This past summer, my assistant editor and friend, Charynn of Two Sugar Babies, and I traveled with our husbands to the magical land that is Napa Valley. Part magazine work, part vacation, this trip was nothing short of fabulous. With one amazing meal after another, glass after glass of award-winning wines, and a chance to embrace the simplicity that is Napa entertaining all while spending time with friends. Let’s be honest, a girl couldn’t ask for much more!
During our stay, we visited a variety of vineyards including Chateau Montelena, Stags’ Leap, Frog’s Leap, Conn Creek, Chateau St. Jean, Kuleto Estates, Jospeh Phelps, Chandon, Artesa, and Schramsburg…just to name a few. For more information about the vineyards, view our article in the latest issue of The Party Dress Magazine.
Each vineyard had it’s own feel – Artesa was sleek and modern,Chateau Montelena was a gorgeous estate set back in the Calistoga region, Schramsburg had caves built into the mountains, while Frog’s Leap winery had a modern-day farmhouse with a big, old front porch (a house I could move right into!). The style of each winery reinforced their brand, and we embraced all of the different personalities.
We experienced some of the most amazing meals of my life (one of the reasons I love Napa so much!) and walked away with ideas on how to incorporate the fresh, seasonal ingredients into meals into our own homes. Some of our favorite culinary experiences included Ad Hoc (where we were invited into the kitchen to meet and interview the chefs….more on that tomorrow!), Bouchon, Etoile at Domain Chandon, Barndiva, Morimoto, and Bottega. For more of our favorites and all of the restaurants contact information, view the fore-mentioned article in the magazine.
I am going to do a separate post on some of the food we enjoyed in Napa….there are just way too many pictures to share with you!
As you all know, I love a good glass of champagne. Give me bubbles any day of the week! Chandon is a beautiful estate that is great for tasting and for dining.
We visited all of the darling little towns in the Valley – Yountville, St. Helena, Healdsburg, Sonoma and downtown Napa. Each had a selection of lovely stores that featured local food items, such as olive oils, spices, salts, as well as home decor stores that had me drooling over wood barrel lazy susans, beautiful wine glasses, and natural lines.
If you happen to find yourself in the Valley, please stop by some of our favorites: Olivier Napa Valley and St. Helena Olive Oil Company for a broad selection of oils (and yes, they do ship!), Michael Chiarello’s Napa Style for salts and unique home goods, Napa Valley Vintage Home for the most gorgeous selection of home goods, Tyler Florence for fabulous kitchen accessories, and Dean & Deluca for all of your gourmet grocery needs.
In addition to thoroughly enjoying ourselves and the beautiful landscape, we walked away with some great ideas on how to recreate the simplistic, natural entertaining that happens daily in Napa. We’ll be sharing more of those with you all this week on the blog….I hope you will join us!
For more Fall entertaining ideas, read the latest issue of The Party Dress Magazine: