Recently in Napa Valley Category

Press Release: City Winery Napa at the Historic Napa Valley Opera House

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Opening Shows & Artist Line Up

City Winery Napa at the Historic Napa Valley Opera House is very proud to announce the much-anticipated artist lineup from the soft launch in April through June 2014.  Over the next few weeks ten new concert dates a week will be released until the complete schedule of approximately twenty shows per month is announced. All shows begin at 8pm unless otherwise noted. Tickets available at citywinery.com.

  • Bruce Cockburn : Thursday, April 10 ($35-45)
  • Jay Farrar of Son Volt: Wednesday, April 16 ($26-30)
  • Paris Combo: Thursday, April 17 ($25-35)
  • Lydia Pense & Cold Blood: Thursday, May 8 ($20-25)
  • Karla Bonoff: Friday, May 9 ($20-30)
  • Allen Toussaint: Friday, May 16 ($25-30)
  • John Mayall: Friday, May 23 ($40-50)
  • Leo Kottke: Saturday, May 24 ($30-40
  • Maria Muldaur: Friday, May 30 ($15-25)
  • Red Molly: Thursday, June 12 ($15-20)
  • Milk Carton Kids: Monday, June 16 ($15-25)
  • 10,000 Maniacs: Saturday, June 21 ($40-50)
  • Lewis Black: July 10, 11, 12 ($55-75)

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.

Napa Valley Film Festival (Nov 13-17, 2013)

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Star-Studded Films Headlining This Year's Festival Lineup!

The Napa Valley Film Festival (November 13-17, 2013) is one of the hottest passes to purchase this fall in Napa Valley. Between star-studded films, celebrities (Dianna Agron of Glee and also rumored to be in attendance is Forest Whitaker!), parties, galas, delicious food and, of course, amazing Napa Valley wines, you won't want to miss out on this premiere Napa event!

Film festivities begin on Opening Night, Wednesday, November 13, when the Napa Valley Film Festival will present August: Osage County starring Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts, as part of a dysfunctional family returning to their home in Oklahoma. The film is based on the award-winning play, and directed by John Wells, one of the most prolific writers, directors and producers for television, film and stage. See it before it hits theaters on Christmas!



Next up is two-time Academy Award®-winner Emma Thompson and fellow double Oscar®-winner Tom Hanks with a Gala Presentation, on Thursday, November 14, of Saving Mr. Banks, directed by John Lee Hancock and inspired by the extraordinary, untold backstory of the long road Disney's classic Mary Poppins took to make it to the big screen. Supporting cast includes Colin Farrel, Jason Schwartzman, Bradley Whitford, B.J. Novak, Rachel Griffith, Kathy Baker and Paul Giamatti. Watch the Trailer

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Napa Valley Festival del Sole

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July 12 - 21, 2013

The much anticipated Napa Valley Festival del Sole named by the Wall Street Journal as one of "12 must-experience summer festivals" is only a couple of days away. This annual Napa Valley festival celebrates the diversity of the arts - over 60 world-class music, dance, and theater performances - set against the beauty of the Napa Valley wine region that boasts incomparable wines and the finest of cuisine.


 Have you purchased your festival pass or tickets yet? Several events have already sold out. Some of the performance and events still available - see below:

Friday, July 13
Jean-Yves Thibaudet with the Russian National Orchestra
The mighty Russian National Orchestra, conducted by Carlo Montanaro, returns to Festival del Sole, launching the season's multifaceted Rachmaninoff anniversary celebrations with the celebrated Second Symphony. Festival favorite Jean-Yves Thibaudet presents Saint-Saëns' "Egyptian" Piano Concerto No. 5.
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Tuesday, July 16
Sarah Chang and Jean-Yves Thibaudet with the Russian National Orchestra
Festival del Sole partners with the new Weill Hall at Sonoma State University's Green Music Center for a program featuring the Russian National Orchestra, with Sarah Chang performing Samuel Barber's popular Violin Concerto, and Jean-Yves Thibaudet in Saint-Saëns' "Egyptian" Piano Concerto No. 5, a rarely-performed gem. Carlo Montanaro conducts. (Concert is at Weill Hall at Green Center, Sonoma)

Dive Bar - Bardessono Hotel's Poolside Cocktail Soiree

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Come enjoy a summer's eve at Dive Bar, Bardessono Hotel & Spa's poolside cocktail soiree held the last Thursday of the month from June to August.

bardessonoRooftopPool.jpgBardessono Hotel is located in the heart of Napa Valley in the town of Yountville and has an amazing rooftop pool that is open from 6pm to 8pm for great Happy Hour drink specials and complimentary nibbles from Lucy Restaurant & Bar. Take in the stunning mountain and vineyard views and enjoy a dip and a drink while DJ's spin tunes near the bar.

This year Dive Bar includes a fashion component -  preview the latest summer fashions from top Bay Area boutiques. Come dressed to impress and mingle with Napa Valley locals and top vintners. Our boutique partners will have models showing off some great designs:

  • June 27 - Sisters Boutique/Yountville
  • July 25 - CakePlate / Napa
  • August 29 - Rand + Statler/ San Francisco
Dive Bar is open to the public with free admission and free valet parking. 

Gordon Huether Gallery Presents the Art of Grace Slick

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gordonHuetherGallery.jpgSubmitted by Gordon Huether Gallery

Gordon Huether has been given the rare opportunity to share the stage with artists who are not only known for the fine art they create but also for being world famous musicians. Huether, who has an unprecedented interest in presenting a refreshing variety of artwork to the community, has opened his gallery to introduce the fine art work of some of these celebrities.

In an attempt to mesh the arts, wine and music, Gordon Huether Gallery is kicking off the season in the Napa Valley with a series of exciting and eclectic pop-up exhibitions. The gallery currently has work by world-renowned musician, the legendary Grace Slick of Jefferson Airplane on display.


Join the Gordon Huether Gallery on Friday, May 17th 2013 from 6 - 8PM
 for a reception with a special appearance by Grace Slick. The artist will sign any art purchased at the event and a photo opportunity will be available.

We are honored to have the opportunity to share her work with you:
Gordon Huether Gallery, located at 1465 First Street in Napa, California.

To RSVP please send us an email to mail@gordonhuether.com

Summer Events in Wine Country

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MAY

Funny Girl at the Napa Valley Opera House (May 10-19, 2013)
"Funny Girl" - featuring great songs like "People," I'm the Greatest Star," and "Don't Rain on My Parade," tells the story of legendary singer and comedienne Fanny Brice and her stormy relationship with gambler Nicky Arnstein. Lucky Penny Productions' Taylor Bartolucci stars at the Napa Valley Opera House, backed by a 12-piece orchestra. It's the theatrical event of the year! Click Here for more details.

nvoh_FunnyGirl.jpgEchelon Gran Fondo Series (May 18, 2013)
Be apart of the the Italian cycling phenomenon . . .the Gran Fondo! The Gran Fondo is thousands of your closest friends roaming the beautiful wine country on wheels. There are several bike ride course levels but all riders finish in celebration of epicurean delights from local chefs, wine and beer tasting, live music from local bands, and much more. Enter the race or buy a friends and family ticket to take part in the festivities after the race!
Click Here for more details.

granFondoSeries.jpgAmgen Tour of California in Livermore (May 18, 2013)
Livermore is excited to be the host city on day 7 of the cycling race "Amgen Tour of California" featuring elite professional teams and athletes from around the world.  See road cycling at its best, while enjoying the Livermore healthy-lifestyle festival, incredible downtown boutique and luxury outlet shopping, and dining in the award-winning downtown cafes and restaurants. Click Here for more details.

Auction Napa Valley (E-Auction) (May 26 - June 2, 2013)
Wine lovers around the world, from novice to enthusiast, can still get in on the action of this year's sold-out Auction Napa Valley by bidding on the event's global E-Auction. View more than 170 uniquely exciting lots such as unparalleled access to collectable verticals of wine; hand-etched, large-format bottles never to be seen again; hidden cellars; tucked-away winery guest houses; and meals made just for two--or for 30 of one's closest friends.
Click Here for more details.

Robert Mondavi Summer Concert Series

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Business Wire

44th Annual Summer Concert Series Begins June 29th and
Honors 100th birthday of Robert Mondavi


robertMondaviHeader_MondaviWebsite.jpgThis June, Robert Mondavi Winery kicks off its 44th annual Summer Concert Series with a festival featuring five top musical acts. With June 18 marking what would have been the 100th birthday of Robert Mondavi, country singer and songwriter Martina McBride will begin the series with a performance that celebrates Robert Mondavi's contributions to the wine industry throughout the Napa Valley and beyond. Now a much-anticipated wine country tradition, the annual concert series began in 1969 by Margrit Mondavi.

"Given Bob's love of uniting friends and family over a celebration of food, wine and the arts, I couldn't think of a better way to honor his 100th birthday than by continuing the Summer Concert Series here in the winery's backyard," said Margrit Mondavi, vice president of cultural affairs at Robert Mondavi Winery. "The combination of diverse musical styles, world-class wine and the backdrop of the beautiful To Kalon Vineyard is a truly unique tradition that I know I'm not alone in looking forward to celebrating."

Milliken Creen Inn & Spa Celebrates Napa's Arts in April

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April ushers in a month of arts and special events in the Napa Valley. Blending wine and art throughout the area, the month-long festivities beckon culture-cravers from around the world. In honor of this once-annual event, Milliken Creek Inn & Spa, a luxury boutique hotel in the heart of Napa, has curated a package sure to satisfy wine and art lovers alike.

millikenCreekInn_balcony.jpgThe "Arts in April" package includes:

  • One night's accommodations in a Milliken Creek Inn & Spa Room
  • Bottle of O'Brien Estate Seduction upon arrival
  • Wine tasting for two at the O'Brien Estate Winery 
  • Renowned artist,Tim Howe's work is on display and for purchase at both Milliken Creek Inn & O'Brien Estate
  • Daily gourmet breakfast for two served in-room or anywhere on property
  • Concierge assistance in planning Napa Valley outings including winery visits and dinners
  • Two guest passes to Synergy Wellness and Fitness Center
  • Daily sunset Magic Hour wine and cheese reception
  • Late-night cordial bar

To book this special package, use booking code "ARTS"  online or call 800.822.8418 and mention the package. The "Arts in April" package starts at $320 (plus tax) per one night stay. Offer valid on stays April 1-31, 2013. Package is subject to availability and change. Higher rates may apply on weekends and during holidays. Tax and service charge are not included and upgraded accommodations are available at an additional cost.

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.

Arts in April: The Art of Relaxation at the Meritage Resort and Spa

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Napa Resort Celebrates Napa Valley's Arts in April with
"Meritage Masterpiece"


artsInApril2013_MeritageResort_PhotoByRexGilbert.jpgPhoto Credit: Rex Gilbert

The Meritage Resort and Spa is embracing all that the Napa Valley has to offer and celebrating the arts by creating a true "Meritage Masterpiece" with The Art of Relaxation Package.

This one-of-a-kind package allows guests to dream big and paint their own masterpiece. Easels, canvas, paints and brushes, for two, will be provided at check-in along with overnight hotel accommodations in a superior guest room or suite and multiple spa treatments.

artsInApril2013_MeritageResort_Painter.jpgWhile the new Art of Relaxation Package is available year-round, Meritage Resort is excited to extend to guests an opportunity to take a three-hour watercolor class with local artist Jessel Miller during the month of April! This class will be offered each Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and is only $30 (standard price is $45). Additional information about the class can be obtained by calling Jessel Gallery at 707.257.2350.

"Painting and creating art allows the painter to fully relax and embrace the moment," said Jessel Miller, artist, Napa resident and owner of Jessel Gallery. "Soaking in all that Napa has to offer, while appreciating its beauty, is truly freeing. I hope that Arts in April and this package encourage more Napa Valley visitors to relax for a moment and appreciate the true beauty that is only found in Napa."

Napa Valley: Dog Friendly Hotels & Lodging

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Sometimes, visiting Napa Valley without your dog is just not an option. Perhaps you couldn't find a dog-sitter, or didn't want to pay for a doggie hotel, or maybe you just want your best bud to be with you! Whatever the reason, there are plenty of Napa Valley hotels that offer dog friendly accommodations.

harvestInn_petFriendly_Dog.jpgHarvest Inn
Harvest Inn is just one of the many Napa Valley hotels that are dog friendly and ready to pamper you and your dog. Relax in luxury and comfort in your spacious guestroom where your dog will receive a luxurious bed of their own, custom pet bowls, doggy bags and delicious (so Fido has told us) treats to make your pet's vacation a happy memory.

