Winter in Wine Country is a time for restaurants to revamp, remodel, change ownership and, this year at least, build from the ground up. From pizzerias to gastropubs, Napa in 2012 is shaping up to be considerably less buttoned-up.
You can't go wrong with the trusted wineries of Highway 29 and the Silverado Trail, but if you’ve never discovered a dazzling new winery for yourself, it’s time to take a chance. In order to mitigate some of the risk of a day filled with the wrong wineries, we’ve unearthed some of the hottest hidden treasures for you (all appointment only):
Between January and March, Wine Country is packed with specials on spa packages as it's traditionally the slowest time of the year. Whether you're looking for a discounted massage or something romantic for Valentines Day, check out these spa specials:
We can't think of a better way to hit the reset button this 2012 than with a fresh start in Napa Valley's beautiful Yountville. From now until February 29, the town's third annual Moveable Feast offers visitors and locals alike amazing opportunities to experience its world-class selection of eateries and wineries at unbeatable values. This means indulgent prix-fixe menus, wine tastings and luxury travel packages are waiting for you right now across the Golden Gate Bridge in the culinary capital of Napa Valley.
January in Napa Valley has officially been dubbed “Restaurant Month,” and brings with it Napa’s 2nd Annual Truffle Festival. A traditionally slow time of year, the Valley is tempting Bay Area locals with a full month of foodie specials and a celebration of the world's most expensive fungi at “America’s premier truffle event.”
Atlas Peak boasts many of the best views in the valley and sits at the highest elevation of any appellation in Napa. Perched above the fog-line, Atlas Peak has been a prominent grape growing region since 1870 and winery owners Michael Permenter (VinRoc), and Vito Bialla (Bialla Vinyards) agree that the AVA is unique from all others due to the “warm sun, lack of fog, cool nights, and rocky, porous, volcanic soils, that are perfect for drainage and ideal for grape growing.” According to the Napa Valley Vintners Association, the region is known primarily for Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. The Cab tends to have bright berry and cherry fruit and elevated acidity. The Chardonnay is crisp, floral and displays pear-mineral flavor and bright acidity.
This year, while everyone rushes for the city, do something different and ring in the new year in Napa or Sonoma with these midnight champagne toasts, rocking DJs, concerts, and balloon-filled ballrooms:
Everyone seems to have an eco-friendly angle these days, but the wineries of Sonoma (and the area itself) have long been committed leaders within the movement. Many Sonoma wineries use a combination of green techniques like solar power and organic farming, while others have taken it to the next level using biodynamics. Here are our favorite eco-friendly wineries and the tour companies who will take you there:
Now's the time to escape across the bridge to Napa Valley and celebrate Cabernet season amongst the rollings hills of vineyards and world class restaurants. Make it easy: just grab a few friends, hop in the car and head to the Westin Verasa Napa, where you can enjoy their special Cabernet Package, available through April 15, 2012, to kick off your luxurious getaway in Wine Country.
Join one of our favorite Napa wineries, Toolbox Wine Co., at the Marina St. Francis Yacht Club for their "THIRST" release party on December 14 and to raise a glass to Jack and J.T. Snow Fund, a tireless organization working to stop the progression of rare diseases such as Wolfram syndrome. You'll be able to not only drink for a good cause, but to meet SF Giants alumni during this party by the San Francisco Bay.