It's Harvest Time, so what better time to take off to Napa and enjoy a few days in the valley drinking beautiful wines and eating fabulous food. IVAMOS!
Our son left for Washington D.C. on a school field trip, so last minute my husband and I decided to hop in the car with our dog Buster, and our bikes and hit the road to Napa. Living in Los Angeles we have the advantage of the ocean, mountains and Napa Valley. Off we went on our road trip. Seven hours later...Vino!
We checked into Hotel Bardessono. Located in downtown Yountville, a boutique hotel with contemporary flair, and elegance. It's right in the center of town, so you are walking distance to great restaurants, shops, and a charming walking path. Step out into the crisp Napa Valley air, and in two minutes you are enjoying yummy coffee and pastries at Bouchon. Bardessono is also a national model of green building and operating practices along with open arms to your four legged friends.
There are sixty-two rooms and a gym that is open air with just the right amount of equipment. With water flowing throughout the property you are surrounded in a tranquil setting. After sun down, kickback and enjoy the warmth of the fire and a glass of vino before your dinner.
Enjoying a little fireside relaxation before our dinner at Ciccio. Bardesonno has done an amazing job with incorporating nature's elements.
Along our walk we found Ciccio. Located in the heart of Napa, Ciccio offers a simple menu of pizzas and Italian entrees baked in a beautiful wood-fire oven and ingredients right from their own garden at Altamura Ranch. Ciccio is family owned and operated by Frank & Karen Altamira. They happen to be there the night we stopped in, and we were seated next to their table (lucky us) Frank introduced himself and gave us a little history of their Ciccio, the farm and shared one of his favorite wines with us. Frank and Karen pair their wines from their vineyard with their foods. Altamura Ranch has been in their family since 1855. We had such an incredible dining experience that evening. Their was a wait list, but what's better than sitting on a front porch in Napa with a glass of wine and smelling pizza from a wood burning oven. Hermes Scarf / lululemon jacket / Borsalino Fedora / AG Jeans / TOD'S Shoes /
6770 Washington Street -The building was built as an Italian Grocery Store in 1916. Make the time to dine here, you won't be disappointed. Try the Calamari- Perrperoncini & Garlic if you like spicy - Pizza - Mushroom, Taleggio, Crispy sage - Pizza Margherita. Our meal, along with the wine from their vineyard and the conversation was a perfect evening.
MA(i)SONRY was incredibly special. My husband and I stopped by everyday, It's just one of those places where people gather and appreciate being in the moment and sharing a laugh. Here you have art, design and a wine gallery in a contemporary, stunning landscaped sculpture garden. Once belonging to Carles Rovegno - a vineyardist in the early 1900s. The house was so small it was known in Yountville as the "Chinahouse." In 1902 a local Mason, Angelo Brovelli, who was know for his stone bridges, began to build this utilitarian, craftsman-style building with functional charm. After Rovegno passed away in 1954, the historic stone property was converted to a boutique, seven-room inn known as Burgundy House Inn, until 2007. Today, the Charles Rovegno House is a blend of past, present and future. The Integrity and charm remain in tact, you can see the old-world work hand in hand with the new.
Enjoy specialty wines while surrounding yourself in an uber chic atmosphere. Nestled amongst layers of evergreen Holly Oak trees while feeling a hint of French flavor.
Guest come here to appreciate sipping on artisan wines from local vintners. It's an unique and relaxing way to unwind after a busy day on the Napa Valley Wine Trail.
6711 Washington Street, Yountville, CA / A great way to relax and be inspired while taking in the wine, art and the sculpture garden. Don't miss this historical building and bee spoke experience of life, art and wine.
Frank Family Vineyards - Located in the historic Larkmead winery in Calistoga (3rd oldest winery in Napa). Be sure to make a reservation for their tasting room. Frank Family is know as one of the best wineries in the country so make sure to stop by the tasting room. Everyone is so down- to-earth, you'll walk away with a new appreciation for wine making. And if you're lucky enough to time it just right you might catch Rich & Leslie Frank ( she's a dynamo) in action. After meeting them you will understand why the Frank Family has a magnetic energy blossoming around the property Frank Family Vineyards - 1091 Larkmead Lane Calistoga, CA
Be sure to take a moment and relax under the giant elm trees, that are over 100 years old and take in the beautiful vineyard views. No need for a leash here, Frank Family Vineyards love dogs. Here...Everybody's happy.
The highly regarded Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, which is barrel aged in French Oak for two and a half years, is one of the most sought after wines in the valley, and their Cameros Vineyards produced some of the finest Chardonnay and Pinot Noir available.
2012 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Delicious / Hermes Scarf /
Another Dog Day Afternoon on the Napa Valley Trail...Nap time in Napa.
Couldn't resist bringing home 2012 Reserve Zifandel / 2012 Reserve Sangiovese / Port / Incredible wines from Frank Family. You can taste, deep, black cherry, ripe plums, leather, chocolate.. We had a great day at Frank Family Vineyard. Their staff were knowledgeable, helpful, and passionate about the vineyard. Thank you for a great afternoon!
