Yountville, already considered a food mecca by most standards (hello, French Laundry), is about to become even more of a destination with the reconfiguration of Michael Chiarello's NapaStyle. While the catalogue company will remain as-is, the flagship retail location is shifting gears and moving away from general wine country souvenirs to a much more Eataly-like experience.
Much like Mario Batali's famed NYC and Chicago food halls, Chiarello's yet-unnamed project will be based on food experiences, with retail goods designed to match them. Gruppo Chiarello's Brooks Griffin explained that Chiarello and his team are taking NapaStyle "back to its roots," offering tourists and locals experiences that they'll be hard-pressed to recreate elsewhere. The catalogue and store, which opened across from Bottega in 2000, have always been part of Chiarello's effort to offer "experiential entertaining at home." Now the focus is shifting to a better food experience in Napa Valley itself. "I don't care about selling wine charms," said Griffin. "We want to create an amazing experience for guests, and any souvenir will be a reminder of that memory."
According to Griffin, the new space will include a full-service mozzarella bar where the cheese is hand-pulled to order, a wood-fired pizza bar, juice bar, custom wine blending lab and "nanobrewery," where small batches of Italian-style beers will be brewed. They'll also have a tasting bar for a plethora of jams, salts, and oils, as well as option to order a custom picnic basket filled with Chiarello's housemade charcuterie and cheeses. And, there will be a café where diners can enjoy a leisurely breakfast and snacks, while watching the never ending line at Bouchon Bakery.
For lovers of cheeseboards and other NapaStyle goods, the current iteration of NapaStyle will close on January 4, 2016 (after a big inventory sale). The new project has an anticipated opening in mid-March.