Regional Champion

Christopher Kostow wants to change how we see--and taste--the Napa Valley

Dwight Eschliman for TIME

Christopher Kostow

Though the sleepy town of St. Helena, Calif., is in the heart of wine country, its chief role in Northern California's booming tourism industry is that of a drive-through. It is among several towns that one can unwittingly pass while driving around the region--unlike such destinations as Sonoma, 24 miles southwest, or Napa, 9 miles south. Which makes it all the more remarkable that an establishment in St. Helena--the Restaurant at Meadowood, helmed by chef Christopher Kostow--is one of just two restaurants in the western U.S. to hold three Michelin stars. (The other is the French Laundry, Thomas Keller's nearby bastion...

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