Meet our top three spots for a weekend wine country getaway
Napa Valley, California’s famed winemaking region, while big in stature, is small in size at only 35 miles long and 5 miles wide. Yet within this area are hundreds of wineries and even more attractions. To take the guesswork out of what to see and where to go, we’ve created a simple--but rich-- hitlist for the perfect getaway in America’s wine country.
The Heritage Experience
In the global world of wine-making, California’s wine region is much younger than those found in Europe. Although there is one place where history runs deep and rivals some of the long heritages found in Europe and that is Chateau Montelena.
A 140 year-old castle replete with ivy that crawls over an aging stone facade, Chateau Montelena has a rich history of winemaking grown from its several hundred-acre vineyard. A breathtaking property replete with a shimmering lake dotted with structures like Chinese pagodas, this winery is set within a lush landscape made up of mature plants and landscape which further cements its old-world vibe.
Before the prohibition era, Chateau Montelena was established as a force in the region by its original founder, A.L. Tubbs, but post prohibition they had to open and close its doors several times for various reasons until it was revived by Jim Barret in 1972. It was Barret who put its wine, and California winemaking as a whole, on the map when he submitted Chateau Montelana’s 1973 Chardonnay into the Judgment of Paris competition and won as the top-ranking wine. Today, the winery has earned a place on the National Register of Historic Places and produces one of the most coveted California-born wines.
The Au Naturale
In Sonoma County and managed by two fourth-generation California farmers and brothers, Andrew and Adam Mariani, lives the charming hacienda-style winery, Scribe.
The winery’s main building is intimate and rustic, and takes pride in embracing visitors as their own. This vibe of connectivity is a reflection of the brother’s point of view towards the wines they create which are born of a close, symbiotic relationship to nature.
Scribe winery embraces the careful consideration of the entire ecosystem in which the wines are created using non-interventionist methods of production; meaning, the brothers allow the wines to come into being on their own, with minimal human intervention. The result? Wine the way nature intended.
Brunch With a View
After taking in the stunning Napa landscape and wine tastings, indulge in the height of the region’s dining experiences at the Auberge du Soleil. The Auberge du Soleil was the first critically-acclaimed restaurant in Napa when it was founded in 1981 and eventually earned 13 consecutive Michelin stars since then, an accomplishment which came in addition to the creation of the 5-star hotel which is now part of the property.
With French country living at its roots, this brunch experience is as much a feast for the eyes as it is for the palate. This is because the Auberge du Soleil is built high onto a hill giving diners a perch from which to take in uninterrupted views of the valley below. Whether at the more formal Restaurant or the leisurely-vibed Bar and Bistro, enjoy Executive Chef Curry’s immaculate sourcing of local ingredients chosen at the height of their flavor designed to delight guests with a full-sensory experience that transcends any traditional dining experience.