Hall Winery / 401 ST. Helena Hwy. South St. Machines hard at work- Very interesting process to watch.
During harvest time you will find beautiful pumpkins and decorations everywhere you go. Happy place in Napa Valley. / Borsalino Fedora / Hermes Scarf / AG Jeans / Chanel Flats /
BOTTEGA RISTORANTE - Chef Michael Chiarello opened his doors in 2008. Across the street from our hotel and into the heavenly aroma filled atmosphere of Italian cooking. The staff was accommodating, and what a cool and unpretentious space. You feel like you are dining in a locals-only right in Italy. Our dinner was 'Fantastico' the wine was 'Delizioso'
Heirloom tomatoes - Burata - Fresh Basil - Caviar
Spaghetti Marinara. So simple, so good.
Be sure to visit Richard Reddington's Redd Wood. A superbly stylish Italian-inspired eatery. The place was packed, so we took a seat at the bar and shard a terrific wood-fired pizza. Walking distance from Hotel Bardessono, you can enjoy wining and dining here all day long. You will see a super chic crowd and feel casual comfort at the same time. Located right next door is an amazing hotel, North Block Hotel, very modern boutique hotel mixed with old world charm. And of course...they love dogs.
Redd Wood - 6755 Washington St.
Dariush Khaledi was instilled at an early age with the winemaking craft of his father, inspired by wine culture in the literary city of Shiraz - in modern day Iran - and the ancient city of Persepolis. He became a lifelong collector, seeking out old world wines, traditions and stepping into the modern techniques. Dariush was an entrepreneur destined for his dream. In 1997, Dariush and his wife Shahpar founded Dariush, and now we get to enjoy one man's vision. Plant the seed and watch it grow...and Yes it did...
Dariush brings his amazing wine making skills and his Persian Palace to the Napa Valley. He grew up in Shiraz, one of Iran's prominent wine growing regions and some theorize it may be the origin of the Syrah/Shiraz grape.
Be sure to make a reservation for a Portfolio Tasting. The ninety minute shared tasting experience begins with a tour of the winery followed by a seated tasting in their barrel Chai, where limited release wines, are paired with artisan cheeses from all over the world. Tastings menus are prepared by Dariush and Shahpar. Bar side and table side service is available by appointment, and there are seatings every hour.
Spending the afternoon at Darioush was full of culture, history and incredible wines. Absolute must for your Napa Valley list. 4240 Silverado Trail, Napa, CA
Located in Yountville, alongside Thomas Keller's Bouchon Bakery and just down the road from the French Laundry, just follow your nose and you will be lead to freshly baked croissants and coffee. First thing in the morning we walked straight to Bouchon Bakery, ordered our coffee and croissants, and gathered with the locals and visitors under the trees in the courtyard.
Riding our bikes through the vineyards was probably our favorite thing we did. It was stunning biking between the vines, it was all you could see for miles. I recommend you spend a few hours and really take in all the beauty and get a close up and personal with a few grapes. / Bianchi Bike / Nike Jacket / lululemon pant / Nike Shoes /
Early one morning we heard this loud sound and could not figure out what it was, I opened the drapes, and there was this beautiful hot air balloon on it's way up. What an incredible site at sunrise. Before long the sky was covered in hot air balloons.
A nose knows... Buster headed straight for The French Laundry. Known as the Best restaurant in the world. Closed for a remodel until later this year, a new kitchen is on it's way.
Directly across the street is a three-acre culinary garden. Home to organic vegetables, herbs, and berries. 30 percent of the vegetables grown here are served at The French Laundry...From garden to table makes for an exquisite dining experience. I can't wait to return!
Fresh strawberries from the French Laundry Garden.
6640 Washington St, Yountville.
Last stop - CAYMUS VINEYARDS - Owned by the Charles Wagner Family, since 1971. Producing their first vintage in 1972, consisting 240 cases of Cabernet Sauvignon. Today's production is 65,000 cases. It's an incredible wine, your guest will be delighted when you share a bottle of Caymus with them.
Beautiful property inside and out. Old and New French oak barrels.
Stainless Steel Barrels, which increase the ratio of solids to liquid in fermenting wine. 8700 Conn Creek RD. Rutherford, CA.
Being in Napa feels like 'adult' camp. You have the best free time, your scheduled time is spent at tastings, eating, drinking and getting a fantastic education on vineyards and their owners. Your snack time is all about fruits and artisanal cheeses, and more wine. Your breakfast consist of crossiants and coffee from Bouchon, and your activity is bike riding through one of the most beautiful landscapes on the map. And when it's time for 'lights out' you are tucked away in your boutique hotel room... I'm pretty sure I want to go back!
All roads lead to somewhere great when you're on the Napa Valley Trail.
“Wine is poetry in a bottle.” -Clifton Fadiman