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10 Top-Notch Restaurants Celebrating Local Wine

Get a taste of first-rate regional wines from these lists devoted to their neighbors
Photo by: Alanna Hale
The Restaurant at Meadowood in Napa prides itself on fine wines and exquisite ingredients that celebrate the surrounding region.

Posted: July 20, 2017

Today’s best chefs and sommeliers aren’t just obsessing over what’s on the plate and in your glass—they’re also placing more importance than ever on where it came from. When it comes to wine, classic selections from traditional regions remain cherished, but exploring local vineyards is an exciting way to rediscover familiar places. These 10 restaurants showcase the best their local wine regions have to offer. And for more wine-and-food destinations around the world, check out Wine Spectator’s more than 3,500 Restaurant Award–winning picks, including the 89 Grand Award recipients worldwide that hold our highest honor.

Do you have a favorite you’d like to see on this list? Send your recommendations to restaurantawards@mshanken.com. We want to hear from you!


The Restaurant at Meadowood

900 Meadowood Lane, St. Helena, Calif.

Telephone (707) 967-1205

Website www.therestaurantatmeadowood.com
Open Dinner, Tuesday to Saturday 

Grand Award

Alanna Hale
Experience a world-class tasting menu experience in the heart of Napa Valley at the Restaurant at Meadowood.

The Restaurant at Meadowood epitomizes extraordinary Napa dining. Every detail, from the elegant decor to the knowledgeable staff, is meticulously designed to highlight chef Christopher Kostow’s “new American” cuisine and the restaurant’s Grand Award–winning wine program. Guests can choose from a nine-course tasting menu for $330 or splurge on a chef’s counter menu for $500; wine pairings are an additional $250. Wine director Micah Clark’s program is much more than just a list; it’s an exhibition of Napa Valley’s winemaking history, celebrating the region’s diverse terrains and vintners. The collection of Napa verticals includes bottlings like Inglenook Cabernet Sauvignons as far back as 1946, Beaulieu Vineyard Georges de Latour Cabernets from 1960 and later, and Dunn Howell Mountain and Mondavi Reserve Cabernets beginning at 1979. Roughly 60 percent of the list consists of California selections. The 2,300-plus selections also showcase New and Old World regions, with strengths in Burgundy, Champagne, Bordeaux and Italy, and there’s a strong by-the-glass program.


The Ashby Inn & Restaurant

692 Federal St., Paris, Va.

Telephone (540) 592-3900

Website www.ashbyinn.com
Open Lunch and dinner, Wednesday to Sunday

Best of Award of Excellence

The Ashby Inn & Restaurant
After a meal at the Ashby Inn, overnight guests can enjoy the elegantly rustic rooms, most of which were constructed during the Civil War.

Built in 1829, the Ashby Inn & Restaurant is a beautiful historic getaway nestled in the tranquil town of Paris, Va. The 132-seat restaurant is run by chef Tom Whitaker and focuses heavily on seasonal ingredients sourced from local farmers. Guests can opt for two, three, or four courses such as a smoked duck appetizer, a beet gnocchi main and a Madeira trifle dessert. A chef’s tasting menu and a vegetarian tasting menu are also available, with wine pairings offered from around the world or exclusively from Virginia wine country. Sommelier Stuart Brennan put together the 730-selection Best of Award of Excellence–winning wine list. While the California and France picks are strong, Brennan chose to highlight Virginia, with an extensive selection of local reds including Cabernet Sauvignons. After the meal, overnight guests retire to rustic yet elegantly appointed rooms.


Fleurie Restaurant

108 Third St. NE, Charlottesville, Va.
Telephone (434) 971-7800

Website www.fleurierestaurant.com
Open Dinner, Monday to Saturday
Best of Award of Excellence

Joseph Scala
At Fleurie, soft-shell crab is prepared with a modern French twist.

At Fleurie, careful sourcing is as important for the wine list as it is for the locally driven fare. Wine director Erin Scala oversees the Best of Award of Excellence–winning wine list offering a mix of high-end bottles and affordable options to complement chef Brian Helleberg’s modern French cuisine. The 350-selection list always includes at least 60 to 80 bottles priced at $65 or less, with particular value in Chenin Blanc and Northern Rhône Syrah. There are also numerous local bottles from Virginia wineries such as Rosemont Pinot Grigio and a Blenheim Viognier to pair with dishes featuring sauces made using classic French methods like butter-poached lobster with ginger-Sauternes sauce ($38) and roasted beef tenderloin with Bordelaise ($38).


River Café

Prince’s Island Park, Calgary, Alberta
Telephone (403) 261-7670
Website www.river-cafe.com
Open Lunch and dinner, daily
Best of Award of Excellence

River Café
River Café offers a tranquil escape for wine-loving diners.

Perched on the bank of the Bow River in Prince’s Island Park, River Café has been a Restaurant Award winner since 1997. Chef Matthias Fong’s menu celebrates the local bounty with plates like Alberta trout with Beck Farms carrots ($41) and Kolbe Farms Bison, priced according to cut. The Best of Award of Excellence–winning wine list is also heavily regional. While the 550 selections highlight France, California and Italy, Canadian selections are the heart of the list. Wine director Bruce Soley keeps an inventory of 6,000 bottles showcasing Canadian producers in Okanagan Valley, Niagara and Prince Edward County.


