Recently in Napa Valley Category

New to Napa Valley Film Fest - Lifestyle Pavilion

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In it's third year, the Napa Valley Film Festival (November 13-17, 2013) is upping the ante of hip and sophistication with the addition of the swank Lifestyle Pavilion.

nvff-lifestyle-pavilion.jpgThe Pavilion will be centrally located in downtown Napa's Oxbow Market and open to passholders and the public Friday, November 15th - Sunday, November 17th, 10am - 6pm. Experience the latest innovation in cars, technology, and culinary trends; attend film industry panels and cooking demonstrations; and enjoy premier wines at the Wine Pavilion and a chalice or two of Stella Artois. See all the hip details below and if you haven't gotten passes yet, what are you waiting for?! Click Here to buy festival passes now.

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LOUNGES:

CADILLAC LUXURY LOUNGE
See Cadillac's hottest vehicles at the Cadillac Luxury Lounge featuring their all-new 2014 CTS sedan, the centerpiece of the Cadillac line up, that ascends into the heart of the midsize luxury market with expanded performance, elevated luxury, and sophisticated technology.

SONY DIGITAL LOUNGE AND STAGE
Just like Dorothy landing in OZ, your world will burst into a kaleidoscope of vivid colors in the Sony Digital Lounge. Experience the clarity, beauty, and the rich colors of film on a Sony 4K TV. Red, aqua blues, and emerald greens burst from the 4K displays in sharp, realistic fashion.

STELLA ARTOIS
Since 1366, crafting the rich flavor of Stella Artois has been a serious pursuit of excellence. Served in the specially designed Chalice, where every sip is perfection. Thanks to its love affair with the silver screen, Stella Artois supports the prestigious Sundance Film Festival and Cannes Film Festival...and now, the Napa Valley Film Festival.

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE STYLE LOUNGE
Come experience the magic of Hollywood through the latest styles and fashions. The beauty of nature juxtaposed with beautiful women...as seen in San Francisco Chronicle's annual wedding issue where such stunning photos serve as a perfect backdrop to Roche Bobois' celebration of exquisite interior design.

Enjoy the Whimsical Crush Season in Calistoga

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The California harvest season is a whimsical experience when staying in Calistoga. Known for its hot springs and world-class wine, this northern Napa Valley town adds another dimension to the wine country.

calistoga-chamber-calistoga-crush-season.jpgThe natural beauty of this perfectly preserved town, named a "Distinctive Destination" by the Trust for Historic Preservation, maintains the intimate nature of yesteryear. During the harvest, from mid-August to October, the vineyards of Calistoga transform from a luscious landscape to a buzzing dance filled with the vivacious movement of the ripened grapes. The ambiance is breathtaking as the season's colors come to life with vibrant hues of tangerine and copper, and the sweet scents of the soft fruity notes from harvest's crush fill the air.

With an all-embracing personality, this spirited community offers a one-of -a- kind experience.  Many local Calistoga wineries host special events featuring the finest of the season's harvest.  Tasting rooms offer opportunities to sample the freshly picked grapes as they make their way to be transformed into the red and white elixir of the appellation. Production tours during the harvest offer a sneak peek into the winemaker's world as they feature the season's crush - the ultimate time to experience the most exciting process of crafting fine collections of decadent wines in Napa Valley.

5 Ways to Uncork Fun in Napa Valley

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Wine tasting, incredible food and breathtaking scenery . . . what more can you ask for when you head to Napa Valley? From girlfriend getaways and guy-only vacays to weekend escapes and family retreats, Napa has something for everyone. Read five ways to live it up and enjoy Napa Valley: 

Meghan-Lamb-Napa-Valley-Oakville-DSC_0044.jpgPhotographer Credit: Meghan Lamb
(1) Walk this Way
Whether Napa is a weekend excursion or a vacation you planned six months ago, wine tasting is at the top of everyone's list. To avoid needing a "DD" or renting a party bus for the day, grab a $25 Taste Napa Downtown card to explore 12 different tasting rooms and wine bars within walking distance of each other. Park your car, take your time, and enjoy the vino without worrying about the next stop on your tour.

ladies_iStock_000004513478XSmall.jpg(2) Ladies Night! (and Daytime too)
Napa Valley is one destination that beckons girlfriends who love to gather, celebrate their sisterhood and sample the grape without the shame and guilt of a Vegas girls getaway. By day, indulge in a soothing spa treatment at many of the spas and wellness centers nearby. Spa Terra located at the Meritage Resort is a perfect choice with their 22,000 square foot Estate Cave spa sanctuary. By night, head to Bistro Sabor for Salsa Saturdays co-hosted by Ceja Vineyards where you can shake what your mama gave you--no cover charge and no partner needed. Just show up!

