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Fall in Love with Yountville, One Shop at a Time

Fall in Love with Yountville, One Shop at a Time

Tucked away in the Napa Valley, Yountville is perhaps best known for its spectacular restaurants. But this small town also hosts a surprising treasure-trove of boutiques, galleries and shops that showcase everything from charming country décor to high fashion to a stellar selection of area wines. When you’re visiting Yountville, take a cue from the locals who love to shop the main marketplace area on Washington Street, and browse to your heart’s content.

A Gathering of Local Items at V Marketplace
The number-one shopping destination in Yountville is undoubtedly V Marketplace, an eclectic collection of high-end boutiques housed in a rustic, barn-like building. The V Marketplace property is registered with the National Registry of Historic Places, thanks to its original winery roots beginning in 1889. The building continued to function as a winery until the mid-1950s before reopening into a notable market scene in 1968.

Start out your V Marketplace experience by visiting Scents of Napa Valley. This store will enliven all your senses with its inviting scents and adorable packaging. Purchase some locally hand-crafted soap that contains grapeseed oil – it’s amazing for the skin. Scents of Napa Valley also sells an expansive variety of bath products including lotions, salts, slippers, robes and candles.

Want a souvenir that’s a bit more unusual while still maintaining the classy ambience of the region? Check out Montecristi Panama Hats. They sell an impressive variety of fedoras, ladies hats and garments. Montecristi is also home to the works of Eduardo Vega, a muralist and ceramist based in Ecuador. This is the only North American representative for the legendary artist. The owners of Montecristi, Fabian and Mercedes, have a cultural connection to Vega, as they themselves emigrated from Ecuador in the 1990s. Combining Panamanian style with Ecuadorian art, this boutique is a charming hub for fashion and family.

Other intriguing stops include Domain Home and Garden and Knickers & Pearls. Domain sells everything you need to bring beautiful Tuscan style to your garden, bar or kitchen. Update your patio with a wine barrel chair made-to-order by a local craftsman, or add a charming accent to your dining room table with a wine candle chimney set.

Meanwhile, Knickers & Pearls is the ideal destination for a bride-to-be or anyone who loves to embrace their frilly, girly side. You will find high-end lingerie at this boutique, including bodysuits, slips and bra/panty sets. Knickers & Pearls also carries a honeymoon lingerie collection as well as “something blue” undergarments for brides.

Before you leave V Marketplace, be sure to stop in to Kollar Chocolates. This confectionary creates truffles that are truly a work of art. Some favorites include orange Grand Marnier, coffee Kahlua and salted caramel. If you are feeling a bit more adventurous, go with some truffles that pay homage to the local scene – red wine, fennel pollen and vanilla bon bons filled with rum aged for over two decades.

Get Cozy at Overland
Venture out beyond the marketplace and warm up on a cool day at Overland Sheepskin Co. This shop carries high-quality wool garments including coats, vests, sweaters and even fur boots. Overland also carries leather jackets, boots and even cowboy hats. Since Napa’s wineries – especially their famous caves – tend to be a bit chilly, you’ll likely want to nab a new sweater here and wear it right out of the store.

Fine Wine at Groezinger
Obviously, most Yountville visitors are there for the wine tasting, and there’s no better place than Groezinger Wine Merchants when you’re ready for some of the finest vino in town.  While some “imports” from other states reside on their shelves, Groezinger places a strong emphasis on local, smaller wineries. Take home a bottle of a regional favorite that you can’t purchase back home – or take it to one of the smaller, more casual restaurants in town with either no or just a small corkage fee (see “Delicious, Casual Dining in Yountville”).

Score a Piece of History at Aerena Gallery
From 16th-century Scandinavia to vintage Louis Vuitton, Aerena Galleries & Gardens is home to some seriously stunning collectors’ items. If you prefer to fill your home with quality antiques or art pieces that will start a conversation, then you’ll adore Aerena’s selection. You’re welcome to peruse their two Washington Street galleries in Yountville, but in order to purchase, you’ll have to go through their website.

Capture Artistic Expression at North Bay Gallery
North Bay Gallery showcases a rotating gallery of hand-crafted art pieces inspired by wine country. They also hold regular events featuring local artists to inspire and provide you an insider’s perspective on art. Other gatherings include the Napa Valley Film Festival, the Annual Festival of Lights and a 5k benefitting breast cancer research. See something for sale that you love but aren’t quite ready to purchase? Don’t worry – you can take some time to decide and buy many of their pieces online.

Get Classy While You Cook
Foodies visiting Yountville should be sure to stop by Finesse. This chef-designed shop makes cooking look cool with its collection of apparel and accessories. Purchase a youth-sized French Laundry chef coat for the young cuisine enthusiast in your life, or purchase a bag or tote designed to carry bread, aprons and more. Finesse also carries a variety of pantry items and some books. Top shop pick: a collection of cookbooks focused on Napa cuisine, of course.

Given Yountville’s friendly small-business owners, picturesque location and wide variety of boutiques and galleries, the town is a shopper’s delight. Be sure to save some room in your luggage for some local souvenirs or one-of-a-kind purchases.

By Tamara M. Warta
A San Francisco Bay Area author, Tamara M. Warta’s work has been featured in USA Today, GreenPrints Magazine and About.com. Her novel, Those Little Dark Nights, is available on Amazon as well as major book retailers

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