Despite pandemic, US visitors head to Napa Valley during grape harvest peak


To back up that assertion, Gallagher pointed to Napa County’s hotel occupancy level in August that was just under 70%, and the average daily overnight room rate of $368 for the annual period from August 2020 to August 2021, according to Smith Travel Research. That’s the highest average hotel room rate for that stretch compared with other hot destinations in the Bay Area and Central Coast, including Sonoma County’s $188, Monterey County’s $252 and San Francisco County’s $150.

Gallagher said besides being a “perfect spot to refuel” with food between winery stops, Oakville Grocery shows tourists the important historical elements of the valley.

She credited the grocer’s new ownership under second-generation family vintner Jean-Charles Boisset with “breathing new life into the Oakville property, while staying true to its Napa Valley’s heritage.”

Boisset added Oakville Grocery and its much younger sister store in Healdsburg to his business portfolio at the start of 2019, acquiring them from the family of noted Napa Valley vintner and restaurateur Leslie Rudd, who died in May 2018. He also owns several other area wineries, tasting rooms plus a luxury inn in Napa and Sonoma counties, and in San Francisco, as part of his Boisset Collection of 28 wineries in California, his native France and Canada. Boisset, 52, is married to Gina Gallo, of the acclaimed Gallo wine family.

When announcing his purchase, Boisset said by taking over Oakville Grocery he and his team of employees are responsible “to protect its past and enhance its future.”

Brisk business rebound

The venerable grocery store sits in the center of Napa Valley — which draws nearly 4 million visitors a year who collectively spend $2.2 billion on this 35-mile stretch between the city of Napa and Calistoga — between the Mayacamas Mountains to the west separating Napa and Sonoma counties, and the Vaca Range to the east.

Oakville itself is sandwiched between Rutherford and…