There’s something about wine country that instantly sets the mood for courtship. Between the sprawling vista views, countless fine-dining restaurant options, vineyards, boutique hotels, and world-class spas—once you arrive, it’s pretty impossible to leave.
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Whether you’re scouting spots for a wedding in the near future, or just planning a sexy weekend getaway with your guy, this is the ultimate list of where to go, where to stay, and what to do.
1. Spend a Spa Day at Auberge du Soleil
There’s a reason this resort is considered the upper echelon in Napa. Auberge du Soleil is where you want to stay, dine, spa, and basically move in. Nestled on 33-acres of sunlit olive groves, the Relais & Chateaux property is reminiscent of the Italian countryside. With 10 consecutive Michelin Stars (the restaurant is not to be missed), outdoor terraces with sights that stretch on for miles, a 15,000-bottle cellar, and numerous venue options, this truly one-of-a-kind establishment makes for the ultimate wedding location.
2. Book Hall Rutherford’s Appellation Exploration for an Unforgettable Tasting
There are technically two HALL tasting rooms in Napa, but the one you want to go to is HALL Rutherford, which is tucked away on top of a hill with a 1,500 Swarovski crystal-encrusted vine chandelier in its cave. It's the most over-the-top room to try their limited-production wines, and it's a great option for an intimate group visit or a proposal setting (all of which can be custom designed for your experience by their events planner, Naseem.)
3. Check Into the Quaint White House Inn in Downtown Napa
Don’t be fooled by the seemingly simple townhouse exterior of this Lark Hotels property; the White House Inn is our #1 pick for where to stay in downtown Napa. The 17 room resort-style hotel boasts incredibly modern rooms, guest lounges, and manicured lawns. Add an eclectic art collection, personalized concierge service, complimentary small plates breakfast, daily evening wine social, private outdoor pool, hot tub, and fire pit as perks when you book a room here.
4. The Spire Collection Estate Tasting Experience
You can’t leave Calistoga without swinging by The Spire Collection Estate, which is set in a quiet corner among the vines and the backdrop of the Palisades and Mount St. Helena. With other prestigious vineyards in California, Oregon, France, Italy, Australia, and South Africa, you can arrange a bespoke tasting for you and your guests to try a flight from all over the world, in the middle of wine country. The views are beyond incredible from the open wall in the back of the estate.
5. Dine at Redd Wood For a Casual Upscale Lunch or Dinner
Richard Reddington’s contemporary-meets-elegant Yountville restaurant serves Mediterranean-inspired cuisine and is the perfect spot for a great meal that’s not an 8+ course tasting menu. Signature dishes include: yellowfin tuna and hamachi tartare (avocado, chili oil, fried rice, cilantro), warm duck confit and kale salad, stone fruit, candied walnuts) and caramelized diver scallops (cauliflower purée, almonds, balsamic reduction).
6. Sip Pinots at Failla’s Farmhouse-Meets-Vineyard Location
If you’re looking for a truly different sampling experience that’s worlds away from the grand rooms and underground caves, head to Failla’s quaint farmhouse in the middle of a vineyard. It feels more like you’re enjoying wine on the porch of an adorable 1930’s home, or on the couch in front of a fireplace surrounded by wooden walls and countless bookcase treasures. Their staff is super knowledgeable about their pours and the entire setting makes for an epic ‘gram situation.
7. Take a Drive to Sonoma Country
If you venture over to Sonoma County on your trip, be sure to stop by the La Crema Estate at Saralee's Vineyard, nestled in the heart of the Russian River Valley. There’s a historic barn that dates back to the 1900s, wine and food pairings, private golf cart tours, and a shop that sells their popular Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs. The barn is also an ideal find, should you be interested in hosting some of your nuptial-related festivities there.
8. Spend Your Last Meal at Miminashi
This buzzy izakaya-style Japanese restaurant is a great last night in Napa option when you’ve already tried every farm-to-table place they have to offer. Start with the little gem lettuces salad, then move on to an assortment of sashimi and robatayaki, before ending with housemade ice cream and a sake sampling.