The Dundee Bistro

100-A S.W. Seventh St., Dundee, Ore.
Telephone (503) 554-1650
Website www.dundeebistro.com
Open Lunch and dinner, daily
Award of Excellence

In a small town just outside of Portland, Ore., a family of winemakers dreamed of a restaurant with quality cuisine in a laid-back environment for everyone from tourists and families to blue-collar workers and fellow winemakers. With this mission in mind, the Ponzi family opened the Dundee Bistro in 1999. They’ve since been serving thoughtfully crafted, refined cuisine in a community setting with a menu by executive chef Chris Flanagan. The moderately priced wine list crafted by beverage director Ayla Holstein has held an Award of Excellence since 2003. Its 240 selections offer both New and Old World wines, a combination that complements the globally-influenced yet distinctly American menu of items like hand-tossed pizza topped with bacon ($14) and smoked pork and corn risotto ($24). But the stars of the list hail from Willamette Valley, including more than 80 local Pinot Noirs as well as sparkling wines, Chardonnays, rosés, Rieslings and more from the owners’ namesake Ponzi Vineyards.


The Marc Restaurant

Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center, 6 W. Rose St., Walla Walla, Wash.
Telephone (509) 525-2200
Website www.marcuswhitmanhotel.com
Open Dinner, daily
Award of Excellence

The Marc Restaurant
The Marc Restaurant offers diners a taste of classic American fare while highlighting the local wines of Washington.

In picturesque Walla Walla, Wash., the Award of Excellence–winning Marc Restaurant, located in the Marcus Whitman Hotel, boasts one of the most extensive wine lists in the area. The wine team highlights local flavors from producers like Cayuse and Chester-Kidder. (The restaurant also makes its own local wines.) The 270-label wine list shines in encouraging local exploration and creativity, and includes helpful details like a map and region overview. In addition to the Marc Restaurant, don’t forget to stop by the cozy Vineyard Lounge that opens daily at 4 p.m.


Pecan Grill at the Overton

Overton Hotel & Conference Center, 2322 Mac Davis Lane, Lubbock, Tex.
Telephone (806) 776-7010
Website www.overtonhotel.com/dining
Open Lunch and dinner, daily
Award of Excellence

Sink your teeth into regional Texas cuisine and get a taste of the state’s rising wine region at the Award of Excellence–winning Pecan Grill at the Overton. Located in the Overton Hotel, the restaurant embraces the Texas High Plains and the pioneering attitude of the diverse populations that settled there. Food and beverage director Chey Fulgham oversees a 130-selection wine list that includes a section devoted entirely to Texas wineries like CapRock, Llano Estacado and McPherson Cellars as examples of fine local vintners. The wine list, which also has a healthy range of wines from Spain and France, gives guests a helping hand, providing label images, winery overviews and tasting notes. A handful of wines from charity-driven enterprise OneHope are also available.


Quiessence at the Farm

The Farm at South Mountain, 6106 S. 32nd St., Phoenix, Ariz.
Telephone (602) 276-0601
Website www.qatthefarm.com
Open Dinner, Tuesday to Saturday
Award of Excellence

Quiessence at the Farm
Quiessence provides a truly farm-to-table experience, with a strong wine list to match.

Just minutes from downtown Phoenix, Quiessence at the Farm is part of a 10-acre working farm and offers rustic fare that’s often either homegrown or locally foraged. This applies to the wine list too, where co-owners Dustin and Pat Christofolo offer 150 selections with strengths in California, classic regions of France and Italy, and Arizona. Available by the glass at this Award of Excellence winner are more than 15 selections from Arizona, where Cochise County takes the spotlight as one of the state’s top wine regions.


Stonecat Café

5315 State Route 414, Hector, N.Y.
Telephone (607) 546-5000
Website www.stonecatcafe.com
Open Lunch and dinner, Wednesday to Sunday
Award of Excellence

Stonecat Café
Everything at Stonecat Café, from the menu to the wine list, is inspired by the Finger Lakes.

Touring the Seneca Lake Wine Trail around Hector, N.Y., especially during the summer and autumn months, is a tranquil experience enjoyed by tourists and locals alike. Stop in for lunch at the Award of Excellence–winning Stonecat Café. This eatery and bar, outfitted in what was once a local farm market, draws on the abundance of the Finger Lakes. Beverage director Joshua Carlsen proudly showcases the region’s wines with a list filled with interesting annotations, tasting notes and more. As the weather warms, expect jazz brunches, pub nights and free live music.


Sud777

Blvd. de la Luz 777, Mexico City
Telephone (52) 55-5568-4777
Website www.sud777.com.mx
Open Lunch daily; Dinner Monday to Saturday
Award of Excellence

Presenting a whirlwind of contemporary Mexican cuisine in a stylish venue—plus a 400-selection wine list advocating local selections—Sud777 has its finger on the pulse of vogue dining in Mexico City. Look to wine director Ruben Rodarte to guide you through the carefully organized Award of Excellence–winning wine list. Baja California takes the spotlight, with more than 50 choices, while the by-the-glass program is designed to prompt diners to try lesser-known varieties or regions. Classic wine regions in France, Italy and Spain are also represented.

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