Gather your favorite people to travel with and make a date for Wine Country. There are plenty of adventures that your group can enjoy. We put together an ideal escape for groups of 4-8 people that will surely leave you with fun memories.
Fly into any Bay Area airport and be picked up in a Mercedes Sprinter Van with bottled water and lunches awaiting your arrival. The following is a synopsis by a recent guest:
“Our group of friends travel together once a year and we chose the Napa Valley for our 2018 trip. We were picked up at the airport with no problems. It was so nice to have lunch waiting for us, as we had traveled from the East coast and were ready for a fresh, California-style meal. We chose to go directly to our first appointment, since there was plenty of room in the van for our luggage and us. The vintner (owner of the winery) met us at the mouth of the cave of his property. We toured the facility, vineyard, gardens and tasted the gorgeous wines of his very small production (1,200 cases a year). I’d never heard of the label, but can’t wait to tell my friends about it and the story of the family.
Our second appointment was with a larger winery (800,000 cases produced annually) that the leader of our group really wanted to see, as he has been drinking their wine for years and we were not disappointed. It’s fun to get to know the winery that is your “go to” for fine dining restaurant choices. The whole group enjoyed learning more about the winery and the staff was gracious. They taught us so much about the winemaking process and the appellation of the winery.
At 5 pm, we finally checked in to our gorgeous hotel and had a rest before our 7 pm dinner. The Michelin star restaurant did not disappoint, with a 7-course menu of expertly prepared dishes and wine pairings of local wines.
On day two we visited three wineries. One of them had a catered lunch paired with the wines with a view of both mountain ranges surrounding the Napa Valley. It was truly special. The third day we had couples’ massages in the mid-morning and then had a lunch and tasting with a small winery in St. Helena. We then stopped in downtown St. Helena for some shopping and sightseeing and then departed for a park to see redwood trees and an historic grist mill before we traveled to dinner in Calistoga. It was a very relaxing day and we enjoyed getting a perspective of the size of the valley. It is so much smaller than I imagined.
For day three, we tasted at a winery in the morning followed by a light lunch at a restaurant. We then had an adventure by blending our own bottle of red wine at a winery. We were winemakers for a day and it was so fun. It was educational to taste a cabernet from as many different regions of the Napa Valley as you could handle. I could not taste all 17 and still stand, but I now understand the flavors imparted in the mountains, versus the valley floor and the difference between the cooler and warmer regions. We are taking our wines home and will taste them together at a dinner once they have aged a bit more. Fantastic! We then drove into the mountains to have a tasting and private dinner with a winery owner and his winemaker. Wow!
On our final day, we wanted to see the Pacific Ocean. We drove to the coast, which took a little under 2 hours from Napa. We had lunch of fresh oysters and wine at a picnic table at the waters edge. It was windy and sunny. We were glad that our planner told us to bring jackets. Next, we made a short trip to a Meadery that makes a sparkling wine out of honey. It was fascinating how each one tasted like the flowers of the plant and region it was taken from. The nuttiness of the Hawaiian Macadamia nut was unmistakable in the bouquet. I expected the wine to be really sweet because it was made from honey, but it was not too dry or too sweet. The orange blossom was my favorite. I was very surprised, as I had never heard of such a process and it is delicious.
The trip to the beach was fairly quick, where we met the team that supplied us with horses and did a ride on the beach. It was right out of a movie! Most of us had never ridden before, but were willing. It just seemed like something you should do when you have the chance. I had grown up on the beaches of the East Coast and this felt like another world. The landscape of the mountains and cliffs were incredible. We then dropped into a creamery. We tasted a dozen or more different kinds of cheese before we purchased. We nibbled on cheese, meats, nuts, and olives on our way home. We were exhausted after so much fresh air and fun.
We had so much fun and got to know some truly fun and interesting people. It was sad to end our trip, but we couldn’t wait to get home and tell other friends about the incredible experiences we had in Napa. Thanks for the great hospitality!”
Budget: $1,000 per day per couple. This includes lunch, dinner, tastings, adventures and a personal driver in a Mercedes Sprinter Van. Tasting fees are waived with purchases.
Lodging Budget: $450+ per night per couple, depending up on season and style of lodging.
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