Offered year-round is their "Love Me, Love My Dog Package":
Bask in the beauty of the Napa Valley and bring your four-legged best friend with an offer that includes a host of creature comforts for your pet. This year, Peanut teamed up with his neighbors at dog friendly V. Sattui Winery to add a $50 certificate to the package, perfect for a premium wine tasting for two and picnic lunch on their beautiful grounds. Special Offer Details (scroll to bottom of the page) Even better, $10 from each package benefits Napa Humane  - see information about their annual March event - Pawsport Napa Valley.

Westin Verasa Napa Valley
Westin Verasa Napa Valley happily welcomes both you and your K9 travelers. They pamper pooches with amenities such as custom-designed luxurious dog beds with miniature Heavenly Bed duvets by Eloise Pet Accessories, plus other touches that will have pets feeling as welcome as their owners. They even have an onsite concierge that will help you with reccomendations for local walking & sitting services, list of pet-grooming services with same day service, locations of pet stores, contact information for 24-hour veterinarians, and locations of nearby runs and parks. See their pet policy and book any one of their special Napa lodging packages!

westinNapaValley_dogFriendlyPicture.jpg

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. 

Napa Valley Performing Arts Center at Lincoln Theater RE-OPENS

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"This theater is a jewel of the whole Napa Valley and we are committed to doing whatever we can to ensure its vibrant and sustainable future."
~ Yountville Mayor John Dunbar


lincolnTheater.jpgThe Lincoln Theater located in the heart of Napa Valley is re-opening and just announced its Grand Opening Celebration (March 23,2013) and first production "Footloose" (March 1-6, 2013). Maestro Ming Luke has been named as the Music & Education Director who will drive the formation of a scalable professional symphonic orchestra and create a comprehensive music education program.

More Event Details and Upcoming Highlights of the Season:

  • Grand Opening Celebration - Tickets Now on Sale!
  • Indulge the senses as the Napa Valley Performing Arts Center at Lincoln Theater's marks its first inaugural fundraising event by celebrating the Lincoln Theater's past, present and future and its transformation from an auditorium built in 1957 to a state-of-the art venue in 2005 to the March 23rd launch as a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary performing arts center.

  • lincolnTheater_footloose.jpgFootloose - Tickets Now on Sale!
  • Justin-Siena Theatre presents one of the most explosive movie musicals that bursts onto the live stage with exhilarating results. To the rockin' rhythm of its Oscar and Tony-nominated top 40 score and augmented with dynamic new songs for the stage musical, Footloose celebrates the wisdom of listening to young people, guiding them with a warm heart and an open mind.

  • Orchestra Performances - Schedule To Be Announced Soon
  • The debut of the symphonic orchestra will be announced shortly; The Napa Valley Performing Arts Center at Lincoln Theater's education program will start with a summer workshop in June, and the first Napa Valley Performing Arts Center-presented performances begin in May.

Visit www.lincolntheater.org for more performance details and media press releases.

Wine Tasting Itinerary: Napa Valley Floor

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Tasting Fee Budget for the Day: $156 per Couple
To keep these kind of offers, buy a bottle or three! (*Please let wine tasting staff know that you were referred by WineCountry.com)

Black Stallion Winery, 4089 Silverado Trail, Napa, CA 94558 , (707) 227.3250
  • $30 Per Couple - Mixed Tasting
  • 10AM - Allow 45 minutes
  • No Reservations Required
  • Directions to Next Stop: Turn L on Silverado Trail and drive 2.4 mi. to Chimney Rock on your R

Chimney Rock Winery, 5350 Silverado Trail, Napa, CA 94558, (707) 257.2641
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  • $40 Per Couple, Terlato Family Vineyards Owner's Selection Tasting
  • 11:15AM  - Allow One Hour
  • No Reservation Required
  • Directions to Next Stop: R on Silverado Trail for 3.1 mi., turn L on Yountville Crossing Rd for 1.9 mi., L on Yount St, R on Humboldt St and L on Washington St, Bakery on your L

Celebrate Romance & Valentine's Day

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livermorePromotion.jpgRomance doesn't have to be celebrated just one day. With Valentine's Day falling on a Friday this year, it's the perfect excuse to plan an extended romantic weekend with the one you love. Let us help you plan! Call 707.260.0721 for our Guest Services to recommend the perfect plan for where to go wine tasting, where to stay, play and eat.

There's a dizzying amount of specials and activities around In Napa Valley and Sonoma this year to celebrate the season of love! Click below:

>> Napa Valley, CA
>> Sonoma County, CA

Celebrities at the Napa Valley Film Festival!

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The stars are coming out for this year's Napa Valley Film Festival, Nov. 7-11, and being celebrated in some amazing new films. The Celebrity Tribute is hosted by Access Hollywood's Billy Bush on November 9th and will honor stars Alan Cummings, James Marsden, Imogen Poots and Adam Driver. CLICK HERE for all access film passes and events.


nvff_alanCumming.jpgSPOTLIGHT
Leading actor Alan Cumming (The Anniversary Party, CBS smash TV hit The Good Wife) will be honored at the Celebrity Tribute program Fri. Nov. 9th and will also appear in person with his film Any Day Now on Nov. 10 in Calistoga and a Q&A Session after the film.

Alan Cumming is chameleon-like in both his choice of roles and his ability to inhabit them convincingly. One of the hardest working actors of our time, the Scotland-born Cumming has enjoyed a successful career in film, theater, and on television.


nvff_jamesMardsen.jpgTRAILBLAZER
Actor James Marsden (Enchanted, Robot & Frank, X-Men Trilogy) will also be on hand at his year's film festival. He has appeared in a wide range of films over the course of his still early career and continues to carve out a distinctive place for himself in Hollywood. James recently wrapped production on Universal's Two Guns opposite Mark Wahlberg and Denzel Washington. He also completed production on Lee Daniel's film The Butler where he takes on the role of John F. Kennedy.

Eat, Drink and Be Scary! at Ghost Winery Flora Springs

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Join Flora Springs Winery for two very special events:

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2011 Ghost Winery Release Party
~ Saturday, October 27th, 10am-4pm
Each year, Flora Springs creates a limited edition varietal to honor their historic "ghost winery." The haunting aromatics and luscious dark fruit flavors of this year's 2011 Ghost Winery Syrah are sure to send a thrill down your spine! Be the first to enjoy the spooktacular taste of the 2011 Ghost Winery Syrah paired with charcuterie and cheese. Costumes encouraged and prizes will be awarded. No extra charge for this event! (No reservation necessary for groups under six. Call The Room at (866) 967.8032 for groups of six or more.

The Ghost Winery Creature Feature Bast

~ Saturday, October 27th; Reception: 5:3pm, Movie: 8:00pm
It's the finale event for the Dinner & Movie Night Series at Flora Spring Winery and it's an evening to DIE for!

Step onto the Hollywood-style red carpet reception with a keepsake photo opportunity. Then experience a memorable tasting of the 2011 Ghost Winery Syrah as you are transported onto the set of the legendary American horror film Sleepy Hollow. Sit down to a hauntingly delicious lobster feed by celebrated Chef John Sorenson before a screening of Sleepy Hollow, directed by Tim Burton and starring Johnny Depp and Christina Ricci. Enjoy Halloween candy, popcorn, and a wine bar during the movie. Be sure to come dressed for the occasion as we will be giving out prizes for our favorite costumes.

Tickets are selling out fast for this event! Only $99 per person or $72.20 per person if you are a wine club member. Reservations required. Call The Room at (866) 967.8032 for reservations.


Napa Valley: Upcoming Crush & Harvest Events

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peju_GrapeStomp.jpg*AUGUST

August 25 -- Roll Out The Barrels
Annual Grape Stomp

Enjoy a European breakfast before heading into our barrel room cellar to taste a special selection of Peju wines. Then head out to the vineyard for our Annual Grape Stomp Competition. Then enjoy Chef Emily's grilled chicken and ribs before the Crowning of the Stomp King or Queen.
Location: Peju Province Winery, 8466 St. Helena Hwy., Rutherford, CA
Fee: $75 General/$65 Wine Club Member; Time: 10:30am - 1:30pm; Phone: 707.963.3600

CLICK HERE for more August Harvest Events.


*SEPTEMBER

September 15 -- Clif Family Annual Harvest Party
Join Gary Erickson and Kit Crawford for an afternoon of local food, wine, music and art. Wine Tastings, Farm Tours, Food & Wine Pairings, Live Music, Grape Stomping and Local Artisans. Call for more information and to purchase tickets. Tickets are $15 for youth ages 11-20.
Location: 15 Angwin Plaza, Napa, CA; Fee: $50 General/ $25 wine club & CSA members; Time: 4:00 pm - 9:00 pm; Phone: 707-968-0625

September 15 -- Harvest Ball at V. Sattui
Come help us celebrate the Harvest and revisit the culture and cuisine of Italy's best-known region with an authentic and traditional Tuscan banquet combined with Napa Valley hospitality and the finest V. Sattui wines for an evening you will long remember! Chef Osvaldo Baroncelli of Prato Italy along with Napa Valley Chef Shannon Kelly. Make your reservations early!
Location:1111 White Lane, St. Helena CA; Fee: $200 Members / $225 Non-members;
Time: 6 p.m. - 12:30 p.m.; Phone: (707) 963.7774

"SOMM" World Premiere at Napa Valley Film Festival!

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Hotly Anticipated Wine Documentary "SOMM" will World Premiere at
Napa Valley Film Festival, November 7-11, 2012

SOMM Documentary premiere teaser trailer, opening documentary at the 2012 Napa Valley Film Festival from Forgotten Man Films on Vimeo.


The Napa Valley Film Festival will kick off with the world premiere of the documentary feature film SOMM on Wednesday, November 7, 2012. SOMM (slang for "sommelier") follows four talented young sommeliers as they cram for the grueling, notoriously difficult Master Sommelier exam.  The exam - a test with one of the lowest pass rates in the world - covers everything to do with the pairing of wine and food on a global level.

 "We are honored to host the world premiere of SOMM," said Marc Lhormer, Executive & Artistic Director of the Napa Valley Film Festival (NVFF).  "Not only is the content a perfect fit for the food and wine-obsessed culture of Napa Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area, but the film itself is a tremendously well-executed, hilarious and compelling thrill ride of a documentary that will appeal to a broad movie-going audience.

In addition to its four engaging subjects, SOMM also includes appearances and enlightening commentary from a who's who of top food and wine personalities, including sommelier Rajat Parr, chef Michael Mina, winemaker Bo Barrett, wine legend Fred Dame, and many others.

VIDEO: Cottage Grove Inn - Luxury Cottage Spotlight

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Cottage Grove Inn - A Luxury private Napa Valley Cottage in Calistoga, CA



Luxury private Napa Valley Cottages. Explore the Napa Valley wine country or enjoy a day of spa treatments, then come home to your own private luxury cottage. Slide into your 2-person deep Jacuzzi soaking tub. Listen to your favorite music or snuggle in front of the wood-burning fireplace. It is a short walk to Calistoga's famous restaurants and to the celebrated hot mineral water spas of Calistoga. Let Cottage Grove Inn be your getaway to simple luxury and privacy in the Napa Valley.

Celebrating July 4th in Napa Valley

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fireworks.jpg*Updated for 2013!

There are several events featuring wine & food, live music, and of course, fireworks in Napa Valley leading up to July 4th which is during the middle of the week this year. Check out the events happening before, on Independence Day, and the weekend after too!

July 3rd - 7th -- Napa County Fair & Fireworks Show
Pack up the family and spend five days of summer sizzle celebrating Independence Day with live music, chef demos, wine pavilion, olive oil tastings, art exhibits and much more! Plus enjoy a Fourth of July Parade and a spectacular fireworks show. Come be rewarded with the unique experience of celebrating America's birthday in a rural setting that offers up loads of small-town "Americana" charm. Click Here for more details.