(3) Just for the Bro's
Trust us, it's not always about MMA Fighting or Nascar when the fellas get together for a guys-only vacay. With more men channeling their inner Anthony Bourdain, food has become the focus for "man-scapes" near and far. Napa Valley is home to more Michelin stars per capita than anywhere in the world and the culinary talents of superstars such as Thomas Keller (French Laundry ring a bell, anyone?). To work off the decadent meals and wine-induced calories, head to Napa Golf Course at Kennedy Park for a few rounds of golf. Or paddle your way through the valley by kayaking on the Napa River.

Calistoga - Mustard, Mud, and Music Festival

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Rock out to your old favorite tunes, enjoy the outdoors, and taste delicious food & wine in Downtown Calistoga, March 9, 2013.

calistogaChamber_mustardMudMusicFestival_mustardFields.jpgPhoto Courtesy of Calistoga Visitors Bureau; Photographer Ivan Miller

The annual Mustard, Mud, and Music Festival is returning to Calistoga. Take in the beautiful views of the mustard decorating the city and enjoy 13 bands, 25 wineries, three art galleries, a wellness center and a variety of restaurants with mustard themed food. This fun event happens Saturday, March 9, 2013, from 12 - 5 p.m. along Lincoln Avenue in downtown Calistoga. CLICK HERE to purchase tickets in advance

Participating wineries include Alienor Wines, Bennett Lane Winery, Canard Vineyard, Chateau Montelena, Castello di Amorosa, Envy Wines, Frank Family Vineyards, Joseph Cellars, Tedeschi Family Winery, Twomey Cellars, Vermeil Wines/OnThEdge, Von Strasser Winery, Zahtila Vineyards/Laura Michael Wines, Ziata Wines and more. 

Plan Your Wedding in Napa Valley

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By: Harvest Inn in St. Helena, CA
Photo Credit: Patricia Mark Photography


Wedding-kiss-in-vineyards----credit-Patricia-Mark-Photography-(2).jpgNow is the time to turn a dream of a romantic, al fresco wedding deep in Napa Valley's wine country  into a reality - before the summer is booked up.  Most couples think of having a wedding ceremony at a winery; unfortunately, many Napa Valley wineries are not permitted to serve as a wedding venue. However, don't despair brides, you can still have your fairy tale wine country wedding with beautiful views of the vineyards as the setting.

Harvest Inn, located in the charming town of St. Helena, hosts dozens of weddings annually. Named one of the 'Most romantic date destinations in America' by Redbook magazine, Harvest Inn's eight acres of beautifully landscaped gardens and vineyards offer a setting unmatched anywhere else in Napa Valley. This gorgeous setting is just steps away from where the happy couple exchanges "I do's".

The perfect place to turn that first date into a lasting commitment is the Vineyard Terrace - a favorite for ceremonies - that creates a stunning setting overlooking the Leonardini Vineyards with views of the Mayacamas Mountains beyond. Afterward, guests can sip cocktails and play croquet and badminton on the Manor House Lawn, while the same Vineyard Terrace is transformed for an elegant dinner. The morning following the big day, newlyweds can wake up to a complimentary wine country breakfast and unwind with spa treatments in a private cabana by the vineyards. Surrounded by redwoods and grape vines, the Inn has a secluded feel, yet guests can still walk to St. Helena's  pleasant Main Street, home to several fine dining restaurants and boutiques.

