After months of anticipation our #Bloggers in Napa Valley getaway day had finally arrived. I was beyond excited as I drove the nearly three hours to the Napa Valley. The first stop on our itinerary was the innovative, fresh cuisine at Redd in Yountville for lunch. It was a beautiful spring day and we gathered, having traveled from far and near, at a shaded table on the patio, for hugs, toasts to our trip and lively conversation. There were quick photos, Instagrams and check-ins, as is to be expected with a group of bloggers, and we laughed, knowingly, that we all understood.
After lunch we stopped into Montecristi Panama Hats where we tried on a number of high quality, handmade hats from Ecuador. We each found a favorite which was difficult with so many options. The owners could not have been more gracious and accommodating.
The neighboring ’Scents of Napa Valley’ boutique called my name, and I indulged my senses by bringing home several scented soap bars with delicious names like Clean-O noir, Pear-secco and Tuscan Citrus Zest created by the Napa Soap Company.
Panama hats and sensory delights in hand we caravaned down valley to our sleek and stylish boutique hotel, Andaz Napa. I have been fortunate to stay at the Andaz Napa twice before with my husband here. I always appreciate the low stress check in, with lounge seating and an iPad, from your personal concierge. After being offered a welcoming glass of wine we were whisked away to our individual suites.
It felt completely decadent to have a suite with a fireplace, sitting area, walk-in shower and soaking tub all to myself for two nights! The concierge made our stay even more special with touches like rocky road with strawberries and a personalized welcome note.
I snapped a few shots of my suite and did a quick change for our cocktail party planned for the Mercantile rooftop terrace. We enjoyed the twilight hours around the firepit with wine, tapas, fun conversations and inspiring friends, old and new.
The next morning, following a much needed wake up call from this beautiful spa bath and room service, we were all up bright and early for a full day of tasting and touring.
We were greeted by Mike ‘The Napa Valley Chauffeur’ from Napa Valley Tours and Transportation. Mike is a saint with a great sense of humor. He took impeccable care of us during the entire day, safely driving us from place to place in comfort, suggesting some intriguing stops, providing cold waters and even a hand when we needed it. Mike is also an impressive photographer and documented our day beautifully.
Our first stop, Domaine Carneros, always a favorite for me, was made extra special by a private tasting on the terrace. Our guide, Sean, walked us through an incredible array of bubbles and regaled us with the history of wine country and the science behind the fruits of their labor. We were diligent students….who wouldn’t be in this sublime environment?
Pinot noir winemaker, TJ Evans, joined us and shared his passion for the intricacies of wine making. If you’ve been to wine country you have likely seen this chateau, inspired by Chateau de la Marquetterie, owned by Champagne Taittinger in Riems, France. I always feel like I’ve spent time in Provence in this idyllic spot. Though we could have stayed all day, we moved on to the charming Pine Ridge Winery just off Silverado Trail.
The Pine Ridge Winery is alive with with vibrant vineyards and colorful flower gardens. Mark, director of sales, gave us a comprehensive tour and we enjoyed seeing the wine caves and budding vines up close and personal. Pine Ridge has some lovely outdoor lounges that are perfecting for relaxing with a glass of your favorite. With two tastings under our belts before lunch we decided we were ready for some food.
Mike whisked us up to the Merryvale Winery in St. Helena. We were introduced to the lovely Laurence Schlatter, an owner at Merryvale, who created a rose strewn tablescape on the terrace. We dined on our pre-arranged choice of meals from Gott’s Roadside and enjoyed our time learning more about Merryvale and each other. Jason gave us a full tour of this historic winery. Hearing the history of Merryvale Winery and meeting the younger generation of owners and winemakers was more than inspiring.
The next morning, following our whirlwind day of touring, we took it easy (hello spa tub!) and made our way up to St. Helena for our farewell lunch at Archetype (formerly French Blue). My drive north to our lunch in St. Helena inspired this post.
(#bloggers in Napa Valley- Tamera, Heather, Kim, Adrienne and Jennifer)
The experience of spending time with these unforgettable women has enriched my life in countless ways.
I look forward to sharing more about our time together.
My appreciation and thanks to my generous and dear friend, Adrienne, for creating this sparkling adventure in the Napa Valley.
Charlotte Milan, Founder and President of C. Milan Communications kindly set up these visits with her esteemed clients for us.
Thank you to the Andaz Napa, Chauffeur Mike and the wineries for hosting us so generously.
Thanks to you for following along.
Disclosure: The Andaz Napa generously sponsored my lodging for two nights. I paid for food, parking and incidentals while staying at Andaz Napa. All opinions expressed in this post are my own.