Napa Valley -  City Wide 4th of July Celebrations and Parades
 
  • American Canyon - 4th of July Celebration
  • Join American Canyon for a spectacular July 4th celebration. The all-day event will include the morning parade, afternoon picnic - which will include fun and free activities, contests and relays for the whole family, food and entertainment, and end with evening fireworks. Click Here for more details.
  • Napa - 4th of July Parade and Festival in Downtown Napa
  • Enjoy the colorful sights and sounds of the Pepperettes, Napa fire trucks, classic cars, and so much more at this year's parade and 4th of July celebration. This year's theme is "Take Me Out to the Ball Game." Also, Grand Marshall Margrit Mondavi and Chair Doris Gentry will be present. After the parade there will be a festival downtown with beer, wine, food as well as candy and jump houses for the kids and then a fabulous fireworks show. Click Here for more details.
  • Calistoga - 4th of July Parade in Downtown Calistoga
  • Join downtown Calistoga for their all-American celebration, starting with the 79th running of the 4th of July Parade. Thousands of smiling faces line the streets as friends and families share in this patriotic, community tradition. See floats, decorated cars, live bands, and more! Click Here for more details.  

July 4 -- Louis M. Martini Winery Fireworks Spectacular
Spend this 4th of July with the Martini family, as they celebrate 18 years of historic fireworks in St. Helena. Spend time with Mike Martini, third-generation winemaker, and enjoy a Napa-style feast, delectable wine and food pairings, live entertainment and family activities - all culminating in a world-class fireworks display, set against the stunning backdrop of the Napa Valley. Reserve tickets in advance. Click Here for more details.

Westin Verasa Napa - Art Display for April

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For the entire month of April, Westin Verasa Napa (hotel located in downtown Napa) revolving art's gallery will display works of art from the Westin's very own employees. What fun! See what inspires their Sommelier, Toni Johnson or Guest Services Agent, Jessica Jones.

Why not plan a short escape, stay at the hotel for some rest and relaxation and peruse the artwork firsthand! There are several specials and packages available. CLICK HERE.

FEATURED ARTWORK

Toni Johnson ~ Sommelier at La Toque
"I loved the simplicity of the candles when I was in the cathedral. The juxtaposition from the commercialized image on the actual candle and the beauty of the image struck me. There is also serenity in the image that is exactly how it feels to be in Notre Dame."

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Arts in April - Reserve Your Seat at the Theater

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uptownTheaterAtNight.jpg*Uptown Theater
1350 Third Street Napa, California 94559
Phone: 707.259.0123 ~ Box Office Hours: Mon.- Sat.: 12pm-4pm; Sundays: Closed

Jimmy Cliff
April 15, 2012 - 8pm - $45-$55
With a legacy stretching back nearly 50 years, the Honourable Jimmy Cliff is still standing as one of the prime movers and continuing shapers of modern music. More Details.

UptownTheater_CraigFerguson.jpgCraig Ferguson
April 25, 2012 - 8pm - $50-$65
Comedian & host of The Late Late Show on CBS. Craig Ferguson entered the world of late night comedy following a diverse and eclectic career that encompasses film, television and the stage. Since taking the helm of Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson on January 3, 2005, the show has set all-time viewer records and achieved the highest ratings since the shows inception in 1995. More Details.

CLICK HERE for the full performance line-up for April.

!WAR - Women Art Revolution Film Debuts At The Hess Collection

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Artist Lynn Hershman Leeson Brings !WAR To Napa Valley

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Throughout the month of April, Napa Valley is celebrating the arts. Join Hess Collection Winery for a special event and presentation of the award-winning film !WAR featuring a rousing score by Carrie Brownstein. The film will debut in the West Galley of the Hess Art Collection at The Hess Collection Winery on Saturday, April 28, 2012 and benefits the Arts Council of Napa Valley.

The film is a moving collection of interviews with female artists recorded over four decades by artist Lynn Hershman Leeson captures the history of women in contemporary art, in their own, often contentious retelling of the impact of the feminist art movement that dates to the beginning of the women's liberation and civil rights movements of the 1960's. !WAR was selected as one of the three best documentaries of 2011 by the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and is an official selection of the Sundance, Berlin, San Francisco, Toronto and Human Rights Watch Film Festivals.

This not-to-be-missed event begins with a garden wine reception at The Hess Collection at 3 p.m., followed by a conversation with artist Leeson in the West Gallery of the Hess Art Collection led by popular KQED Forum host Michael Krasny. The 83-minute film follows.  Later, an exclusive dinner with limited seating with artist Leeson and Michael Krasny which will further benefit the Arts Council. CLICK HERE to purchase tickets online which include the reception, artist talk, and film screening all for only $100. For information about the exclusive dinner, which is a separate event and ticket, please contact Ashley Cox at acox@hesscollection.com or [707] 255-1144 x-226.

Ma(i)sonry Napa Valley Celebrates Life's Aesthetics

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With every collection created by the hand of an artist, artisan, or designer, Ma(i)sonry Napa Valley celebrates life's aesthetics.

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Ma(i)sonry features collections of art and sculptures on display which rotate seasonally with exhibits from Napa Valley favorites, the best in the Bay Area, as well as some of the most respected names worldwide; all of which are available for viewing and purchase. 

We invite you to join Ma(i)sonry in celebrating Arts in April on April 28-29th for our "MenMade" exhibition and artist receptions featuring sculptors Archie Held and James Lloyd and painters Adam Shaw and Robert Percy. This celebration of art will also include wine pairings by Rivera Vineyards. "MenMade" provides a toast to the visual connection between mankind and its origins in nature. The exhibit will be on display from April 28th - May 17th. For more information regarding the opening receptions, venues, and time - please visit us online.

To RSVP to the Opening Reception at I.Wolk Gallery, CLICK HERE.
To RSVP to the Sunday Salon at Ma(i)sonry Napa Valley, CLICK HERE.


Ma(i)sonry-Glowing-(2).jpgAbout Ma(i)sonry Napa Valley
As an art, design and wine gallery set amidst a contemporary, landscaped sculpture garden, Ma(i)sonry offers guests a respite and a retreat in Yountville. While its past may not appear to play a prominent role in its new incarnations, the history of the former Charles Rovegno House still permeates the walls and rooms of this elegant stone structure.

The History
Originally built for Charles Rovegno in 1904 as his private residence, the building is one of only a few listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the Napa County Historic Resources Inventory. The building was designed and built by an Italian mason using stone quarried from the eastern hills of Napa Valley, representing a noteworthy period of design from 1874 to 1912. Almost 20 years after Rovegno passed away, the property was converted to a boutique, seven-room inn known as Burgundy House Inn, which remained in operation until 2007.  Ma(i)sonry Napa Valley opened in October, 2008 and serves as an oasis for sculpture, art, design, and wine.

Napa Valley Opera House - Upcoming Shows! Discount Tickets!

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The arts are flourishing in Napa Valley. The Napa Valley Opera House just hosted the trumpeter Chris Botti and it was a sold out crowd! Don't wait till the last minute on upcoming performances scheduled for April!

sierraMaestra.jpgSierra Maestra - April 1, 2012
One of the original, pioneering Cuban bands; Tickets are $30/$35
Stars of Cuban music ever since they formed in the late 1970s, five of the original nine members remain in the band. Sierra Maestra was the first, and remains the best, of the modern-era groups to play in the old-style son line-up: tres, guitar, one trumpet, bongo, güiro and vocals -- as during the style's golden age of the 1920s and '30s. They have been the pioneers in reviving this style for new generations and reintroducing it into the Cuban mainstream. They named themselves after the mountain range in the eastern part of Cuba as a tribute to the birthplace of son.

**Use special promo code <1030> at check out to receive a buy-one, get-one-free ticket discount.

hermetoPascoal.jpgHermeto Pascoal - April 6, 2012
Innovative Brazilian composer and multi-instrumentalist, Tickets are $30/$35
Pascoal is a greatly beloved musical figure in the history of Brazilian music, known for his abilities at orchestration and improvisation, as well as being a record producer and contributor to many other Brazilian and international albums. His career began in 1964 with appearances on several Brazilian recordings alongside relatively unknown groups. These now-classic albums and the musicians involved (Edu Lobo, Elis Regina, Cesar Camargo Mariano) established widely influential new directions in post-bossa Brazilian jazz. Known as o Bruxo (the Sorcerer), Hermeto often makes music with unconventional objects such as teapots, children's toys, and animals, as well as keyboards, button accordion, melodica, saxophone, guitar, flute, voice, various brass and folkloric instruments.

**Use special promo code <1030> at check out to receive a buy-one, get-one-free ticket discount.

Napa Valley Events: April Highlights

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There are some fabulous events happening in Napa Valley during the month of April. Check your calendar and mark the ones you'll definitely want to attend!

NAPA VALLEY EVENTS

April 7 -- Reach for the Stars Fashion Show

This annual luncheon event features a fashion show dedicated to all those who have ever been touched by cancer. The lunch is followed by the fashion show with models that are cancer survivors and are "Reaching for the Stars." Proceeds from the event will go to the Queen's Cancer Wellness Program.
Location: Silverado Resort & Spa, 1600 Atlas Peak Road, Napa CA
Fee: Call for information & tickets; Time: Call for information; Phone: 707-257-4044

easter_ChocolateBunny.jpgApril 8 -- Hunt for the Hare Easter Celebration at Safari West
Looking for hare-raising adventure this Easter? Join the animals of Safari West (and their human companions) for our annual "Hunt for the Hare", an egg-straordinary Easter celebration and brunch.
Location: 3115 Porter Creek Road, Santa Rosa
Fee: $68 Adults/$35 Children (Ages 4-12); Time: Morning & Afternoon packages available Phone: 707-579-2551

April 14 -- CSPF's Earth Day Restoration & Cleanup

 Volunteers are needed at Bale Grist Mill State Historic Park for the 15th Annual California State Parks Foundation's Earth Day Restoration & Cleanup presented by PG&E. The water wheel will be restored. To volunteer on Earth Day please call or register online.
Location: Bale Grist Mill State Historic Park, 3369 St. Helena Hwy North, St. Helena CA
Fee: Free; Time: 8:30am-4pm; Phone: 888-98-PARKS


Help Support a Great Cause - Pawsport Napa Valley!

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napaHumane_PawsportNV.jpgHead to Napa Valley March 23rd-26th for a fun-filled four days of exclusive wine tastings, events, and special offerings. Whether you're a pet owner, animal lover, or just love to support great causes - Pawsport Napa Valley is the event for you!

Your Pawsport ($75 per person) includes access to over a dozen wineries for complimentary tastings along with a variety of special retail offers, library tastings, food and wine pairings and other activities and events only available to Pawsport Napa Valley pass holders.

Proceeds from the event will support Napa Humane and its programs and services to fulfill their ongoing mission to promote the welfare of companion animals through protection, advocacy, education, and by example.

CLICK HERE to purchase tickets online or call 707-255-8118 x205.

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


Relax with a Cold Brew . . .

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calistogaInn&Brewery.jpgWhat better way to relax from a day of wine tasting or a day of work than with a cold brew, great food, and live music?! Swing by Calistoga Inn Restaurant & Brewery to hang out with the locals and have a good time.

This coming weekend they celebrate St. Patrick's Day with a traditional Irish Dinner including Corned Beef Brisket, Mashed potatoes & Steamed Cabbage, Chocolate Paddy Cake and much more all while listening to the sounds of Greenhouse who will be playing Irish music. If you can't make it this Saturday, be sure to check out Calistoga Inn Restaurant & Brewery throughout the year for weekly live music sessions and of course, beer tastings.

THE BREWERY

In 1987, the Calistoga Inn gave birth to Calistoga beer and the Napa Valley Brewing Company. The Inn was the first establishment to brew beer commercially in Napa County since the days of prohibition. It brews four principle beers: Calistoga Wheat Ale, Pilsner, Red Ale & Porter. In addition, other seasonal beers are brewed throughout the year, such as the German Kölsch, Blitzen I.P.A., Belgian Pale Ale & Dugan Oatmeal Stout. They have won numerous awards for their beer, including both bronze and gold finishes at the Great American Beer Fest in Denver, Colorado, and blue ribbons at the California State Fair.

Brewery tours are available Monday - Friday with our Brewmaster, Brad Smisloff.
Call in advance for an appointment: 707-942-4101

Click Here to check out the Brewer's Blog!

Recharge and Take a Hike!

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napaLandTrust_websiteImage1.jpgDiscover the beauty of Napa Valley up close and personal when you hike through a variety of nature's corridors through field trips sponsored by the The Land Trust of Napa County. Enjoy a hike, educational walk or even a kayaking experience. But space is limited, so check the calendar and sign up early!

MARCH HIGHLIGHTS - UPCOMING FIELD TRIPS

Saturday, March 10th at 9am - Foote Botanical Preserve Workday
Get together with other volunteers on Mount George for half a day having fun trimming the hiking trails, viewing wildflowers and taking pictures. Bring work gloves, small hand saws and loppers if you have them.

