NYE in Napa
We try to get out of town every New Year's eve. After doing a little research and not having much time to travel to far due to the business being busy around this time, we choose to venture to wine country for a more mellow celebration..or so we thought. I am not sure why we always think Napa is mellow, its the capital of the "day drunk" state. Anyways, I'll share with you guys some of my favorite restaurants, wineries and the gorgeous boutique hotel we stayed in.
Getting to and from SFO and Napa is a quick 1.5 hour drive. I have found that black lane is much cheaper and more organized than grabbing an Uber at the airport. Download this app and you can schedule a black car to pick you up from your gate and take you straight to your hotel. Our rate was about $200 one way. Uber Select was quoting me $275 one way. Yes, UberX was $130 but I feel a black car is more professional and comfy on a longer drive. Also, if you have the time, I would recommend staying a night in San francisco when you get in our on your way out. There is great seafood to be had there!
I choose to book our NYE stay at the beautiful boutique hotel, Bardessano, located in Yountville. I cannot rave enough abut how great the service here was. As soon as we arrived we were greeted and offered our choice of sparking wine or red wine. Our room was not ready but we were there a couple hour prior to 3:00pm. They offered us a tour of the facility and we waited in the courtyard and enjoyed charcuterie from the restaurant, Lucy, located in the hotel. Our room was emaculate. We stayed in a one bedroom suite with a patio overlooking Yountville. One of the great amenities that sold me on booking here was that they offer a fleet of luxury cars (currently Lexus) for their guests to get around town. Also, I must note that they have the best chocolate in the rooms. I am hooked and have ordered some for my own stash at home.
For this being our third time to Napa in the last couple years we still wanted to try some new places but also go back to some of out favorites. Here's a list of all the wineries we have visited with a brief review.
- Chateau Montelena-one word...Gorgeous! This winery sits far north in Mount Helena and resides in a fairytale setting. Lush vines cover an old castle with a pond. We took away a bottle and enjoyed the scenery.
- Alpha Omega-A modern rustic venue providing a great patio and social scene. We did the private tasting here which came with lite bites. They have a tasting bar for walk-ins. It's also dog-friendly which I love!
- Cade-A colder concrete modern venue with gorgeous views of the valley. Everything here is developed around concrete structures to reflect the wine developing process. The wine is exceptional, we did a tasting a cave tour. This is a group tour that allows up to 10 people to join.
- Opus One-A beautiful first impression once you pull up. Don't be put off by the pretentiousness of the staff, they are proud of their wine, it's worth it. We enjoyed the tasting run as a walk in both times we visited. Walk up and enjoy your wine from the 2nd floor balcony.
- Del Dotto-This is one of our favorites. We have been back each time we go to Napa. A grand marbled lobby entrance greets you. They are known for their cave tour, which we did. Ask about the bacon wine. We have enjoyed this place so much we have become platinum members.
- Darioush-A stunning exterior venue. Grand pillars greet you as you walk up the entrance. The interior is a sure match. We enjoyed the tasting and cave tour here as well. We left purchasing wine to be shipped to our home.
- Cuvasion-A small contemporary house that sits with the rolling hills of Napa. They favor their Pinot Noir and Chardonnays here. This was a great morning stop with white wines to match.
- Orin Swift-Prisoner and Papillon are two of our favorite wines so we couldn't miss this tasting room located in downtown Napa. It's a small room and gets packed fast so go in first stop or later in the evening to beat the crowds. They tend to be pretty generous here too, they offer you tastes of their full collection. you can see some of those in the first photo below.
- Chimney Rock-A little bit of South African architecture here with a wonderful display of local art inside the tasting room, which is for sale. They are located in the Stag's Leap district and allow walk-ins.
- Artesa-A stunning winery built within the landscaping, with a wonderful focus on art. We had the Tapas tasting for lunch which included a tour of the property. We very much enjoyed the experience and ambiance here.
- Caymus-Caymus is a staple in my wine diet. They are consistant and deliver the same great quality year after year. The winery is quaint and the tasting room small, but offers a relaxing charm. It is best to schedule an appointment here due to the size of the tasting room. We bought a few wines and asked if we could have the glasses and they were generous and said yes!
- Plump Jack-Located in the Oakville region on 42 acres! They are known for their Cabernet Sauvignon. They also have a cute store with lots of wine goodies. If you forgot to bring wine protectors for your luggage you can get them here.
- Atelier by JCB-This is must, an eclectic and fun atmosphere where you can shop for one of a kind pieces. This tasting room is located in Yountville across from the Bardessono Hotel. They offer a private room for tasting or you can just walk in, order and relax on the plush furniture within the room. There is a JCB market that connects to the tasting room that offers an fine selection of culinary treats.
- Scribe-Located in Sonoma. We had a wonderful members dinner set up for us here by great friends. The property focuses on a more organic approach and atmosphere. The wine....worth the trip to Sonoma. Our favorite was the Cabernet Sauvignon.
- Odette-Located in the Stag's Leap District, this contemporary winery sits on a beautiful 45 acres.You may see a trend here but they also produce a full bodied Cabernet here that is worth trying. The also produce Merlot vines here. We did schedule an appointment here and it is needed if you would like to visit.
Napa Valley actually has quite a few event happenings for New Year's Eve. I researched the options and thought that the Napa Wine Train, a Midnight in Paris, sounded like a one of a kind experience. The event included a welcome cocktail reception which was loaded with first class hor d'oeuvres, open bar, and a photo booth. Some of the appetizers stations included caviar, and seafood. After the reception, we boarded the antique train and were seated to begin our four-course dinner. After dinner we moved to the dessert car and enjoyed desserts before we arrived back at the station for the midnight countdown party. Live DJ, open bar and late night snacks flowed and we rang in 2017 with a bang. I highly recommend taking a NYE in Napa trip and partaking in one the the fabulous parties Napa and it's wineries offer.
As always, feel free to email me with anymore questions you may have about this destination, Stay wandering!