Napa Valley is one of the major premier wine growing regions in the United States. Along with world-renowned award winning wine, countless gourmet restaurants, cozy cafes, and upscale spa-treatment centers it is apparent as to why Napa Valley is one of California’s most popular destination spots year-round.
Home to more than 400 award winning wineries each offering detailed tours, delicious food pairings and an individually remarkable experience – where do you start?
Here is your list of the best spots for a wine-filled weekend in the gorgeous green hills of Napa Valley.
– Where to Stay –
Luxe Calistoga – Built in 1873 this European-style luxury inn is “Reinventing the Bed and Breakfast experience”. Located in the heart of Calistoga, Luxe Calistoga is prime when discovering Napa Valley’s wine country lodging. This Bed and Breakfast exclusively holds five bedrooms including two Suites; each room including a cozy gas fireplace, beautiful marble bathrooms and luxury linens. Guests can enjoy a 4-course breakfast in the morning and wine and cheese service nightly. Expect your stay to be nothing but the best!
Black Rock Inn – This Victorian style boutique Inn is carefully tucked away on a nature filled hillside near Calistoga. Along with their spacious suites designed for an upscale traveler, each morning you’ll experience fresh juice, delicious baked goods and flavorful prepared breakfast dishes for your choosing. All of this including in house Tasting Room and Wine Cave help set the mood for the perfect stay in Napa Valley.
Harvest Inn by Charlie Palmer – Voted #3 hotel in Northern California by Readers’ Choice Awards, the Harvest Inn sits beautifully upon 8 acres of vineyards. This upscale resort is conveniently located one mile from Downtown and offers a numerous amount of amenities including two secluded swimming pools and a plush spa with indoor and outdoor facilities. The distinctive mix of comfort and modern style will lure you in, wishing to stay longer in your exclusively designed room.
– Where to Eat –
Cafe Sarafornia – With a little history behind the name, Café Sarafornia is one of the last diners left in Napa Valley and was recently awarded “Best Breakfast in Napa Valley” by TripAdvisor. Rightfully so, the cooks here are serving up delicious home style breakfast selections such as “The Best” Huevos Rancheros, creamy Cheese Blintz, sweet Apple Crepes and savory Spinach Portobello Benedicts. Whatever you taste buds desire Sarafornia has it on the menu – and the best part? Breakfast is served all day!
Solbar at Solage Auberge Resort – Ready for a champagne breakfast? Upon dining in a gorgeous luxury Forbes Five-Star Resort, Solbar is serving Napa Valley’s finest local ingredients to the table. Most well known for their Lemon-Ricotta Pancakes drizzled with made-from-scratch blueberry syrup, you can simply taste their inventive twists to your traditional breakfast dishes. Drinks are a big part of their dining experience, so go ahead and order your freshly squeezed Mimosa or crisp bubbly pour of signature Napa Valley Champagne. Cheers!
Gott’s Roadside – Gott’s Roadside is known for being “a different kind of burger joint” and is a true local favorite! Find anything on the menu from Gott’s famous juicy cheeseburger inside a toasted egg bun, chili spiced sweet potato fries or their renowned sushi grade Ahi burger. Enjoy your choice of entree with a glass of Napa’s own Cabernet Sauvignon or a refreshing locally brewed draft beer. At Gott’s Roadside every detail matters and it is anything but ordinary.
Oxbow Public Market – Hosting over 22 local restaurants, breweries, shops and distilleries you can find anything from freshly picked fruits and vegetables, delicious four cheese wood-fired pizzas, slow smoked chicken breast, freshly chucked oysters and more! A few of my favorite local businesses were Fieldwork Brewing Company, Napa Valley Distillery and Fatted Calf Charcuterie – each offering exquisite tastes unlike anything else in Oxbow Public Market.
Napa Valley Wine Train – Offering an authentic memorable experience this fully functional antique train travels 25-miles throughout the most scenic stretches of Napa Valley. Take a trip passing famous and historic wineries perched alongside the lush rolling green hills as you indulge in a divine three course meal set with china and white linens. Feel free to bring your own bottle of wine to sip on during the three hour tour through Napa Valley, and be sure to explore the multiple exquisitely restored vintage rail cars along the ride, too!
Cole’s Chop House – Located in the heart of downtown, Cole’s is firing up 21 day dry-aged U.S.D.A. prime steaks in its preserved historic building. The exposed stone walls and mahogany bar create an ambiance worth staying for a hand crafted signature cocktail or cooked to perfection, succulent steak. An extensive wine list emphasizes Napa Valley’s award winning Cabernet Sauvignon from the area’s finest producers – all of which come together to enhance your dining experience.
– Wine Tastings –
Jarvis Winery – The country’s first winery built entirely underground, Jarvis Winery, takes you on an uniquely designed tour through the 45,000 square foot cave. Indulge in their acclaimed Chardonnays, rich Cabernet Sauvignons and velvety Merlots as you discover Napa Valley’s very first wine cave.
Neyers Vineyards – The craft behind the production of Neyers wines is very unique; Your personable wine educator will guide you through Neyers precise and surprisingly old fashioned methods on how they gracefully create their signature Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon wines.
Porter Family Vineyards – This family owned and operated vineyard rests among ideal conditions for Porter’s precious Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah grape growing. In the center of the vineyard is an extended hill where within the walls, fifty feet underground lies their 17,000 square foot winery; It is here that Porter Family Vineyards carefully craft their smooth crisp wines as they allow you to taste, pair and delight in their cool 60 degree wine cave.
Trinchero Napa Valley – The decor here is one like none else in Napa; Flawlessly designed interior catches your eye within every moment from the time you arrive till the time you are ready to buy a bottle of their hand-crafted, small production wines. Choose from a variety of exceptional wine tours, each allowing you to admire both the impeccable wine and fairytale-like landscape which the vineyard holds.
Palmaz Vineyards – The science and innovation behind this family‘s wine is cutting edge. Palmaz Vineyards’ gravity-flow underground winery is remarkable – medical grade engineering collectively blends tradition and technology together to produce world-class vintage wines, specifically their honored Cabernet Sauvignon. Get ready to take a step-by-step tour of this unique underground world.
– Tips for Your First Time in Napa –
You Must Plan Ahead:
Book your reservations in advance; this includes wine tours, dinner outings and cocktail hours.
What to Wear:
- Skirt and dressy top
- Dressy pants outfit
- Nice jeans and dressy top
- Seasonal sport coat or blazer, and slacks
- Dress shirt, casual button-down shirt, open-collar or polo shirt
- Optional tie
I encourage a light jacket at all times – the wine caves tend to stay at a brisk 60 degrees year-round.
Each couple should leave $10-$20 worth of gratuity with their wine specialist after each tour as common courtesy.
Be Sure to Snack:
While going from winery to winery be sure to continuously snack and drink plenty of water. Pack nutritious and delicious snacks for yourself and others such as:
- Blue Diamond Almonds
- Trail Mix
- Wheat Thins
- Fruit & Nut Bars
**Grab food pairings during your stop at Oxbow Public Market – chocolate truffles or delicate cheese slices go great with any Napa wine.
Remember, Napa Valley consists of more than just the town of Napa. The Valley stretches many miles and includes cities as north as Calistoga, St. Helena and Yountville. Here is a map to help you better see the lengths of Napa Valley:
California’s Napa Valley is one of the world’s great destinations. I truly hope you indulge, unwind and admire every moment during your visit to this gorgeously scenic Wine Country.
xoxo ♥ AB