Sunday, March 18th at 9am - Audubon-Cheyney Adventure
Don't be fooled - this hike is not for the faint at heart! The first part of this hike has rough fire roads, a narrow trail and a stream crossing, but we'll see amazing views of northern Napa Valley and the Bell Canyon Reservoir. Bring your hearty lunch as we stop and explore the 20th century homestead near Bell Creek. The adventure begins after lunch as we begin hiking up the creek - be prepared for rock-hopping, boulder-scrambling, debris-crossing, and vegetation-brushing paths en route to the magnificent Devil's Punchbowl, a unique waterfall and grotto in Napa County.

Park the Car - Go on a Bike Ride!

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Despite popular belief, you don't always need a car to go wine tasting in Napa Valley. In fact, we encourage you to park your car and leisurely take a bike ride tour. Check out some of the Napa Valley Bike Tour Companies offering several different types of cycling tours and a Best of the Web Special Offer Guarantee!

bikeRide_Picnic.jpg*Getaway Adventures
Getaway Adventures offers tours in both Napa Valley and Sonoma. One of their most popular biking day tours is the Calistoga Sip N' Cycle that takes you through the quiet and scenic northern Napa Valley vineyards and includes stops at wineries for tasting and a delicious wine country picnic lunch.

Currently, they are offering a BEST OF THE WEB SPECIAL OFFER GUARANTEE on their Sip N' Cycle tours in Calistoga in Napa Valley, the Carneros District or in Healdsburg (Sonoma County). It's a steal of a deal, where you only pay $98 per person (normally $149pp). You won't see this offer anywhere else on the web. CLICK HERE to see offer details.

Recharge . . . Your Senses, Body, and Mind

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MARCH INTO NAPA VALLEY..

RECHARGE . . . your mind & body with scores of activities that will revive the senses in Wine Country. Whether it's the exhilarating rush of the wind in your face as you bike ride through the vineyards, the majestic views of Napa Valley as you soar above the clouds on a balloon ride, the blooming spring wild mustard fields and budding vines on a hike, or even a kayak adventure - we are sure you'll find something to happily distract yourself for a couple of hours as you rediscover and unleash your inner child!

calistogaBalloons.jpgRecharge Your Senses and Take Flight
Get a bird's eye view of rolling Napa Valley hills and vineyards from inside a hot air balloon. You'll be mesmerized by the breathtaking landscape before you. If you take an early morning flight, you're in for a treat. Watch the morning's fog lift, the sun rise, and the valley open up right before your eyes as your balloon wafts softly through the air. READ MORE . . .


bikeRide_Picnic.jpgPark the Car - Go on A Bike Ride!
Despite popular belief, you don't always need a car to go wine tasting in Napa Valley. In fact, we encourage you to park your car and leisurely take a bike ride tour. Check out some of the Napa Valley Bike Tour Companies offering several different types of cycling tours and a Best of the Web Special Offer Guarantee! READ MORE . . .



golfIstock.jpgGet into the "Swing" of Things
Whether you're after the country club afternoon, the relaxation of a resort, or the challenge of one of the toughest public course in the region, Napa Valley offers a golf experience to suit all tastes - and skill levels for that matter. READ MORE . . .


Top 25 Relaxation & Spa Hotels

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bardessonoHotel.jpgBased on the reviews of millions of Trip Advisor travelers, the 2012 Traveler's Choice results for Best Hotels are officially in. Hotels in both Napa Valley and Sonoma County ranked in the top 25 for Relaxation & Spa Hotels. See below:

10. Bardessono - Yountville, CA
Most recent review from a couple in Texas said "My wife and I came here for a three night getaway. The hotel and staff were first class. We had incredible massages and the staff there was the friendliest I have seen. They had just finished renovating the restaurant. The concierge helped plan every meal and winery. I highly recommend the hotel and town. It is central to everything." - January 12, 2012.  See more reviews.


15. Dr. Wilkinson's Hot Springs Resort - Calistoga, CA


kenwoodSpa_pic1.jpg22. Kenwood Inn & Spa - Kenwood, CA
A couple from Hawaii recently reviewed and said, "The Kenwood Inn and Spa is so very nice! It was like walking into a small Tuscan village - so romantic and quiet and relaxing! ... Our spa day was awesome! My husband and I both had the best facials and massages we've ever had - even better than the ones we would get from the spas in Germany. The Kenwood Inn and Spa is centrally located to some amazing wineries and we enjoyed one day with a personal driver and the picnic lunch that the Inn and Spa prepared for us during our wine tasting day. " - December 31, 2011. See more reviews.


23. Roman Spa Hot Springs Resort - Calistoga, CA






Need more lodging recommendations? Check out our Message Boards!

Napa Valley Message Boards - Lodging
Sonoma Country Message Boards - Lodging

Create Your Own Romance at Silverado Resort & Spa

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Silverado Resort & Spa will help you create that perfect romantic wine country getaway you've always wanted.

couple_kissing.jpgAvailable through the entire month of February, book the "Create Your Own Romance" package that includes a one-bedroom fireplace suite, a bottle of Napa Valley Sparkling wine, and breakfast for two in the Silverado Grill. In addition, add one of the following to complete your package:

Dine & Relax
Enjoy a three-course dinner for two to include a bottle of white or red wine (house selected), two 50-minute massages, one 50-minute couples massage or a couples massage lesson to learn the fine art of massage with a romance blend of oil to take-away, all at the Spa at Silverado

Take a Wine Tour
Enjoy a four-hour private limousine tour of wine country. You select the wineries or we'll do it for you. Your tour begins with a private tasting and tour at the William Hill Winery.

Incoming: Napa Valley Film Festival + Flavor! Napa Valley

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msWordClipArt_MovieRoll.jpgby Courtney Cochran

Temperatures may be cooling in the Napa Valley come November, but two dynamic events could make your visit the hottest in memory.  Both in their debut year, the Napa Valley Film Festival (Nov. 9-13) and Flavor! Napa Valley (Nov. 16-22) bring with them a host of diverting events that are rewriting the month's reputation - from a sleepier time to one that's buzzing with eclectic food-and-wine-fueled attractions.

Napa Valley Film Festival ~ 11/9- 11/13

Flavor! Napa Valley ~ 11/16-11/22

Flavor! Napa Valley 2011

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by Courtney Cochran

Silverado Resort & Culinary Institute of America at Greystone

flavorLogo.jpgA four-day gustatory tour de force highlighting farm-to-table cuisine, Flavor! Napa Valley brings together some of the valley's most accomplished food and wine personalities for a powerhouse lineup of events November 16-22nd. 

The highlight of the weekend should be The Appellation Trail: Tasting Napa Valley, a mega tasting of more than 120 wineries' best pours and 30 restaurants' best bites in a festive walk-around format at the Culinary Institute on Friday night. With more big-name purveyors on hand than you'll find in any other place - think Silver Oak Cellars, Robert Mondavi Winery, Stags' Leap Winery, Staglin Family Vineyard and Morimoto Napa, Ad Hoc, La Toque and The Restaurant at Meadowood to name just a few - plus live demos by the likes of chef Tyler Florence, the Appellation Trail should be a phenomenal way to experience the best of the valley in just one night.

Come daytime, attending an intimate workshop with one of the valley's foremost culinary players affords rare insights into the philosophies and methods of these larger-than-life luminaries. Oenobuffs and new wine fans alike should enjoy "The Noblest of Grapes: A Celebration of Cabernet Sauvignon," a seminar hosted by the inimitable Karen MacNeil (authoress of The Wine Bible) and Fred Dame, a charismatic Master Sommelier and one of the nation's foremost wine educators. Sushi fans won't want to miss Iron Chef America star Masaharu Morimoto's "Sushi & Sashimi 101" demonstration, where the reliably entertaining maestro will guide guests through the nuances of this Japanese delicacy. 

For more on the weekend's full lineup, lodging packages and ticketing info, visit FlavorNapaValley.com.

Napa Valley Film Festival 2011

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by Courtney Cochran

nvFilmFestival.jpgSelect venues throughout the Napa Valley

Founded by Bay Area locals and Bottle Shock producers Brenda and Marc Lohrmer, the first-ever Napa Valley Film Festival promises a chockablock schedule of feature, documentary and short film screenings, sneak previews, gala events, and conversations with film industry insiders over five days. 

Highly anticipated festivities will take place in venues from Carneros to Calistoga, with a gala kick-off reception going down at Robert Mondavi Winery on Thursday, November 10.  Thirsty film-goers will be able to sample pours from a diverse lineup of local vintners at wine pavilions, pre-screening pourings and winery open houses throughout the valley as well as at "Festival Front Porches," unique venues offering check-in rewards, live music and social media interactivity. Access Hollywood fans, take note: host Billy Bush will emcee the festival's Tribute Night program on Saturday in Yountville. 

Sweet Whites: A Napa Valley Itinerary

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girlsDrinkingWhiteWineOutside.jpgby Courtney Cochran

If you enjoy a crisp, off dry Muscat (aka "sweet wines") on a warm afternoon or kicking back with girlfriends, this itinerary's for you. Come along as we visit three Napa Valley wineries offering pours of sweeter whites, and learn about shopping excursions and nightlife options, too. Here's to enjoying a sweet day in wine country!

ARTwalk launches 2nd Exhibition in Downtown Napa

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FishOnByTerrenceMartin.jpgNAPA, Calif.-- Arts Council Napa Valley (ACNV) and the Napa Community Redevelopment Agency have announced the return of the Napa ARTwalk public sculpture tour. The 2nd ARTwalk, titled "Momentum: Art that Moves (Us)", will launch on October 19th 2011 and will be on exhibition through April, 2013.

Downtown Napa's first-ever interactive public art exhibition and tour first launched in July 2010, and received an unprecedented amount of local support and media attention. Due to the success of the inaugural exhibition, the 2nd Napa ARTwalk will feature 13 new sculptures (an increase from 10 in 2010), as well as last year's People's Choice winning sculpture, "Fish On", by artist Terrence Martin (pictured to the right). One of the most familiar pieces in the 2010 exhibition, "Fish On" is a metal sculpture of a largemouth bass; it will also remain on view until 2013 . Napa ARTwalk's 2011-13 new artists include: Marissa Carlisle, Andrew Ferrales, Eric Furman, Matt Gil, James Haire, Loren Madsen, Ulises Meza, Robin Murez, C.J. Rench, Patricia Vader and Jeff Zischke.

The Napa ARTwalk will give the public an opportunity to vote on favorite sculptures online at www.napaartwalk.org throughout the 18-month exhibition period. Tour brochures, featuring a sculpture map, will be available year round in several downtown locations, including: Napa City Hall, The Goodman Library, Napa Valley Welcome Center, Artists of the Valley Gallery, and the Napa City-County Library. 

Crush Season in Napa Valley

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vSattuiCrushParty.jpgOCTOBER

October 8 -- Crush Party at V. Sattui Winery
Celebration: Make your reservations today! V. Sattui Winery Production-Fermentation Floor, Crush Pad, Underground Cellars & Caves, Vittorio's Vineyard, Vittorio Room & Tasting Room.
Location: 1111 White Lane, St. Helena CA
Fee: $89/$79 Club Members, plus tax Time: 6:15 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.; Phone Number: 707-963-7774

October 8 -- Peju Club Crush: An Outdoor Lounge Experience
Celebration, Wine Education: Club Crush offers guests an unconventional peek into the harvest experience with an outdoor chill lounge, views of the vineyard, music to move your mood and exquisite small bites to pair with our wines. Taste actual fruit from this year's Harvest Say Flavor!
Fee: $65 plus tax; $55 + tax for club members Time: 5pm - 8pm Phone Number: 800-446-7358

October 8 -- Sequoia Grove Harvest Party & Lobster Feed
Celebration: Join us for our annual Harvest Party. We will be celebrating the bounty of Napa Valley with the bounty of the sea with our Lobster Feed! Come enjoy a rare harvest evening filled with succulent lobster, special pourings from our library and great games. Location: 8338 St. Helena Highway, Napa, CA 94558
Fee: $100, $85 wine club Time: 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. Phone Number: 707-944-2945 ext. 111

October 15 -- Havrest Party at Bourassa Vineyards
Celebration: Come and join us for another Grape Stomping Harvest Party at Bourassa Vineyards! Live Music Bourassa Vineyards Wines Napa Smith Beer Roast Pig On site Wood Fire Pizza Kitchen Cigars and Port!
Fee: $75, $40 for wine club members Time: 4 p.m. - 7 p.m. Phone Number: 707-254-4922

Every Saturday, October - November 5, 2011 - Harvest Experience at St. Supery
Wine Education: Be part of a small group of guests that experience Napa Valley harvest. Each tour includes wine tasting in the cellar from tank or barrel and a guided tasting of finished wines in one of St. Supery's private tasting rooms. Please call to reserve a tour.
Location: 8440 St. Helena Hwy, Rutherford CA
Fee: $50 Time: 11am-12:30pm Phone Number: 800-231-9116

CLICK HERE for more Crush and Harvest Season events in October!

