If you were visiting California from afar and wanted to have a food and wine adventure in the Napa Valley you might think COPIA would be worth a visit. Don't bother, do something interesting instead.

The mistake we made was thinking COPIA would be like a museum with interesting exhibits to visit. It's not. It's more like a visitor's center, a big open space with some mediocre interpretive plaques showing you Our Friend the Farmer. Or in this case Our Friend the Brand Identity with ample space for wine labels, food packaging, and other contemporary logomark bearing flat objects. Boring.

I think maybe the place works better in its second role as a neutral meeting and educational space for the wine industry. They had a series of scheduled wine tastings every day that looked pretty good and more structured than boozing it up down Highway 29.

Lunch at their restaurant Julia's Kitchen was fantastic; both the chef and pastry chef were quite impressive and naturally there's a great wine selection. But there's so many places to go for beautiful scenery, food, and wine in Napa that COPIA can't compete. It's too bad, it'd be great to have a wine museum destination in California.

  2007-10-07 18:17 Z