Thanks all very much for the good info.
The plan's in place and reservations made. We'll be in St Helena for five days and then down to Carmel area for another five - the second week of Feb.
After touring wine country, we'll come down and stay at the Seven Gables Inn in Pacific Grove (Higlands was booked). We've made reservations at Grasing's with more to decide on when there. We're also dining at the Master's of Food and Wine event at the Highhlands Inn (which so happens to run the week we're there... how convenient) featuring Chefs like Daniel Boulud, Charlie Trotter etc... (the AA and EWs of food).
Aside from the usual must-see in the area, we might well take a day trip to Yosemite hoping for the rain to let up by then (and to allow us to put the top down on our rented convertible !).
Looking forward to it and thanks again folks for the tips.
PS .... still debating whether I will take my 8x10 along.