HarvestInn_Weddings_Tables-set-up-vineyard-view-(2).jpg


Bridal Bliss at Millken Creek Inn & Spa

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Last Minute Elopements and Intimate Events -
 It's Not Too Late for a Dream Wedding in Napa Valley Wine Country

nvWeddings.jpgBridal bliss does not have to take months of planning and stressful arrangements. Sometimes, the best decisions are made in the blink of an eye. For those dreaming of a Napa Valley wine country wedding but think they've missed the boat for 2012, think again. Easy arrangements for intimate weddings are within reach at Milliken Creek Inn & Spa - an exclusive and authentic boutique luxury hotel and spa nestled on the banks of the Napa River.

Small weddings are a big trend. To many, the appeal of a complete retreat from day-to-day cares takes the shape of an elopement - the ultimate in intimate weddings. For others, small groups of close friends or family are cause for celebration. Either way, an added benefit of the small wedding in Napa is that Napa is also the perfect choice for a honeymoon! Why not combine both and enjoy an extended escape.

To satisfy an ever-growing demand, Milliken Creek Inn & Spa has introduced a series of nuptial packages for the newly engaged who seek the utmost in intimate wedding experiences: Elopement, Intimate Wedding, and The Takeover. Each package offers a picture-perfect idyllic garden-setting backdrop. An on-site guest services team is available to ensure newlyweds can relax and enjoy all that Napa has to offer. For those seeking a more customized approach to wedding planning, Milliken's wedding coordinator can create any number of package variations.

See detailed package information below and call 800.822.8418 to speak to a Milliken wedding specialist visit www.MillikenCreekInn.com.

Playing Hooky: It's Not Just for Kids

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Escape Winter Work and Worries for a Wine Country Escape
at Milliken Creek Inn & Spa


It's the time of year that often seems the longest. With no official long holiday weekends until the end of May and summer nowhere near, the days drag. So why not sneak away mid-week and be your own boss for a few days?

Milliken Creek Inn & Spa, a12-room luxury boutique hotel and spa in the very heart of Napa, invites you to "play hooky" and escape to a place where the "daily grind" includes sleeping in a plush luxurious bed, sipping wine by the fireplace and getting massaged by an expertly trained professional. Playing Hooky is not just for kids - just as a power nap helps the brain focus for the rest of the day, Milliken Creek Inn & Spa proposes that a quick and strategic break from the work routine helps refresh the mind and renew the body!

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With Milliken Creek Inn and Spa's "Playing Hooky" package, guests experience:
  • One night accommodations in a Milliken Room with King Bed                                     (Sunday through Thursday only)
  • One 60-minute aromatherapy massage
  • Breakfast for two each morning served in your room or anywhere on property
  • Concierge assistance in planning and visiting the most acclaimed wineries and restaurants in Napa Valley
  • Daily sunset Magic Hour wine and cheese reception


Red, White, & Bubbles at AVIA Napa

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Join Chef Aken for his Tasty and Popular Second Sunday Supper Club Plus Small Plates of Soft Shell Crab, Champagne Sparklers
and Live Music on the Terrace


terrace.lounging.jpgAVIA Napa, a AAA Four Diamond hideaway in the heart of Downtown Napa, salutes the month of July with the flavors of summer. Chef Chris Aken, who will be available to chat every Thursday at the Napa Downtown Chefs' Market from 5-9pm, gets things cooking at his popular Second Sunday Supper Club on July 10 from 5:30-7:30pm featuring a four-course dinner of Americana Cowboy Cuisine paired with wines by Bounty Hunter Rare Wine + Provisions. The cost is $75 per person, excluding tax and gratuity, and features an evening of cooking demonstrations and communal grazing.   

Foodies can also stop in anytime in July to enjoy Chef Aken's small plates of seasonal Soft Shell Crab served with corn, roasted tomatoes and citrus beurre blanc paired with a Champagne Sparkler. AVIA A-Listers, an elite group who receive exclusive perks and discounts, can enjoy a complimentary Champagne Sparkler during July when they order the Soft Shell Crab.  To become an AVIA A-Lister, visit www.aviahotels.com.  

Restaurant Month in California

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All around California, restaurants are celebrating the month of January with fabulous dining specials and savings for lunch and/or dinner. Splurge, savor, and save is the name of the game. See if your favorite restaurant or one you always wanted to try is on the list in the regions below.

