Wine inspires, but food sustains in the San Francisco Bay Area, so the Culinary Institute of America (the other CIA) in Napa Valley is a must-do for cooking classes. And they're quick and easy -- 1 to 2 hours. This ongoing series of classes the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena makes it easy to actually develop a small skill in the midst of experiencing the marvelous vineyards.
We girlfriends were jaunting through the Valley one spring day and discovered the Spring Table series at Greystone, the former home of the Christian Brothers Winery. Classes are Friday-Monday and a demo is held the first Tuesday of the month. The 1-hour public cooking demonstrations ($15) include the recipe and tasting while the 2-hour hands-on cooking classes (75)consist of a 30-minute lecture, 90-minute cooking and tasting with a glass of wine. Classes in May, for example, include "Terrine of Salmon with Spring Vegetables," "Lamb Carpaccio with Greek Feta Cheese, Black Olives, Lemon Vinaigrette and Mint Oil" and "Sweet Pea Ravioli with Sauteed Pea Tendrils." I'm getting so hungry I don't think I can finish this post!
There are also Wine Enthusiast classes and elegant dinners at The Wine Spectator Greystone Restaurant, which you can check out on their website.