@MsATC: I always recommend the wine train to out of town guests but it really depends on your preference. My DH and I actually just did the wine train date with friends a few weeks ago. The food is amazing and the views spectacular. It gives you a great introduction to the Napa Valley and it will be light for the dinner portion but dark for the return to Napa (dessert portion).
Okay now where do I begin???
Napa Valley is gorgeous of course but you will get a lot more for your wine tasting buck if you stick to Sonoma. So that is up to you. Sonoma is about 30 minutes from the Sheraton and Napa (city) is about 45 minutes to an hour. However, you will need to drive further into the valley to get to the wineries and name restaurants. I would say you need to allow 90 minutes to really get to the tourist draws in Napa Valley.
Food in Napa Valley:
-Yountville: Bouchon (or the bakery for the Bouchon brownie bites, they are out of this world) or Bistro Jeanty
-Rutherford: Rutherford Grill (amazing, one of my faves!)
-St. Helena: Adorable town, highly recommend walking around and seeing the shops (I used to live there) and eat at Pizzeria Tra Vigne. Most amazing pizza if you like rustic thinner crust. For amazing sandwiches try Guigni’s…tastes better than the shop looks. Grab a sandwich and head into the town park for a romantic bite. Not sure if you enjoy hiking but there is the Bothe State Park with great shaded hiking trails, this is right outside St. Helena.
-Calistoga: Checker’s (great Italian) or Brannan’s Grill. This is a nother great place to walk around. If you are in need of some pampering you can hit up Indian Hot Springs. It is truly amazing and a great way to enjoy a warm afternooon after your massage/treatment.
Now for wineries there are loads of amazing places you can go. My favorites thanks to the amazing architecture alone are; Darioush, Castello Di Amarosa, Peju, Opus, and Domaine Carneros. These are just amazing on their own for a picnic lunch…no need to taste the wine. Domaine Carneros is on your way from Petaluma to Napa Valley anyway so it makes a nice pit stop.
My favorite restaurants are the Girl and The Fig and Red Grape Pizzeria, both equally amazing. Again if you like hiking there is a great and moderate trail that takes you to an amazing overlook of all Sonoma (if my DH can do it anyone can).
Not sure if you like trains but there is a really cute train town. My DH and I went about a month ago just for kicks. It was pretty fun.
As for where you are staying, there are some pretty amazing restaurants in Petaluma too just in case you find yourself not wanting to leave the area.
Anyway as you can see I have loads of info in my brain. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions…I live just 10 minutes from the Sheraton. 😛