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Chef Thomas Keller’s Culinary Road to Happiness

  • Photo © 2011 Trinette Reed Photography
    Auberge du Soleil terrace Photo © 2011 Trinette Reed Photography
  • Auberge du Soleil
  • Auberge du Soleil room
  • Photo by Brent Winebrenner
    Hotel Les Mars Photo by Brent Winebrenner
  • Chef Thomas Keller
  • Chef Christopher Kostow
  • Photo by George Ross
    Blantyre Photo by George Ross
  • Photo by George Ross
    Blantyre Photo by George Ross
  • Photo © DR Relais & Châteaux
    Meadowood Photo © DR Relais & Châteaux
  • Photo © 2011 Trinette Reed Photography
  • Photo by Brent Winebrenner
  • Photo by George Ross
  • Photo by George Ross
  • Photo © DR Relais & Châteaux

For the first time in 50 years, Relais & Châteaux is reviving its Route du Bonheur package: a series of dining-driven itineraries led by notable chefs, starting with Thomas Keller’s personalized tour of Northern California. The five-day journey, priced from $1,470, will stop at the chef’s favorite destinations for wine, food, and sites from Napa Valley to San Francisco, and includes stays at Relais & Châteaux properties.

Stops include an afternoon touring and wine-tasting at Chalk Hill Estate in the Mayacamas Mountains, the family-run Chappellet Winery atop Pritchard Hill, and the 240-acre Harlan Estate Vineyards, which produces fewer than 2,000 cases a year of its acclaimed Bordeaux. Along the way, guests will see the towering redwoods and drive the 30-mile Silverado Trail, which fosters some 40 vineyards known for their hard-to-find small-batch wines. In San Francisco, Keller highlights the Ferry Building Marketplace—an old ferry station that has been converted into a farmer’s market with shops and local artisanal-food vendors, coffee shops, and restaurants.

Throughout the trip, Relais & Châteaux reserves dinners for its guests at Charlie Palmer’s Dry Creek Kitchen in Healdsburg, the Restaurant at Meadowood in St. Helena, Auberge du Soleil in Rutherford, Gary Danko in San Francisco, and Keller’s famed Yountville eatery the French Laundry; accommodations are included at Hotel les Mars in Healdsburg, Meadowood Napa Valley, and Auberge du Soleil. Three alternate U.S. routes—a tour of the Northeast from New York to Maine; the Southeast from Washington, D.C., to South Carolina; and Manhattan and the Hudson Valley—include stays at the Surrey Hotel in Manhattan, Windham Hill Inn in southern Vermont, and the Inn at Little Washington in Virginia. Relais & Châteaux will also customize trips for guests. (800.735.2478, www.relaischateaux.com/en/route-du-bonheur)

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