One Day – the Napa Valley Wine Country Way
By Kimberly Wilson
Napa Wine country is a pleasant introduction to a decadent and
luxurious lifestyle masked by a rural existance -- rugged, beautiful
vineyards, two lane highways, and laid-back, friendly hospitality
tease you with wine and food at every 1/16 of a mile. Tried and
true suggestions are offered below for a fail-safe fabulous Napa
Valley adventure. If this is your first time in the Valley this
is an excellent place to start. Eventually, your winery, restaurant,
and attraction choices will broaden. Of course, like red wine,
some of these stops just get better with time. Go with a partner,
a friend, a group of folks or just by yourself!
START TIME: 9:00 a.m.
1320 Napa Town Center, Napa, CA 94559
Casual café located in downtown Napa that serves hearty
plates of good ol fashioned breakfast delights all day long.
There is not one entrée that
will lead you astray. Bacon and Eggs, Italian Sausage Omelet,
French Toast, Eggs Benedict are all wonderful selections and many
of these dishes come with your choice of bread, and potatoes
is your appetite whet yet? Spoon some homemade salsa on whatever
suits your fancy and be sure to order a glass of fresh squeezed
Jump onto Highway 29 going north to Calistoga. Nothing beats
driving up Highway 29 listening to the smooth, cool trumpet
notes of Miles Davis. But for those young at heart, John Mayers
soon to be classic songs Vultures and Another Kind of Green
will do just as nicely. Youll be primed for
your next stop world renowned Calistoga spas.
Day Spa & Massage Center
1219 Washington St., Calistoga, CA 94515
Calistoga Day Spa & Massage Center is a perfect, and slightly
more affordable, spa experience in the Calistoga region. Call
a day or two ahead to make reservations. Room decorations are
simple to the point of non-existent with dim lights, and soft
Asian influenced music creates an ambiance intended to relax you
and your inner thoughts. Staff is very helpful, so dont
be shy to ask questions and request a map of Calistoga which will
come in handy when mapping out the next stop.
1111 Dunaweal Lane, Calistoga, CA 94515
Also located in Calistoga, Sterling Vineyards sits atop a secluded
hill boasting breathtaking look out points. Keep your camera handy. An
aerial tram ride ascends to the tasting room and winery facilities. If this
is your first time visiting the winery, take the self-guided tour and then
proceed to the Tasting Room. A flight of four wines for your tasting
pleasure is included with admission to the airy and bright tasting room.
Pick up a bottle or a case of wine from your selections or a souvenir
in the gift shop on your way out before you make your tram descent.
1960 St. Helena Highway, Rutherford, CA 94573
Back on Highway 29 heading south, stop at well known Beaulieu
Vineyards in the Rutherford appellation directly off the Highway.
Try BVs wine selections from the Daily Appellation
Tasting Menu or the Daily Reserve Tasting menu. If time allows,
tour the winerys facilities and learn an easy way to remember
how to pronounce the winerys name (hint: Bowl u)!
1180 Rutherford Road, Rutherford, CA 94573
A few steps away from Beaulieu Vineyards, Rutherford Grill awaits
your now famished appetites, but youll be glad you waited.
Rutherford Grill has superb Napa wine country cuisine minus the
rigidity of white tablecloth, fine china, and two to three sets
of tableware. Instead, sit back, and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere
that surrounds you. The bar makes great drinks best Midori Sour I've tasted yet
and any of the grilled items are excellent entrée choices.
Someone in the party should definitely order the barbecue ribs.
Valley Opera House
1030 Main Street, Napa, CA 94558
End your night with a performance at the Napa Valley Opera House.
Recently renovated and once again considered the pride and joy
of downtown Napa, there are an array of shows to choose from
including jazz, comedy, dance, drama, etc. Arrive early and
order another glass of wine, or - if you skipped dessert at Rutherford
a slice of cake and cup of coffee. Feel up close and personal
with any of the artists as the venue is intimate, boasts great
acoustics and any seat is a great one!
The Finale Starbucks?
At this point, the drive home may be long enough to allow discussions
of the days highlights, and begin the Ebert & Roeper
session that inevitably follows any performance. Or, perhaps someone
in your wine country entourage will be hospitable enough to open
their home for a late nightcap to revel in the day's events and
plans for the next trip. However, if either of these scenarios
seem unlikely, hunt down your local Starbucks, pull up a chair
and table, and let the staff cater to your every cappuccino, frappaccino,
mocha, hot chocolate, or hot cider need.
HOME AND TO BED: 10:00 p.m.
NapaValley.WineCountry.com has the information for all your planning
needs. Listed below are just a few of the links where you will
find maps, coupons, and other pertinent information for your day
in the wine country.
Valley Winery Map