Gold Country. You may not find gold, but with savings on food like these, you might as well have! Restaurant Week in Gold Country is January 32-30 with a grand finale on January 30th where the area's finest chefs will offer a unique opportunity to be an El Dorado Epicurean in a countywide progressive dinner. More Details

Monterey County. Catch some fresh seafood in Monterey during Restaurant Month. Participating restaurants are offering prix fixe dinner menus for $20.11 all month long. More Details.

Napa Valley - see our Food Writer's top restaurant picks for deals and steals. Or see the full list of Napa Valley restaurants and their specials here.

Santa Barbara Wine Country
  • Santa Barbara -Dubbed "Film Feast", the prix fixe restaurant program coincides with the Santa Barbara International Film Festival all happening January 27-Feb 6, 2011. Film goers and foodies are invited to choose from "Short" (two-course), "Feature" (three-course) and "Epic" (four-course) length seasonal menus at participating restaurants. MORE DETAILS.
  • Santa Ynez Valley - The foodie fun begins January 23rd and ends January 29th. It's this region's first time participating in Restaurant Month and they will be featuring special 3-course tasting menus for $20.11. A list of participating restaurants is listed, but you will need to contact restaurants directly for specific days, dining hours and to make reservations. MORE DETAILS.

Winter in the Wineries

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wineriesInWinterCalistoga.jpgCALISTOGA, CA - The town's tagline is "Hot Springs, Cool Wines, and Warm Welcome". Warm welcome is exactly what Calistoga is doing this winter when it invites travelers now through Febuary 6, 2011 to enjoy wine tasting, tours, and even the opportunity to meet a winemaker when you visit with your passport!

Passports are only $50 and offer an extreme value to anyone visiting Napa Valley. You can use the passport as many times as you would like throughout the passport season and in addition to wine tasting, it includes discounts at several Calistoga's restaurants, hotels, and B&Bs. Restaurants are waiving all corkage fees and lodging partners are offering special room rates for all passport holders.

There's More To Do Than Just Drink

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calistogaBalloons.jpgAlcohol-Free Activities In Calistoga
by Deirdre Bourdet

Whether you're a tippler, a toddler, or a teetotaler, everyone needs to do things other than drink wine on a trip to wine country.  These non-alcoholic activities are also some of the most enjoyable ways to spend your time in the Calistoga area.

Take to the Air
What better way to experience the beauty and distinctive landmarks of the northern Napa Valley than to fly above them? Whether you fantasize about lazy balloon rides through early morning air, or World War II-era biplane missions, or swift and exciting modern glider plane trips, Calistoga has got you covered.  Calistoga Balloons offers one of the Napa Valley's best hot-air balloon experiences, thanks to the incomparable scenery of the northern valley.  You will cruise over Castello di Amorosa, the Palisade Cliffs, Mt. St. Helena, Ch√Ęteau Montelena, Old Faithful Geyser, and the Petrified Forest, and then enjoy a complimentary champagne brunch at Hydro Grill.  Balloon rides are $225 per person, all inclusive, but only $199 if booked online. Reservations are required 24 hours in advance. 

crazyCreekGliders.jpgIf floating at the speed of the wind isn't fast enough for you, head slightly out of town to Crazy Creek Air Adventures in Middletown, which offers scenic trips in sleek gliders and restored historic bi-planes, as well as flying lessons to those who yearn to rule the skies. Book your flight directly online where rates range from $149 to $330 for the ultimate glider ride!


Explore the town of Calistoga!

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grapes.jpgCalistoga has drawn residents and visitors to the Napa Valley for over a hundred years. It offers an elegent mixture of old charm and rural sophistication. Hot springs, B&B's, resorts, and the most picturesque wineries and vineyards you've ever seen, and more have made Calistoga a relaxing getaway in wine country.

We invite you to read the following set of articles, reviews, and recommendations on where to explore, what to see and taste, and of course stay in this small tour guide slice of what makes Calistoga so special!

