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.
If you've ever wanted a behind-the-scenes experience in Napa, the Rutherford Passport Weekend is your golden ticket. This weekend, from May 7th to 8th, grab yourself a Passport and immerse yourself in country sunshine–you'll get exclusive access and discounts to special pourings, barrel and tank tastings, paired food and wine, and in-depth Q-and-As with the master winemakers in the Rutherford Appellation Winery family. Best of all, proceeds from Passport sales benefit local Napa Valley charities!
These days you can bring your pup just about anywhere, and Napa is no exception. There are more than 90 dog-friendly wineries in the valley, with bowls of water and treats next to many a tasting room counter. Here's a list of some of my favorites, based on their attitude towards pups, overall experience and quality of wine.
Now that tax season is officially over, it's time to cut loose–and we're here to help you with that. Head up to Napa's historic Chateau Montelena on June 25th for Franc & Blanc, a summer vineyard party that's all about the glory of their red and white wines.
Here's where we come in: use the code 7X7UPGRADE to upgrade to VIP status for free, which is valid until May 15 while ticket supplies last. What do you get with your new platinum status? Montelena will get you round-trip transportation from San Francisco up to the winery itself, access to their luxurious VIP lounge, on-site parking, and complimentary wine tastings.
If you’re waking up to go wine tasting, odds are pretty good that you either need a solid brunch to soak up yesterday’s fun or something hearty to prepare you for a long day of wines and vines. Here are my picks for the seven best brunch spots in Napa Valley, broken down by specialty and experience: