When you're pregnant and a wine aficionado, a weekend in Napa may sound like torture. But during a recent girls’ weekend to St. Helena, I discovered that wine country can be equally indulgent and relaxing when you’re expecting. With its renowned spa treatments, shopping and gourmet culinary offerings, Napa makes for an ideal escape, with or without a drink.
Spent the weekend up doing the Yountville shuffle. Here's my blog brief.
Yountville might feel like a planned community (of restaurants and resorts) rather than real place where real people live and dine (and get spa treatments). But it doesn't seem to detract from its ability to continue to be the big destination in the Napa Valley. (Thanks, French Laundry.)
On a recent rainy night, card-carrying members of the SF and Napa Valley Swell set convened to celebrate the return of Beringer Winery’s historic Rhine House in St. Helena with a glamorous black-tie dinner.
Beringer was founded in 1897 and, though recently purchased by the Australian Foster’s Beer empire, it reigns as the oldest continuous winemaking facility in the Napa Valley.
While it's tempting to think that the closing of Copia, Napa's ambitious wine and cultural center, is a sign of the times, the fact is that the organization has been troubled since its inception. Robert Mondavi raised and donated much of the money for its construction, despite the fact that there was little indication of how Copia would sustain itself. It has had trouble drawing crowds and has never become that first stop on the Napa wine trail that its creators hoped it might be.
In yesterday's New York Times, Eric Asimov wrote a thorough account of his attitudes toward Napa Valley Cabernet. He voiced a preference for a certain sort wine we'd call "old school" (he called them "balanced," "restrained," "subtle," and "nuanced"). He describes many Napa Valley Cabernets, however, as "jammy fruit bombs that overwhelm food."
I don’t generally assign myself any weekend goals—I figure it’s enough to get my laundry done—but this last beautiful weekend I was hot on two projects: To get myself outside, on a hike, in the countryside, and to check out the not-so-new Oxbow Public Market in Napa. I’m happy to report that both were accomplished in one fell swoop. After an 8-mile up-hill midday hike in Santa Rosa, my companion and I, hungry and thirsty to the point of silence, drove the 30-odd miles from the state park to Napa, arriving around 5 p.m.
Taylor Boetticher of the Fatted Calf at home in his
new retail space at Oxbow market.
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