Late Summer Festival Highlights

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Summer days are flying by fast. In a blink of an eye, autumn leaves will color wine country vineyards yellow, red, and orange. Not ready to say goodbye just yet? Neither are we! See some of the late summer festivals coming up this last weekend in August and the month of September.

sonomaCountyPic1.jpgSEPTEMBER HIGHLIGHTS ~ BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW!

Sonoma Wine Country Weekend
September 2-4, 2011 - Sonoma County

Sonoma Wine Country Weekend is an Annual Labor Day Weekend Event that celebrates the best of Sonoma wine, food, and lifestyle. "We have created a premium, three-day destination event that celebrates the vineyards, wines, cuisine, culture, and characters that make Sonoma County the ultimate wine country destination," says Executive Director Maureen Cottingham.

Tickets range from $85 to $500 per person and include signature events "Taste of Sonoma at MacMurray Ranch, the Sonoma Valley Harvest Wine Auction" and a host of intimate and exclusive winery lunch and dinner parties at multiple locations throughout Sonoma County.

All proceeds benefit and support Sonoma Coutny non-profit organizations. To date, more than $10 million has been donated directly to Sonoma non-profits by the local wine community.

>> Buy Tickets
>> See the schedule of events

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Upcoming Festivals in Napa Valley

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AUGUST
August 3 - 21 -- Music in the Vineyards
Live Music: Music in the Vineyards is a nationally-acclaimed chamber music festival held each August in the Napa Valley. The three-week festival showcases world-class artists-in-residence performing new and classic chamber music repertoire in stunning winery settings.
Fee: Varies Time: Varies Phone Number: (707) 258.5559

August 20 -- Napa Valley Art Festival
Exhibition, Benefit: The Napa Valley Art Festival is a juried exhibit and sale of over 300 original paintings by 30 of the West's premier representational artists. 6516 Washington St., Yountville, CA
Fee: Free Time: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Phone Number: 707-256-3828

Wine Country Personality: Bret LeRolland

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The Wine Carriage - Wine Tasting via Horse & Carriage with Gourmet Lunch
Healdsburg, CA


wcPersonality_WineCarriage_Bret.jpgBret LeRolland is no ordinary tour operator. He's a different kind of guy with a different kind of business. The Wine Carriage is the quintessential off-the-beaten-track winery and tasting tour -- from the conveyance itself, a shade-top carriage drawn by two giant draft horses, to the personalized service, local knowledge and preferred treatment that a tour with Bret guarantees.

Riding with Bret and his matched Percherons, Duke and Pepper, is not only a thrill, it's a real backstage look into the world of California wine. He knows the history of the region and its characters, the lifecycle of the vines, climate, geology, and wine. In addition to a certificate in Biological Horticulture from UC Santa Cruz, Bret has experience in farming and logging salvaged redwoods with draft horses, as well as crossing several states on horseback.  As he puts it, "I always knew I wanted to work with horses".  But he had to go pretty far out of his way to do it.

The son of a New York City cop, Bret grew up in the Big Apple, often visiting his grandmother in Harlem.  Growing up with such an urban bias, he decided to try something different.  Relocating to the left coast, Bret worked on ships in Alaska before moving to California to study at UCSC, and later attended the California School of Circus Arts to learn Chinese acrobatics and fire spinning.

Napa Valley Festival del Sole 2011

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It's been dubbed a "feast for the senses" by the New York Times and we couldn't agree more!

The 6th annual Napa Valley Festival del Sole is July 15-24th featuring internationally renowned soloists, orchestras and ensembles that delight audiences over a 10-day period among the lush rolling vineyards of the legendary Napa Valley wine region. Add five-star cuisine, art exhibits, and wines from Napa Valley's top vintners and you'll definitely want to attend this "star-studded extravaganza that in just three years has become one of the hottest tickets on the global classical music circuit" according to Diablo Magazine.

Are you planning on being in attendance? There's only a few more days and our inside sources say tickets and VIP Packages are SELLING OUT FAST!

>> Overview of Concerts
>> Overview of Food & Wine Events
>> Overview of Wellness Events
>> Download Festival Schedule

Festival Del Sole Video

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.  

Robert Mondavi Summer Music Festival 2011

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mondaviSummerConcert.jpgNobody kicks off July 4th weekend better than Robert Mondavi Winery, one of Napa Valley's legendary wineries, with the start of their annual summer music concert series in the month of July. "This year's lineup presents artists that are excellent musicians in their genre," noted Margrit Mondavi(late wife of Robert Mondavi), who founded the concert series in 1969. "Robert's belief that we could make wines that stand in the company of the world's finest, leads us to select artists who stand in the company of the world's greatest. We are so excited to start with Gavin this year." 

To heat things up first will be Gavin DeGraw on July 2nd as he celebrates the American Dream with heartfelt lyrics and soulful, blues-tinged vocals. In the weeks to follow:

July 9th - Fume Blanc Concert with Colbie Caillat
Colbie is a Grammy nominated rising star armed with dusky vocals and a acoustic guitar

July 16th - Festival del Sole Presents David Foster and Friends
Foster is a noted singer, songwriter, and composer from Canada, and his friends include the Canadian Tenors, Charice, Babyface and Ruben Studdard.

July 23rd - Chris Issak
Since his debut in 1985, Chris Isaak has been captivating audiences with his signature rock 'n' roll music.

July 30th - Winemaker of the Year Concert k.d. lang and the Siss Boom Bang

A four-time Grammy Award winner, k.d. lang will enchant you with her touching and engaging songs.

Need more of a reason to attend one of the hottest summer concerts in Napa Valley? In the 42 years since the Summer Music Festival's inception, Robert Mondavi Winery has donated more than $2 million from the proceeds to support the Napa Valley Symphony, the Napa Valley Unified School District and the Napa Valley Opera House.

Start planning your trip to Wine Country and get a jump on buying tickets in advance. All performances begin at 7:00 p.m. and are held at the Robert Mondavi Winery on Highway 29 in Oakville, Napa Valley. Ticket prices vary by performance. For additional information and to purchase tickets, visit www.robertmondaviwinery.com or call 1-888-766-6328.


Dive into fun at Bardsessono Hotel

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BardessonoHotelDiveBar.jpgCalifornia might be rain-soaked at the moment, but the forecast is sun, sun, SUN! And just in time too. Bardessono Hotel, one of Napa Valley's swankiest hotels,  is kicking off the summer months with their popular, weekly Dive Bar at the hotel's rooftop pool again. It starts June 15th and ends October 19th and held each Wednesday from 6:00pm to 9:00pm.

The Dive Bar will be open to guests and non-guests and feature two $9 speciality drinks available at the pool in addition to the full bar located off the restaurant. Complimentary valet parking will also be included for all attendees. So, grab your bathing suit and towels and head off to happy hour, dancing and mingling with new friends!

bardessonoHotel.jpgAbout Bardessono:
The Bardessono opened in February 2009 with 62 guest rooms, restaurant and spa in Yountville, California, the heart of the Napa Valley. We pledge to care for an uncommon set of priorities: for the environment, for each other, for our guests, for the property and for the community nearby. Together, these priorities represent a vision for unprecedented and attentive service. http://www.bardessono.com



See other articles about Bardessono:
The New Mecca for Wine Country Luxury
Summer Lunching in Yountville

Grand Opening Nears For Hotel Yountville & Hopper Creek Kitchen

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Photo courtesy of Hotel Yountville
By Deirdre Bourdet

The Altamura family has invested some serious time and energy in coaxing the contemporary Hotel Yountville out of the 50-room, country-chic Yountville Inn.  The construction of several new buildings, conference center, restaurant, spa, swimming pool, and outdoor lounging areas is almost complete, though, and the place has shaped up rather spectacularly into one of Yountville's sexiest resorts.

Designed by the same team that transformed Milliken Creek Inn, the remodeled Hotel Yountville blends sleek modern design with luxurious comfort. Subtle details and rich textures create an inviting environment full of plush seating and contemporary comforts.  When I was invited to tour the property in early February, it was all I could do not to sink into every seat we passed. Fortunately, I had been invited to sit down for breakfast at the guests-only Hopper Creek Kitchen, which has been making waves since the soft opening in December 2010.

Message Boards: Wine Tasting Without a Car?

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platypusToursShuttle.jpgRecent question in the Napa Valley message boards:
Hi!! My husband and I are planning a much needed vacation from the east coast. I know nothing about Napa...are there places to stay where you will not need your car? Planning on REALLY and safely enjoying the vineyards! Thanks!!

Answers from one of our members:

yesilovewine:
Several options are available to you- book a tour with one of the reputable companies such as Platypus ( there are many out there, they just came to mind first) and plan to spend this time on a bus filled with a variety of folks who may or may not share your wine preferences. My experience is that the wineries to be visited are determined by a collective decision ( read: "majority rules").

You can hire a private driver/limo service to take you around and either leave it to them or share in the decision-making of where to visit, you can use a service called Napa Bee Driven and they will drive you in your vehicle to wherever you choose to visit.

In downtown Napa, there is a burgeoning collection of tasting rooms that would be within walking distance to several hotels and B&B's so you could taste there.


CLICK HERE to read the other responses!

See other tours & sightseeing transportation companies in Napa Valley.


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.

Trail Blazer

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biketrail.jpgChuck McMinn's latest endeavor is building a bike path from Vallejo to Calistoga.

by LeeAnne Jones

For more than 30 years, Chuck McMinn created and financed start-up high-tech companies, and in 2000, he and his wife, Anne, purchased Vineyard 29, a winery just north of St. Helena that produces Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, and Cabernet Franc. All well and good, and even delicious, but McMinn, who is a confessed "start-up junkie," couldn't sit still for long. His latest endeavor is spearheading a massive Wine Country trail project.

"What we're doing here is a start-up," McMinn says of the 44-mile multiuse trail that will run from Vallejo to Calistoga. "You start with a blank sheet of paper, and the end result is constructing and operating a trail system."

Read More

New Year's Eve Parties in Napa Valley!

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Rock the night away and into the New Year!  Parties are happening all around Napa Valley. Grab some friends and join the festivities. Below are just a few of the parties that caught our eye, but check out the full events calendar HERE!

winetrain_Champagne.jpgNew Years Crystal Ball @ Napa Valley Wine Train
The Crystal Ball will begin with an hors d'oeuvre reception in the station. Guests will board the Train and relax with a New Year's Eve themed beverage and a fresh, multiple course gourmet meal. Upon returning to Napa the party will be transported back into the station, where guests can socialize, and dance away the rest of 2012.

If you already have dinner plans, but don't want to miss the celebration, join the After Party. Dancing and entertainment will start in the station at 10pm. At midnight, toast to 2013 with a glass of sparkling wine. Then finish your evening with music and dancing until 1am.

CLICK HERE for more details

Prohibition Style Speakeasy New Year's Bash!

Enjoy a glorious Prohibition Era flashback celebration to ring in 2013! Harvest Inn (located in St. Helena) has a magical two night package that includes a New Year's Bash at restaurant Goose & Gander. The party is a glamorous evening of dining, libations, live jazz and fun, flapper-style surprises.
CLICK HERE for more details!


New Year's Eve Dinner at Siena Restaurant & Ballroom
Kick off 2013 with a wonderful prix fix five-course dinner at Siena Restaurant in Napa Valley. Savor a special menu prepared by Executive Chef Mike before dancing the night away! Already have dinner plans on New Year's Eve? Keep the celebration going at The Meritage Resort with our "Napa Style" New Year's Eve Celebration. Located in our brand new Carneros Ballroom, enjoy dancing, dessert, party favors, and good times as you welcome 2013.
CLICK HERE for more details!

New Years Eve @ Silo's w/ Briefcase Full of Blues

Silo's invites you to see Briefcase Full of Blues Band live! There will be two shows this evening. The early show includes Glass of Mumm Champagne with Chocolates upon arrival, & Party Favors. The late show includes Glass of Mumm Champagne with Chocolates upon arrival, Party Favors, Midnight Countdown with Champagne Toast.
CLICK HERE for more details!


