Since its discovery millennia ago, wine has held an important artistic, cultural and economic role in many cultures. Places where fine wine is produced continue to enjoy popularity from travelers and wine enthusiasts and from those who appreciate the beautiful scenery that often accompanies an ideal grape-growing environment.

California's Napa Valley is famed as one of the finest locations for wine production in the world. At the heart of this beautiful valley is Napa, a city that provides many opportunities for enjoying not just fine wine, but other culturally enriching experiences.

Italians have been passionate about their opera and wine for hundreds of years. Maybe that's why the two seem to go hand in hand. Visitors to Napa can enjoy the latest production at the Napa Valley Opera House. While the act, performance or play is not sure to be in Italian these days, you can still stop by Piccolino's Italian Cafe or Ristorante Allegria for some tasty reminders of the Old Country.

While there are fewer opera houses in France, fine wine certainly is not lost on the French culture and tradition. In tribute, you can visit the Domaine Carneros Winery, and sip wine while enjoying some impressive architecture and landscaping that is inspired by a legacy of French chateaux.

Ready for more fine food and fine art? You will find both at Copia: The American Center for Wine, Food and the Arts. In addition to several art galleries, there are extensive edible gardens here at Copia that are not just for show but are used by the in-house restaurant for their ingredients. So if you dine here, you can view beautiful works of fine art and then enjoy a meal derived from the respective arts of nature, gardening, cooking and food preparation all rolled into one. Take small bites.

And we must not forget those among us who consider shopping an art. Napa has a place for you as well. The Napa General Store, Napa Premium Outlets and Napa Town Center are a few places you can visit to purchase a masterful collection of items.

Wine, art and food form an important cultural component prized by many cultures. Maybe that's why painters and other artists have enjoyed depicting wine bottles, fruit bowls and other edibles for millennia. And while the history of Napa as a city does not extend far past 150 years, the hallmarks of the city surrounding these three aspects of human culture have roots in an ancient and sophisticated tradition that you are sure to enjoy.