Mini Travel Guide
The Comforts of Home - Stevenson Manor Inn

 

WINE TASTING

Wine Tasting Itinerary
Winemaking Stroll Down Bennett Lane
No Wine Over $25
Beyond the Tasting Room

THINGS TO DO

More To Do Than Just Drink
Upcoming Fall & Winter Events
Calistoga's Michelin Star at the Bar


SPECIALS ALERT!
Sweet Lodging Deals
Calistoga Hotel & Resort Specials
Lavender Hill Spa - Harvest Treatment

Lodging Specials in Napa, CA

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It's decided. Your next trip is to Napa Valley. In fact, you are going to stay in the town of Napa, because it's a great home base for all of your spa appointments, wine tasting, shopping, and nightlife needs. And of course, easy access to the rest of the Valley. Great! Now where are you going to stay?  Check out the latest batch of specials and package offers from hotels, resorts, and bed & breakfasts in Napa.

Bed & Breakfast/Inns

1801 First
Mid Week Special - Stay Sunday - Thursday in a cottage for only $795. Your stay includes a gourmet breakfast as well as complimentary evening wine and cheese. MORE DETAILS

Arbor Guest House
2010 Harvest Retreat - 2 nights in a luxurious room, 3-course gourmet breakfast each morning, signature couples spa treatment, wine reception each each evening and complimentary concierge service. Expires 10/31/10. MORE DETAILS

Bel Abri - Boutique Resorts
Last Minute VIP Special - 2 Night package. Make reservations five or fewer days prior to arrival and receive $50 off first night.  MORE DETAILS


Yountville: Stay In Style

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By Courtney Cochran

Call Yountville what you like - gourmet mecca, Wine Country paradise, vinous nirvana - just don't miss a stay in this bucolic hamlet superbly situated in the heart of Napa Valley. Herein, tips on where to rest your head when you touch down in this oenological utopia.

Visiting Yountville, CA

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YOUNTVILLE, CA - Luxurious accommodations at four star resorts and hotels, Michelin star rated restaurants, boutique style shopping, art galleries, activities ranging from hot air balloon rides to zip lining, and wineries of every variety and style - welcome to Yountville. Experience why this town is considered the must-stop wine destination in Napa Valley.


Travel, Taste, and Things To Do
Hotel Luca: A Tuscan Getaway
Vintage Inn: A Slice of Provence
Yountville Tasting Itinerary
Taste in Town
Bell Wine Cellars Wins!
Summer Lunching in Yountville
Secret Gardens of The French Laundry & Bardessono
Tomatoville Touches Down
Summer Events

Ready to Plan Your Trip?
Find a place to stay at several resorts, hotels, and bed & breakfasts.
Make reservations in advance at some of the best restaurants.
Print out tasting offers from several wineries on your itinerary.
See the vineyards from a hot air balloon ride, or by bike!

Activities In St. Helena

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A 1337 shop in St. Helena

Image by ohkaterina via Flickr

There's More To Do Than Just Drink

By Deirdre Bourdet

ST. HELENA, CA - Whether you're a tippler, a toddler, or a teetotaler, everyone needs to do things other than drink wine on a trip to wine country. Fortunately, there are plenty of non-alcoholic activities to entertain you in just about every sub-region of the Napa and Sonoma Valleys. This series of articles will point you to some of the less obvious ways to have fun in the land of wine.
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Adagio Inn - An Enchanting Napa Valley B&B

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adagioFeatureWCIStockpic1.jpgWith breathtaking views of vineyards around every bend and curve of the road, it's no surprise so many people plan vacations to Napa Valley year-round. Of course, choosing a place to stay is no easy to task. There are a host of bed and breakfasts, inns, and hotels to choose from all beckoning you with promises of a heavenly stay at their property complete with creature comforts.

Perhaps we can help narrow your choices . . .

Adagio Inn Bed and Breakfast is situated in the historic downtown St. Helena, California, in a quiet neighborhood of the Napa Valley. It is just a two-block walk to world-class restaurants and shops. And the over 400 Napa Valley wineries you passed on your way to Adagio Inn are all, of course, awaiting your arrival as well.

adagioFeatureRoompic.jpgThe Inn features three luxurious guestrooms all designed with your utmost comfort in mind.  As innkeeper/owner Polly Keegan says "People seem to love it ... especially the comfortable king beds, fine linens and expansive, elegant surroundings". Aveda amenities are in the bathrooms, sterling silver and Italian dinnerware in the breakfast room, and comfy rockers on the porch, looking down upon a really lovely garden.

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