Summer may be just about over, but that doesn’t mean you can’t plan a socially distant escape to remember. If you’re looking to indulge in luxury amenities such as grand estates, luxurious tasting rooms, spa treatments, quaint towns and elegant lodges then Napa Valley should automatically be on your radar.
With more than 400 wineries and tasting rooms, Napa Valley may be known for its world-class wine, but what keeps travelers coming back is its charm and its history. For wine lovers especially, fall is the perfect time for a long weekend in Napa Valley due to it’s harvest season (though the weather is perfect year-round).
Also, because of social distancing practices and the region’s emphasis on reservation-only tastings, you’ll feel safer than ever. So whatever you’re looking for in a getaway, Napa Valley has it, and we’ve got your guide to help you plan your next visit.
First things first, in addition to limiting time spent in Ubers (in order to be practice safe, social distancing), you’ll want a car to get the most of the area’s attractions, so rent one and head north on the Silverado Trail.
For your home base, your first stop will be Vista Collina, a Tuscan-style estate located in the heart of South Napa across from its sister hotel The Meritage Resort & Spa. With a focus on culinary and tasting experiences, Vista Collina Resort curates the best of Napa at its centerpiece “Village.” If you don’t have a rental car readily available, the property is a perfect option with nine tasting rooms that encircle the large community lawn and feature some of the finest boutique wineries and microbreweries in Napa Valley including Trinitas Cellars, GEN 7 Wines, and more.
Once you’ve dropped your bags, head out again to explore the surrounding area. Start with a tasting at Artesa Napa Valley. Rooted in a 500+ year Spanish heritage, Artesa’s hilltop estate offers 360-degree views spanning from Napa Valley to San Francisco. They offer a variety of outdoor tastings that feature a diverse portfolio of wines ranging from Sparkling to Cabernet Sauvignon, all hand with limited production. But no matter what you sample, you won’t want to leave without taking a quick stroll through this beautiful property — perfect for capturing your new Instagram pic.
After leaving Napa, wander 20 minutes north to Yountville to experience Domaine Chandon. Offering visitors one of the most beautiful locations in the Napa Valley to taste and learn about Sparkling wine, you’ll explore exquisite architecture and lush landscape to the range of winery-exclusive wines available to taste. The on-site cabanas will give you the luxe Napa Valley experience you’ve been dreaming of as well.
Next up is a visit to Alpha Omega estate in Rutherford, which is one of the great wine estates in the world. Surrounded by fountains, vineyards and mountains, the beauty of this modern, farm-style winery is as captivating as its wine.
While you’re in the area, take a visit to Inglenook. Founded in 1879, it is one of Napa Valley’s first wineries. It’s the largest contiguous estate on the famed Rutherford Bench, an area known for producing spectacular Cabernet Sauvignon. The stunning chateau at Inglenook was built in 1887 – and post-COVID tastings have been reimagined to take advantage of Inglenook’s large, breezy courtyard.
Now, it’s time for dinner. Hop over to the nearby Brix Napa Valley (minutes from Inglewood) for a local favorite farm-to-table meal nestled on a 16-acre estate with a stunning view of the Mayacamas, an expansive garden, a 10-acre Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard, a citrus grove, and fresh herbs and produce. All tables have been moved outside — making it the perfect socially distant dinner escape.
The next day, get an early start — you’ll head to the Hess Collection for one of the most memorable experiences you will find in the Napa Valley. The Hess Collection winery’s Vineyard tour and Tasting is for those looking to step outside the tasting room and enjoy wine right in the vineyards they come from. Start with a tour aboard a luxury ATV through the historic Mont La Salle vineyard, while taking in the breathtaking panoramic views and learn what makes farming on Mount Veeder unique. Throughout and following the tour you will enjoy a tasting of current release Mount Veeder wines expertly paired with creations from executive chef Chad Hendrickson.
From there, head to Louis Martini Winery for an Outdoor Cabana Experience featuring four meticulously crafted wines paired with a picnic basket of culinary delights, all in a private cabana for you and up to five of your friends. Snacks and treats include cheese and salami, along with duck rillette, truffle popcorn, a wild mushroom and truffle pizza, and more to pair with Meritage, Gnarly Vine Zinfandel and of course, the signature Lot 1 Cabernet Sauvignon.
If you’re still looking for some eats after your cabana spread, head where the locals go — Tra Vigne Pizzeria and Restaurant, where thin-crust, sourdough pizzas star on the menu alongside of an array of tasty salads, small plates like their signature Mozzarella Al Minuto, sandwiches, pasta and more!
As a final stop (after being worn out from wine and food all day) you’ll stop by Olive & Hay for a quick bite to eat, all before hitting the sack in preparation for your third and final day in the valley.
Your third and final day in Napa Valley will see some more leisure than previous days (because you can’t drink wine all weekend right?). Because outdoor activities are surging in popularity in the COVID-era with people longing to maximize their time outdoors, biking is a great way to get in some exercise and also explore. On the Napa Valley Vine Trail (car-free bike path!) you can choose from comfy cruiser-style bikes, casual touring bikes or even super-charged electric bikes, to take you around on your last day.
After working up a sweat, you’ll want to stop for a bite to eat. Located in the historic Hatt Building along the Napa River, Angèle is a local favorite that brings the simple cuisine and warm hospitality of the French countryside to the Napa Valley.
A good meal means the ITIS is on the horizon. You’ll want to sneak in a quick nap before more relaxation at True REST Float Spa. Enjoy a float session to whisk away all your stresses (or the thought of returning back home). The float spa is known for floatation therapy–a way to relieve pain, increase relaxation, and gain better sleep through a luxury float experience.
You’ll conclude your wine weekend at PRESS Restaurant, for a romantic (or cozy, if with your girlfriends) dinner from a stellar kitchen team (including Black chef Darryl Bell) that draws inspiration from around the globe while staying rooted in the style and ingredients that make the Napa Valley so special.
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