>> SEE MORE New Year's Eve events in the Napa Valley Calendar.


Where to Eat Breakfast in Napa & Sonoma

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Where to enjoy the best breakfasts in Wine Country.

by Jill Silverman Hough

There's nothing like waking up in Wine Country, with the promise of a perfect day ahead. So, why not indulge in an amazing breakfast? Whether you like to ease into the day with coffee and a fresh-baked scone, or you're up for a three-course brunch, here are the spots to start your day off right.

Cantinetta Piero
The venue: A hotel restaurant, but the hotel feels like a bit of Tuscany.
The food: The two-course prix fixe breakfast starts with fresh-squeezed orange juice, coffee, a small pastry, and yogurt with fruit and house-made granola. Then, it moves to your choice of three egg dishes. Go for the side of artisan-smoked bacon, and linger over every bite.
The prices: $18 (30 percent off for locals).
The details: Breakfast Mon.-Sun. 7:30-10 a.m. 6774 Washington St., Yountville, (707) 299-5015, cantinettapiero.com.

Solbar
The venue: Michelin star-rated hotel restaurant, with a hip yet casual vibe.
The food: The on-premise garden influences the menu, and everything is expertly prepared. Lemon ricotta pancakes are crisp around the edges but light inside, thanks to whipped egg whites. Beef for the hash is house corned. Juices aren't just fresh squeezed, they're squeezed to order. And coffee comes in a personal French press.
The prices (entrées): $11-$17.
The details: Breakfast Mon.-Sun. 7-11 a.m., brunch Sun. 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. 755 Silverado Trail, Calistoga, (707) 226-0800, solbarnv.com.

Read More

Dinner Is On Us!

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napaRiverInn3.jpgActually, dinner is on Napa River Inn. They are offering a pretty sweet deal now through March 31st of next year. Every night of your stay booked with this Napa hotel results in a $100 dining credit to some of the newest and hottest restaurants in downtown Napa right now including:

  • Food Network celeb Chef Tyler Florence restaurant, Rotisserie and Wine
  • Iron Chef America Masaharu Morimoto of Morimoto Napa (see review)
  • Fish Story offering sustainable fish and newest venture of Lark Creek Restaurant Group (see review)
  • Not new, but still good - Angele serving French-country cuisine
If the dining credit is not enough, your stay with Napa River Inn also includes complimentary breakfast-in-bed from Sweetie Pie's Bakery. Wondering about what the rest of your stay will be like? See more details about Napa River Inn and the special offer HERE

Our suggestion - book four nights and try out all four restaurants! Be sure to post your dining experience back here on our Food Blog.

WinterScape Celebration in Yountville

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holidayStar.jpgThe town of Yountville is full of holiday surprises. This year the town launches their first month-long winter wonderland featuring a host of activities, attractions, and special hotel deals. Bring the whole family, make a romantic couple's escape, or just getaway with friends. See what's on the town's Holiday Hot List this winter season:

Vintage Winter Pavilion - Spin into the season skating under the stars in a clear-top tent infused with holiday music, festive trees and elaborate décor at V Marketplace.   This new attraction is certain to spark holiday cheer with a lively sidekick of food and drink venues.  After 6 p.m., the Hot Toddy & Holiday Cocktail menu debuts. 11 a.m. - 11 p.m. daily, December 11 - January 2nd.  $12/adults; $8/children 8 & under. Yountville Chamber/707.944.8008.
 
Carriage Rides - Saddle up this season with a team of stout Percheron and Shire horses leading a holiday-decorated carriage through Yountville's main artery - Washington Street - on weekends throughout December.  (Nov. 27; Dec 4, 11, 18, 31). Complimentary.
 
North Pole "Drink & Clink" - Weekends around the rink will include select Yountville AVA wine tasting (Fri./Sat.) showcasing the area's top producers and a Santa sommelier to keep the cheer flowing.  A seasonal grazing menu will showcase heady roasted chestnuts, dim sum and pulled pork sliders - a perfect complement to the region's cabernets.

Celebrate the Giants' World Series Pennant

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riverTerraceInn.jpgNAPA, CA - The Bay Area has spent the past few weeks following the Giants on their post-season run and River Terrace Inn in downtown Napa is now providing three great ways to celebrate the Giants winning the world series.

First Base - "Uuu-Mazing" Giants Napa Getaway Rate
It's a great time to plan a "Uuu-Mazing Giants" Napa getaway since the "torture" is finally over.  River Terrace Inn is offering a special celebratory rate for stays from now through November 23.  Score an extra homer when you wear your Giants gear and receive a complimentary bottle of sparkling wine so you can toast a truly great season!

  • $159 for Sundays through Thursdays
  • $189 for Fridays and Saturdays
As special partners of the River Terrace Inn, Chardonnay Golf Club, Napa Valley Wine Train and Beau Wine Tours are offering the following Victory Packages as well.


Where to Watch the World Series

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By Deirdre Bourdet

giantsBaseball.jpgNAPA VALLEY, CA - The Giants are in the World Series! Join fellow fan-atics at these wine country spots to cheer on San Francisco's own orange and black.


Calistoga Inn & Brewery. Beer and baseball are a classic pairing, and this downtown Calistoga bar/restaurant/inn also boasts an award-winning microbrewery, which sells 100% of its beers on the premises. Crispy calamari and buffalo wings rub shoulders with steamed mussels, oysters, shrimp cocktail and Dungeness crab cakes on the appetizer menu, and bring a taste of the bay to northern Napa Valley.

With a pint of local brew and bowl full of seafood, you will be more than set for game time. 1250 Lincoln Avenue, Calistoga.

Take a Gourmet Retreat

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casaLanaGourmetRetreats.jpgCALISTOGA, CA - What better way to experience the essence of wine country cuisine than with a gourmet retreat? If you are an avid home cook or food enthusiast, then take your cooking to the next level with a culinary vacation in Napa Valley.

At Gourmet Retreats, located in Calistoga, CA at CasaLana B&B, sign up for hands-on cooking classes taught in a professionally equipped kitchen. To ensure personalized attention and one-on-one attention, classes are limited to only 9 participants. They include printed recipe handouts and a generous sampling or meal of the food prepared served with wine/beverage. All kitchen equipment is, of course, provided as well.

Gourmet Retreats offers Culinary Vacations, Boot Camp, One-Day Wine Country Classes, and Gourmet Weekend Retreats as well. Choose from a variety of class lengths ranging from as little as 5 hours to 5 days.

View sample Itineraries for a Culinary Vacation



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.

Napa Valley Film Festival Launching at Last

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By Deirdre Bourdet

nvFilmFestival.jpgThis November heralds the launch of a new signature event for Napa Valley: The Napa Valley Film Festival.  After more than five years of dreaming, festival co-chairs Brenda and Marc Lhormer announced that the Napa Valley Film Festival will debut in November 2011 with a five-day, four town extended weekend of cinematic celebration.  But since 2011 is still a long way off, a three-day Launch Celebration this November gives attendees a taste of the great things in store.

Co-directors Marc and Brenda Lhormer are no strangers to the film industry, or the grueling work of planning film festivals. The couple produced and distributed the 2008 movie Bottle Shock, inspired by the 1976 Paris Tasting, and ran the Sonoma Valley Film Festival for seven years.  Marc Lhormer was kind enough to chat with me about the couple's latest venture and the imminent launch party, which he refers to as the "amuse-bouche" for the main event next year.

The Napa Valley Film Festival has three core principles: (1) celebrating the human-scale of human existence by presenting relatable real people with real issues, and the hope that inspires us; (2) exploring multicultural differences of perspective, as well as the commonalities across cultural divides both within the U.S. and internationally; and (3) bringing the artists and the audience together for conversations about the films.  Every film being screened will be represented by the directors, the cast, or both, and Q&A sessions will be the norm, not the exception. Local food and wine will feature prominently in the parties surrounding the films, of course, but this is by no means a festival of food and wine-themed movies.  

Calistoga Hotel & Resort Specials

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euroSpa.jpgCALISTOGA, CA - There are so many choices of places to stay in Calistoga. Between the charming bed & breakfasts and distinct inns that make for cozy, almost like home accommodations, you might overlook the resorts or wine country style hotels. But with the promise of peaceful tranquility and private accommodations that many of them offer and a host of amenities, we urge you to reconsider. As added encouragement, see the list of specials currently available.

Euro Spa & Inn - Economic Relief Package
Offering a unique mixture of old-fashioned Northern California hospitality, deluxe accommodations, and healthy spa services to provide a memorable wine country getaway experience. This package includes Queen bed accommodations, 1 hour signature massages for two, deluxe continental breakfast, 3-course dinner at local restaurant and wine tastings at any two local wineries.
RESERVE NOW

Mini Travel Guide: Calistoga

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By Robert P. Farmer

fallVineyard.jpgThe story goes that Calistoga got its name when Sam Brannan, who first ventured to these parts lured by the healing waters that were rumored to rival Saratoga Springs in New York, arrived and dubbed it the "Calistoga of Sarifornia," obviously intending to say "Saratoga of California." The name stuck, and so too has Brannan's imprimatur. The pioneering spirit of the Old West is still evident in the charming small town at the northern end of Napa Valley. But Wine Country has grown up around it, and the "healing waters" still exist and continue to be part of the lure.

Calistoga is part geological wonder, part destination to for the good life, and still one of the most popular regions of California's Wine Country--just as it was when it first became a destination in the 1880s, when travelers made their way here to soak in the warm, sulfuric waters of the many area hot springs. In its later life, visitors grew fonder of the excellent cabernets and chardonnays being produced in the region. Modern-day Calistoga combines the best of all worlds, and throws in for good measure a great collection of historic attractions, excellent resorts and tempting restaurants. 

The Comforts of Home

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stevensonManor.jpgIt's easy to see why wine country travelers make Stevenson Manor Inn their place to stay in Calistoga (Napa Valley). It has all the comforts of home with a few extras!  They boast 34 boutique-style rooms designed with hotel flair featuring high-speed wireless Internet,  wet bar, refrigerator and much more. Available in-room upgrades include a balcony, fireplace, whirlpool jetted bathtub.

It may be getting a little chilly, but Stevenson Manor Inn also has a year-round heated pool, hot tub, dry sauna, and steam room. And don't miss out on the deluxe continental breakfast. One Yelper recently said "Continental breakfast is very good - the dining area is a bit too small. Waffle aromatherapy is nice :) For you protein-freaks, they always have fresh, boiled eggs which I love that they provide."

Sweet Lodging Deals in Calistoga

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cottagegrove.jpgBed & Breakfasts and Inns

One of the hallmarks of visiting Napa Valley, outside of the over 400 wineries, are the charming, distinctive bed and breakfasts nestled among the vines of wine country. Offering a place away from home with gourmet breakfasts served each morning, it's no wonder that many choose to stay at a Napa Valley Inn or Napa Valley bed & breakfast during their wine country vacation.  Fall and Winter are wonderful times to visit and the town of Calistoga is no exception. See the specials being offered right now - some are only available through November!

Spa Deals in Napa, CA

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massage3.jpgPampering is in order. And these spas in the town of Napa are ready to deliver an hour or more of relaxation and soothe away all the cares of the day. Check out these special spa offers, many of them being offered through the end of the year!

Greenhaus European Day Spa - The Essence of Wine Therapy, 90 min. $165

Inspired by the serenity of the Napa Valley, this moisturizing treatment incorporates the finest anti-aging ingredients of vinotherapy chosen for their ability to hear and protect the body, mind and senses. Start your journey with a Sugar Body Exfoliation followed by a Chardonnay Butter Wrap and your Wine Country Wellness with a hydrating Grape Seed Oil Massage.

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


AVIA Napa: The Sexiest Sleep in Town

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AVIAexterior.jpgBy Deirdre Bourdet

The AVIA Hotel opened its swanky wrought iron doors last summer at the western frontier of Napa's downtown.  Since that time, the hotel has become a touchstone for the energy and excitement transforming the neighborhood.  It's the place I recommend every fun-loving visitor stay in Napa, whether that visitor is my seventy-something mom or my thirty-something best friend and her boyfriend.  Everyone who stays there loves it.

