facade is intended to appear as if it’s dissolving into the surrounding vineyard. Unfortunately, they do not provide tastings and tours to the public, but it’s worth catching a glimpse of this architectural achievement. 

Where to Brunch:

FARM at Carneros 

This agri-chic space features an outdoor lounge terrace perfect for sipping mimosas and listening to live music. Inside the FARM dining room expect bright clean lines down to the simple menu, which features the lighter side of Southern-comfort cuisine with a fresh, California flare. Opt for the lardo brussel sprouts and horseradish bloody mary—the secret’s out.

Where to Brunch:

Archetype Napa

Contemporary design and seasonal ingredients make this restaurant swoon-worthy from the inside out. Architect Howard Backen, who also designed Ovid Winery, constructed Archetype’s dining room with comfortable sophistication in mind. Hand-crafted cocktails and fresh cuisine in a beautiful space—what more can you ask for at brunch?

Where to Dine:

Oxbow Public Market

Napa is a place where you always want to be outdoors enjoying the California sunshine. Oxbow Market is the ideal hub to source picnic necessities such as local charcuterie, cheeses, and wines. You may even to decide to slurp a few oysters on the half shell at the famed bar inside, Hog Island Oyster Co.

Where to Dine:

Redd Wood

Who doesn’t like wood-fired pizza while sitting at an ultramodern bar? Renowned Napa Chef Richard Reddington of Redd has a new hip spot in town featuring an oysteria-style menu. Famous for his minimalist style and eye for elegance, Reddington’s sister restaurant is a laid-back, stylish alternative to the craze of Napa’s Michelin-starred restaurants.

Where to Spa:


This is where chic meets eco-friendly luxury. The boutique hotel and spa features a solar-paneled roof, floors made of salvaged walnut, and a personal spa suite with steam shower. The spa menu aligns with the simple elements of nature, with a choice of hot-stone or vinotherapy massage using organic grape seed oil. Yes, please.