Barbara and Timothy Spelletich and their daughter Kristen are living their American dream and are delighted to share their passion through Spelletich Cellars family winery. Via hard work, integrity, divine intervention, sacrifice and ambition.
You wouldn't expect to find spirit fanatics in Napa Valley but that's the case at Napa Valley Distillery, a micro-distillery co-founded by Arthur and Lusine Hartunian that handcrafts brandy cocktails and small-batch spirits. The highlight is the family's signature Vintage Reserve vodka, which repurposes the region's sauvignon grapes to update a bar staple. Wine Enthusiast Magazine named it one of the top 50 spirits of 2011, noting that its "crisp, extremely smooth finish (it?s filtered an astounding 10 times) makes it addictively sippable, especially when chilled." Other spirits include their California Cowboy rye whiskey, which is aged in port barrels for six months; their Meyer Lemon Liqueur, which was the family's first concoction; and their barrel-aged cocktails, which are mixed and aged in white oak barrels for roughly ten weeks. But you don't have to sneak into one of the barrels and disappear for several weeks to taste the spirits; the entire selection can be sampled at the distillery's old-fashioned Vintage Bar Shop that's located in the Oxbow Public Market.
The grounds of Napa Golf Course may not be used to grow wine grapes, but they do produce their own form of refreshment. The 18-hole, par 72 layout gives golfers a breath of fresh, scenic air as they drive, chip, and putt their way through rolling hills, mature oaks and pines, and waterways. The water hazards seldom come into play?except in the event of a big miss?but the trees are a fixture on nearly every hole. The towering arbors pinch the fairways throughout the round, but the most menacing of them all stands on the 10th hole, where a giant oak is planted right in the middle of the fairway.
A driving range hosts pre-round swing rehearsals?a worthy investment, as the first and third holes are two of the course's most difficult tracks. Golfers can also practice putting, chipping, and using flagsticks for semaphore at a 10,000 square-foot practice green.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Length of 6,704 yards from the tips * Course rating of 72.7 from the tips * Slope rating of 131 from the tips * Four tee options * Scorecard
Becky Tyner and Ramon Sandoval came from different worlds. She was a professional in the bustling corporate wine industry, while he, like any dyed-in-the-wool Mexican American, was a confirmed beer and tequila man. Their first date was a wine-tasting excursion in Napa and Sonoma, one that followed with many romantic dinners over fragrant varietals. With this new exposure to the world of wine, Ramon eventually wondered why there weren't any wineries owned by Latinos. Becky knew better?she soon introduced Ramon to the nation's rich population of Latino-owned wineries, from Ceja Vineyards to Robledo Family Winery. Today, the couple curates a wine club that showcases many of these small-batch, Latino-created concoctions. Drawing upon a wealth of knowledge, they work to hook up oenophiles across the country, both Latino and not, with vintages that might otherwise be as difficult to find as a secret agent avoiding bath time.
Praised as "California wine country?s top summer festival," by Travel + Leisure, Napa Valley Festival del Sole is held July 11?20 across a series of 60 venues and engagements. Meant to bring cultural enrichment to the area and showcase the fruits?literal or otherwise?of the Napa Valley and beyond to visitors and locals alike, the festival schedules 10 days of wide-ranging events including wine dinners, yoga classes, and an opera gala. On the cultural side, attendees can attend celebrations of classical music, ballet, and jazz that feature appearances by genre luminaries and that guy who always starts the standing ovation. The culinary portion of the festival is of course focused on the region's wine production, but the more than 100 wineries share the spotlight with top performers.
It's a little known fact that in addition to drinking wine, Dionysus loved to run. Especially when someone would give him a prize afterwards. The Dionysus Dash fuses all of of these passions into a five-kilometer route that weaves through the scenic vineyards of Hess Winery and Christian Brothers Vineyard. Run, jog, or walk?participants can take whatever pace they prefer, and costumes (togas and greek head pieces) are encouraged. Race organizers keep runners hydrated and hand out prizes to the best male and female competitors, while wine tastings and food vendors add to the festivities.