The hotel's location on First Street at Franklin puts it right in the thick of Napa's West End, the fast-growing community of hip art galleries, restaurants, retail, and tasting rooms. The bigger-than-life main doorway looks out at Oenotri and the Gordon Huether Gallery immediately across First Street, and all of downtown Napa's best restaurants and tasting rooms are within easy walking distance.

September Saturdays in the Valley

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chefotooletomates.jpg By Deirdre Bourdet

Napa Valley is known throughout the world for its stunning wines, gorgeous countryside, and world-class cuisine.  Late summer is the perfect time to visit this corner of foodie paradise and taste the good life, and conveniently, tons of September events give visitors and locals the opportunity to experience all three of Napa's greatest attractions in the same sitting.  Here are my top weekend picks for a good time this month
Photo by Ashley Teplin

Build Your Own BLT day at Bardessono Resort. Next Saturday, September 11, from 2pm to 5pm, I will be following my dreams to an embarrassment of deliciousness, courtesy of Bardessono and Hill Family Estates.  On this momentous day, Chef Sean O'Toole will give guests free rein to assemble the greatest BLTs imaginable using the resort's own organically farmed heirloom tomatoes and lettuces, a panoply of housemade aiolis, local breads, and of course a full selection of artisanal bacons.  Will you choose Bardessono's own apple-smoked bacon, with Cajun aioli on slices of rich brioche?  Or will you go with Fatted Calf from Napa, slathered with bacon-sherry aioli on tender pain de mie?  As you ponder these important questions, sip on a selection of lovely Hill Family Estate wines, and nosh on passed hors d'oeuvres like Andalucian gazpacho, sweet tomato cream puffs, or La Quercia prosciutto with crushed tomato crostini.  Round out the tomato-bacon feast with sides like fennel salad with taggiasca olive, preserved lemon, and Regina extra virgin olive oil, or a visit to the decadent burrata bar with its selection of specialty salts.  Cardiologists will be standing by... or so I hope.  For tickets call Bardessono at 707-204-6030.


Meritage: Spa Terra Transports

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Meritage-front.jpgBy Courtney Cochran

From Top Chef to Top Form

When Top Chef contestants descended on Napa's Meritage Resort earlier this year to film the Season 6 finale of the popular Bravo show, they made use of many of the Tuscan-style property's amenities, though there is one we feel they could have well stood to make more use of:  the spot's award-winning spa. After all, these harried chef-testants withstood grueling challenges for weeks before arriving at the southern Napa property (to battle to the end, no less), and we're sure they could have all benefited from some quality R&R to take the edge off.

Napa's Ultimate Scavenger Hunt - August 14

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Onward-Avatar.jpgBy Courtney Cochran

Where: di Rosa Preserve - 5200 Sonoma Hwy, Napa
When: Sat, Aug. 14 2010
Why: supporting the arts in Wine Country is cool
$$: $55/$35 di Rosa members

Onward!, Di Rosa Preserve's Young Collector's Group, will host "Scavenge di Rosa" this Saturday, August 14 from 6-9pm in Napa.  Word is this will be quite the cool culinary-gastro-art affair, with appearances promised from numerous street food vendors, live music and - of course - plenty of liquid libations.  And with a premise turning on a real scavenger hunt through the spot's galleries, it looks to be quite the socializer-cum-art-viewing extravaganza.   

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.

Special Offers for Your Yountville Getaway

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YOUNTVILLE, CA - A vacation, weekend retreat,  or day excursion in Yountville is by itself a treat, but to sweeten your escape, why not take advantage of the promotions and offers that many Yountville lodging, winery and spa retreats are offering? Planning a "Suite Romantic Getaway", a "De-Stressing" time out, or off-the-beaten path wine tasting couldn't get any easier. And after all, the more you save, the more you can truly experience Yountville! Some of these offers expire at the end of July*!

Vintage Inn: A Slice of Provence

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vintageInn1.jpgYOUNTVILLE, CA - Set amid the vibrant and lively town of Yountville is Vintage Inn. Romance and relaxation radiate through the wonderful water walkways with lavender swaying slightly from the soft breeze. It's a slice of Provence tucked away and set off from the hurried pace of Washington Street's southern end.

Luxurious accommodations await your arrival with modern amenities and a complimentary bottle of wine. Guests love the oversize sunken whirlpool bathtub. Set up some candles and you've just created a romantic respite in the space of your room. Reserve a balcony room, sit outside and enjoy views of Domaine Chandon's vineyards. 

Hotel Luca: A Tuscan Getaway

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hotelLuca.jpgYOUNTVILLE, CA - There's no need to travel to Italy, when you have a Tuscan getaway right here in Napa Valley! Discover the newest hotel in Yountville, Hotel Luca and what makes it a great location for your next luxury hotel stay.

Made in Italia by by Sarah Sung
When it comes to visiting Wine Country, there's so much more to it than wine tasting and vineyard visits. Add bountiful food, elegant scenery, and luxurious spa treatments, for example. And Hotel Luca, the newly opened boutique resort just steps from the French Laundry and across from local dive Pancha's, on the north end of Yountville, successfully incorporates it all with its well-appointed 20-room accommodations.

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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Golf in Napa and Sonoma

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(4/365) :: Golf Thursdays

Image by chispita_666 via Flickr

By Robert P. Farmer

Spring has sprung and the grass is green and getting greener. Time to hit the greens--and fairways, and the 19th holes. This is one of my favorite times of year. When days stretch longer and temperatures reach higher. Plenty of time and favorable weather to grind out a few holes of golf from among your daily grind. Napa and Sonoma valleys, while known for their obvious Viticultural attributes, are perhaps lesser appreciated for their golf courses. But the valleys are excellent places to pursue your golf passion. And there's always time to enjoy the world class wines as you count up your score.

Napa Golf Guide
Sonoma Golf Guide
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Napa Golf Guide

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*updated March 2012

by Robert P. Farmer

golfIstock.jpgNAPA, CA - Whether you're after the country club afternoon, the relaxation of a resort, or the challenge of one of the toughest public course in the region, Napa Valley offers a golf experience to suit all tastes - and skill levels for that matter. The valley known for its vineyards is also home to an assortment of golf courses on par with its assortment of wines. Public, private, and semi-private, all the courses take advantage of their eye-catching natural surroundings - rolling oak-studded hillsides, lakes and creeks, mountain views and valley vistas. Napa golf has it all. If they could put it in a bottle, they would.

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.

Spring Freeing

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By Deirdre Bourdet

Spring is in the air... and so is romance.  Now that Valentine's Day is over and done with (to everyone's great relief), we can all turn to romantic pursuits with a lot less pressure and a whole lot more enthusiasm.  A weekend escape to the natural beauty of wine country offers fresh air, fresh perspective, and perhaps a fresh start.  And despite what you may have heard, it doesn't cost a fortune to enjoy the area's greatest assets.  Some of the most staggeringly gorgeous experiences are 100% free to those willing to take them.  Here are some of the more visually stimulating activities to enjoy.

Napa Valley Hot Air Balloon Tours

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*last updated March 2012

RECHARGE. . . Take Flight with a Hot Air Balloon Ride!

Meghan Lamb-Napa Valley Aloft-DSC_0356.jpgBALLOON TOURS
Get a bird's eye view of rolling Napa Valley hills and vineyards from inside a hot air balloon. You'll be mesmerized by the breathtaking landscape before you. If you take an early morning flight, you're in for a treat. Watch the morning's fog lift, the sun rise, and the valley open up right before your eyes as your balloon wafts softly through the air.

Hot Air Balloon rides are also very popular for marriage proposals. What could be more romantic than saying "I love you. Will you marry me" several thousand feet up in the air? Several balloon companies offer Champagne Breakfast brunch at the end of your trip.

See our recommendations for Hot Air Balloon companies in Napa Valley.

Napa Valley Mustard Festival 2010

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mustardFest2010.jpgThe Napa Valley vineyards landscape is slowly turning a different color - mustard yellow. That can only mean one thing for locals and visitors in the know . . . The Napa Valley Mustard Festival will be in full bloom in only a couple more weeks! This year's festivities take place January 30th - March 27th and will once again offer visitors a "sensational season of food, wine, and art events".

To kick off the Napa Valley Mustard Festival season is the "Mustard Magic" event on Saturday, January 30th at 7pm hosted at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena. Stroll through art-filled, candelit spaces featuring tastes of food and wine sure to entice at every turn, a gourmet buffet on the 3rd floor, live auction featuring luxurious trips, art, and wine, and of course dancing into the night! Tickets range from $125 to $175. More Details

Things just get better and better from here... see the list of other events below:

Driving Range - Three Wine Country Road Trips

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By Sarah Sung

The slightly more adventurous first cousin to the staycation, the road trip lets you unwind while enjoying the best of travel: exploring unknown territory. What better destination than Wine Country, where you can go from wineries to restaurants to hotels--with the freedom to pull off for a hike, bike ride, picnic, or to sit still and simply take in the scenery?

Drive One: Napa
Taking the high road through Napa.

Just an hour from San Francisco is the di Rosa, where art and nature come together. Make a reservation to tour the collection. It consists of 2,000 works of art--showcasing about half that number at any given moment--and is among the largest collections of Bay Area artists in the world. The first hint that you're coming up on the 217-acre preserve will be the sheep metal sculptures on the hillside. Once a private residence, this preserve is now a nonprofit public trust, with a collection so prominent that you'll see pieces from it at the Whitney and Getty museums.
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2009 Napa Valley Holiday Openings

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Napa Valley will still be bustling with activity through the holidays. Several restaurants and a few wineries will be open Christmas Eve.  Only a handful will be open on Christmas Day, so plan accordingly. Celebrate New Year's Eve wine country style - gourmet dinners, wine tasting, and dancing to ring in the new year.

Find out what's happening on the Napa Valley Events Calendar.

What's Open on Thanksgiving in The Napa Valley

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Listing Courtesy of The Napa Valley Destination Council - 1310 Napa Town Center, Napa. 

PLEASE NOTE: The Visitor Information Center will be closed on Thanksgiving Day in observance of the Holiday.

We wish you and yours a Happy Holiday.


RESTAURANTS OPEN
Alexis Baking Company   (707) 258-1827
Auberge du Soleil    (707) 963-1211
Avia Hotel Restaurant   (866) 644-2842
Bank at Westin Verasa   (707) 257-5151
Bardessono Hotel Restaurant   (707) 204-6030
Bayleaf   (707) 257-9720
Boon Fly Café at Carneros Inn  (707) 299-4870
Bistro Jeanty   (707) 944-0103

The Art of Downtown in Napa

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napaArt.jpgNapa has a rich history of supporting the arts and now from the Opera House to the Hess Collection, from public art installations to downtown gallery owners, Napa is fast becoming an art lover's destination. The many active studio artists in Napa are adding to the mix with their annual Open Studios self-guided tour organized by Arts Council Napa Valley.

Linda Cordair of Quent Cordair Gallery on First Street has been very happy with her move to Napa. Quent Cordair Gallery opened on July 4, 2008 after 13 years in Burlingame. The gallery specializes in "Romantic Realism" and has a very strong web presence. Ms. Cordair has found that moving to Napa has given her clientele a great excuse to travel here for their art-buying, particularly as Cordair has conveniently partnered with local hotels. "This is a world class destination more exciting for our clients to visit. They travel from as far away as Switzerland, New Zealand and China for our collections and with the completion of the River Front project we can really see a positive direction for downtown Napa. We want to do all we can to help fill the empty storefronts and bring more galleries here."

Long time public art champion, Harry Price, managing partner of CDI, developer of the Napa River Inn project and Napa Square on First Street, has this to say about the role of art in the community, "Art is an integral component of civilizations; we look back to them and look at what type of art they created. It is a measure of civilization and culture, so we honor our own culture by the art we leave behind."

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PRESS RELEASE: Silverado Resort Holiday Packages

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silveradoResort2.jpgNAPA, Calif., - The Silverado Resort inNapa Valley is offering three-night Holiday Celebration packages for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays highlighted by dinners prepared by the resort's renowned executive chef.
 
The packages feature acaccommodations for up to four people in a two-bedroom fireplace suite, the holiday buffet on either Thanksgiving Day or Christmas Day and a 20 percent discount on golf at the resort's courses and select services at the Spa at Silverado.
 
The rate is $299 per suite per night and is based on at least a three-night consecutive stay during the periods of November 24-29, 2009 or December 23 - 28, 2009. The package does not include taxes, service charges or resort fee of $20 per night. Additional nights are available at a 25 percent discount off published rates.
 
The Holiday package can be booked by calling (1) 800-532-0500. Some other restrictions may apply.

