The French Laundry

Few restaurants anywhere in the world can claim to have had the impact and influence of The French Laundry. Since chef Thomas Keller took over in Yountville in 1992, it has consistently ranked among the world’s best, a magnet for awards and stars, and, on its daily changing tasting menus, a pioneer of refined modern California cooking where seasonal local ingredients are the star.

Wine has always been a central part of Keller’s vision, both at the Laundry with its wine country location, and in the many other acclaimed restaurants he’s gone on to create. Under the auspices of Master Sommelier Erik Johnson, the Laundry’s wine program is both a varied and considered reflection of Keller’s cuisine, and, with its collection of stellar global names, a draw in its own right. This is a benchmark modern fine-dining list, unafraid to explore the lesser-known byways of Europe (a fine selection of Slovenian whites; a handful of high-quality Greeks), but at its strongest in its collection of great names and mature vintages from the domestic scene on its doorstep, and from classical France, Italy, Germany, and Spain.