I’m the last person to ridicule any man for drinking wine instead of beer, or heading up to “romantic Napa Valley” for a day with the bros or fam. But I know that sipping wine certainly doesn't top the list of tough, "manly" activities. Here are some wine country experiences that won’t drag down any macho egos on Father's Day.
With hundreds of wineries to choose from and experiences that range from hoity-toity tastings to off-road excursions, it's tough to give Napa fist-timers a balanced sampling of the valley. That said, here are six wineries that will give you a nice blend of the best the area has to offer in a weekend:
Can’t find a designated driver and don't want to listen to your intoxicated friends sing and talk wine while you soberly sip and spit your way around the Valley? How about hiring a car and driver — or better yet, take the Ferry to Vallejo, and get picked up and squired about by a Napa Valley insider? Here are our top picks of the four-wheel-concierges that do a whole lot more than just drive:
There are tons of summer celebrations in Napa Valley, but what do you do when the wedding reception's over, the wineries are closed, or you want another drink or two after dinner? Not long ago, the answer would be to pop a cork in your hotel room, but these days the Valley has plenty of options for night owls.
Some visitors are mystified that anyone would want to ride a bike in Napa Valley where there are endless amounts of great food, wine, and drivers who have been “tasting responsibly” crowding the limited roads. Others plan their day or weekend around renting bikes and touring the wineries or taking a serious ride through vines, across the valley, and as far as the Sonoma Cost (and back). This blog goes out to all of you who are looking for the best two-wheel tours of Napa Valley from an amateur but competitive cyclist who loves to ride.
Chateau Montelena helped put Napa on the map back in 70s. And this June 25th, they're throwing what's being billed as the Valley's party of the summer with Franc & Blanc, a chance to indulge in the Chateaus's delicious wines (made famous by the movie Bottle Shock). Come up to mingle with winemakers Bo Barrett (played by Chris Pine in the film), Cam Parry and Matt Crafton for an up-close and personal glimpse at the way a hot-ticket vineyard like this one operates.
And there's a lot more to do that just drink wine. Look forward to tons of music, food, a photo booth, wine classes, barrel tastings, games and prizes.
If your mom (or you, for that matter) would enjoy a Mother's Day involving wine, head up to Napa Valley. Here's my list of recommendations for all of you "spontaneous" planners.
Duckhorn is pulling out all the stops for mothers everywhere (a day early) with their Saturday Spring Celebration. Bustle from station to station and through the gardens, tasting small bites and sipping on different wines.