Napa: Fall Foilage Special at River Terrace Inn

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riverTerraceRoom.jpgRiver Terrace Inn was recently voted as 2009's Best Napa Hotel by the Bay List (SF Gate, The San Francisco Chronicle's website).

Popular among locals, the Bay List says "Discover an exclusive sanctuary nestled among lush, rolling hills, an ocean of vivid wildflowers and radiant vineyards. Set in the heart of California wine country, the River Terrace Inn features luxurious accommodations, personalized services, and a richly indulgent spa".

See for yourself what makes this hotel so special. Right now, River Terrace Inn is offering a Fall Foilage Package this November with room rates just starting at $129 available Sunday - Thursday. Your stay includes a complimentary glass of Napa Valley wine on their outdoor terrace overlooking the Nap River and eucalyptus grove.

River Terrace Inn
1600 Soscol Avenue
Napa, CA 94559
(707) 320.9000
(866) 627.2386
 

PRESS RELEASE: Yountville "Moveable Feast" Value Program

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Yountville Chefs & Hotels Team Up with a Variety of Special Menus, Hotel Packages and Culinary Adventures

YOUNTVILLE, NAPA VALLEY, CA. -- 2009 - Sporting six Michelin stars and a chef line-up worthy of a world tour, Yountville turns up the heat this winter with a town-wide "Moveable Feast" program. From value-season hotel/dining packages to a roux of prix-fixe meals rolling off the lines, foodies on a fast track now have another reason to visit this town boasting more Michelin stars per capita than anywhere on the planet!

Available December 1, 2009 - February 28, 2010*, the "Moveable Feast" program and free passport can be downloaded via www.yountville.com or obtained at Yountville Chamber of Commerce. From the new Bardessono inn to a bevy of Thomas Keller restaurants, the passport links visitors to 11 food/wine hotel packages and 12 restaurant deals from three-course prix fixe dinners for $70/couple to $1 oyster specials, 50% off VIP winetasting and up to 25% off hotel/dining packages, starting at $165/double.

CLICK HERE for full press release and additional details.

Other articles on the town of Yountville:


New In Napa: August 09

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EstateCave1_LargeWeb.JPGBy Courtney Cochran

Home to some 300 wineries, Napa Valley is the engine that drives California's booming wine industry. It's also a place where history, art, hospitality and a search for perfection collide to produce some of the most compelling products and experiences Wine Country has to offer. Read on for new developments in this "land of plenty" in our own backyard.

Napa Valley's Open Studios

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A Free, Self Guided Fine Art Discovery Tour

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Every fall, when trucks bearing tons of grapes appear on the roads of Napa Valley, the sun-drenched trees begin to show their fall colors, and the hottest days of the year roll through the gorgeous valley, it's the season for artists to throw open their studio doors and welcome friends, neighbors, and visitors into their creative workspaces for the annual Open Studios tour. 

Arts Council Napa Valley's Open Studios is a free, self-guided fine art discovery tour that runs during the last two weekends of September.  The 2009 Open Studios Honorary Co-Chairs, Eleanor Coppola and Kathryn Hall, invite patrons to experience this year's tour, featuring 88 of the finest artists and craftspeople in the Napa Valley. 

Whether you are an avid collector or just curious about art, Open Studios is an incredible opportunity to peer into the creative spaces of Napa Valley painters, metal and stone sculptors, mosaicists, photographers, ceramists, printmakers, fiber artists, jewelry makers, glass artists and other fine craftspeople, and to buy local art right from the source.

Conde Nast Traveler: Top Spas for 2009

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Kenwood Inn and Spa - Top 3 Resort Spa in the United States
Conde Nast Traveler 2009 Readers' Poll

If you're planning a trip to wine country, one of the best ways to unwind and relax is with a spa treatment. Conde Nast Traveler released the poll results of readers' top picks for spas across the U.S. and even areas internationally. It's no surprise that many of the spas in Hawaii and California were heavily preferred by consumers.

Kenwood Inn and Spa in Sonoma, CA was one of the top 3 resort spas in the U.S. and received perfect scores of 100 for treatments, staff, service and design. Book a stay with them as they also boast lush surroundings, soothing pools, and elegant accommodations in a Tuscan setting.  Reserve online.

Going Both Ways

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How to Hit Up Napa & Sonoma in a Single Trip by Courtney Cochran

Rather like the sexes, Napa and Sonoma sometimes seem worlds apart.  Farmers are from Sonoma, people often say, while the technology barons and other members of the monied set call neighboring Napa home instead. 

In some ways these stereotypes ring true: I'm yet to spot a Ferrari in Sonoma but am rarely in Napa for more than 15 minutes before one or even two of the slick machines whiz by me en route to brunch at Bouchon or gallery hopping in St. Helena.

But disparate Ferrari populations aside, become a little better acquainted with these areas and I think you'll find they've got more in common than first meets the eye.  And, as is the case with men and women, they can even get along alright on the same trip - albeit with a little extra planning and flexibility.  

Napa Valley Festival Del Sole

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festivalDelSole.jpgPress Release

Napa Valley Festival del Sole, one of the world's most distinctive summer festivals, announces its fourth season in California's beautiful wine country, July 17-25, 2009.
 
With performances every day, music is the centerpiece of a festival hailed by The New York Times as a "feast for the senses," featuring the finest cuisine, wine and hospitality the Napa Valley has to offer. The weeklong schedule includes world-class concerts, exclusive receptions, lunches and dinners, wine tastings, art exhibitions, free community concerts showcasing talented young performers, and more.

Some of the world's most renowned artists travel to Napa Valley each year to perform at Festival del Sole, and to wine, dine and celebrate the "art of life" with Festival guests.

Yountville

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The little town that's big on talent and taste

By Michaela Jarvis

As Seen in Napa Sonoma Magazine

Yountville has often been compared to a European village because of its charm and because everything in town is within walking distance. That may be an apt description, yet, in how many European villages will you find yourself within a short stroll of half a dozen of the best restaurants in the country?

Heck, this is no European village. This is Disneyland, with a favorite attraction for everyone-whether that's a wild ride through Thomas Keller's culinary imagination at The French Laundry, a chance to shake hands with Food Network star Michael Chiarello at his new Bottega restaurant, or an experience of the magical hot stone massage at Villagio's 13,000-square-foot spa.

To Read More, Click Here.

Read other articles on the town of Yountville:

Wine Country Itinerary: Yountville

Things Are Afoot in Yountville

Bardessono: The New Mecca for Wine Country Luxury

Romancing the Stone

Napa City Staycation

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By Courtney Cochran

With the economy bumping along as uncertainly as the box office receipts for latter-day Lindsay Lohan pics, it's no surprise Americans are embracing staycations in record numbers. An amusing portmanteau of the words "stay" (as in stay-at-home, or near home) and "vacation," the staycation offers Wine Country travelers an escape that's long on pleasure but short on planning and out-of-pocket expenses. And with its convenient location just 50 minutes north of San Francisco, the city of Napa makes an ideal destination for Bay Area staycationers of all stripes.

Read on for the low down on top spots for sipping inside the Napa City limits, and click here for more on the dos and don'ts of staycations - including tips on how to make yours a smashing success.

Green Gets Gold

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One Napa Hotel Walks the Environmental Walk

by Robert P. Farmer

The sustainability conversation has long been on the table in Wine Country. Wineries and restaurants have led the earth-friendly charge here, with the results easily seen (and tasted) in bottles and on tables throughout the region. But the subtext here has always been the greater need to live sustainably not just in vineyards and at the Farmer's market, but everywhere and at all time.

Bardessono: The New Mecca for Wine Country Luxury

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bardessono.jpgBy Courtney Cochran

Every once in a while, a destination comes on line that not only exceeds the current standard, but redefines it as well. Such is the case for Bardessono, a Napa Valley resort that combines cutting edge design with the highest standards in hospitality and unparalleled sustainability.

Aesthetic Achiever, Sustainable Star
Open since February 2009, the 62-room hotel, spa and restaurant ascribes to the most rigorous guidelines for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) construction, deftly integrating energy-conserving solutions such as solar panels and on-site geothermal wells for heating and cooling with a flawless contemporary aesthetic that at once complements and enhances its surroundings.

Surroundings, I might add, which are nothing short of spectacular themselves.

Traveling While Drinking

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Can the Wine Tourism Trend Save Travel?
By Robert P. Farmer

While it's no new concept in the valleys of Napa or Sonoma, the idea of wine tourism is starting to take root across the globe. From France to Germany and Australia to Chile, people are increasingly booking passage based less on the destination itself than on the wine produced in that destination.

Wine lovers everywhere are discovering that it's more fun to drink their way through vacation than to sit idle on, say, a beach reading the latest trashy best-seller. Wine Tourism is providing a renewed sense of purpose for leisure time and it is not limited to wine aficionados. Thanks in part to concerted efforts by wine-producing regions to espouse their industry and leverage it for fun and profit, the wine tourism trend appears to be something travelers can savor.

Meadowood Makes Wine Country Weekends Supreme

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By Courtney Cochran

What recession? At Meadowood - the Napa Valley resort known for its luxe accommodations and tucked-away ambiance - weekends just got a lot more interesting. Indeed, in honor of its 45th anniversary, the resort is putting variety - and unapologetic luxury - back into wine country travel with an impressive lineup of wine- and wine country-themed events known as its Wine-Inspired Weekend Series.

Where to Save, Where to Splurge In Wine Country

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By Courtney Cochran

I can recall, with embarrassing clarity, buying Chuck Shaw by the caseload in the drearily cash-strapped era that followed my graduation from college.  And though I quickly "graduated" beyond the realm of such inexpensive sippers around the time of my first raise, today's tough economic times have many of us - yours truly included - contemplating a reunion with bargain sips like Mr. Shaw's and others of his ilk.

To be sure, the crisis thinking fueling these considerations isn't limited to wine consumption alone.  Wine country visitors, as well, are wondering where they can cut corners on visits in order to spend less while still enjoying their fair share of the pleasures wine country has to offer.  They're looking for easy, smart ways to extend their spending power at a time when all of us are getting by on less.   

And so, in a valiant effort to keep the good times - and the good drink - flowing, we're here to help you do just that.  Read on for our top suggestions on where to save and - as important - where to splurge in wine country this season.    Because if one thing is a constant no matter the economic clime, it's that we can all use a little affordable luxury every now and then to keep our spirits afloat.

Family Fun in the Wine Country

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By Robert Farmer

fatherBaby.jpgThe trip from San Francisco to California's Wine Country is a quick one. But for several months in my life it might as well have been half way around the globe. The addition to our family of a baby--our beautiful daughter--had countless positive effects. However, there was one drawback. It turned the Golden Gate Bridge, over which we previously had skipped so effortlessly into Wine Country into a Bridge Too Far.

For several months on end, not only did we not make one of our favorite day trips or easy weekend getaways, we scarcely even let the prospect enter our minds.  So recently when we had occasion to try it again--owing mostly to being forced out of our house to make way for some minor construction--we weren't quite sure what to expect.

Travel Deal Alert - Napa Valley Wine Taster's Dream Package

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silverado.jpgNAPA VALLEY, CA - We know a good deal when we see it!  Silverado Resort recognizes times are rough and is responding with the "dream package" making your next Napa Valley trip extremely affordable. 

See details below:

The package includes:
  • A picnic lunch for two at V. Sattui Winery 
  • Wine tastings at four other area wineries (Black Stallion, Mumm, Artesa, and Conn Creek)
  • Resort guestroom Accommodations (King Beds, 340 thread count Egyptian cotton linen, Wireless Internet, and many more amenities)
All of this....drumroll please...is only $139/night for stays through March 15th (including weekends)! The promo code is WINE3 and you can book directly online or call them directly to make reservations at 800.532.0500.

Visit online for more details, terms & conditions and information on upgrading to one of their suites (still quite reasonable).

It's not often you see a deal like this, especially in Napa Valley.  Don't let it pass you by....

 

Napa Valley Mustard Festival

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mustardFestival08_1.jpg***CLICK HERE for 2010 Napa Valley Mustard Festival Info!***


It's that time of year again. Mustard flowers dot the vineyard landscape resulting in picturesque views along Highway 29 and the Silverado Trail in Napa Valley Wine Country.  The Napa Valley Mustard Festival "celebrates the food, wine, art and rich, unique agricultural bounty of the Napa Valley".

Don't miss out on the events that go hand in hand with the "Mustard Season" from January 31st - March 28, 2009.

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