Former Winery Turned B&B in the Heart of Napa Valley
With neighbors like the Mondavis and an address on Zinfandel Lane, it’s no surprise that Shady Oaks Country Inn was a winery before it became a bed and breakfast. The two-story building hasn’t produced wines on a large scale since the 1880s, but you'll still find winemaking going on inside today. Shady Oaks owner John Runnels is one of the craftsmen behind Tangled Vines, a small label that has won several awards in the Napa Valley Home Winemakers Classic. Lisa, John's wife and fellow innkeeper, shares his passion for wine and will gladly share insider tips on the best local vineyards.
Set on two peaceful acres, the inn is surrounded by oak trees, one of which is outfitted with an old-fashioned swing. When the weather is warm, breakfast is served outdoors on the patio amid Roman pillars and 100-year-old wisteria vines. When it’s chillier, head inside to the fireside dining room to start your day with the inn’s own blend of coffee, fresh-baked breads, waffles, and eggs benedict. In the spirit of indulgence that pervades the region, a glass of champagne accompanies the meal.
Each of the inn's rooms is individually decorated and has a separate entrance for privacy. The Rose room is anchored by a hand-carved antique oak bed and has a fireplace in the corner. Colored in muted blues and yellows, the Country Blue room features antiques such as an oak armoire and a dressing table that once belonged to Lisa’s grandmother.
This Groupon includes winery passes for two valid at a handful of local vineyards, including Raymond Vineyards, Hill Family, Tamber Bey, and Flora Springs.
Napa, California: Sprawling Vineyards and Farm-to-Table Dining
Located about a one-hour drive north of San Francisco, Napa Valley—a region that runs from Napa in the south to Calistoga in the north—is California's capital of all things grape. The valley's rolling hills are dotted with more than 400 family-owned vineyards, where oak barrels age vintage nectars and visitors are invited to stop, taste, and sniff private-label wines. Vineyards range from St. Helena’s popular Quintessa estate, a 280-acre property specializing in cabernet sauvignon, to lesser-known wineries such as Heibel Ranch Vineyards, which you can tour on the back of a 1963 Jeep. Although some wineries welcome drop-by tastings, your best bet is to make appointments ahead of time.
The valley's culinary scene has also risen to prominence, with chefs such as Thomas Keller spearheading a haute cuisine movement. The charming main streets of Yountville and St. Helena are studded with gourmet restaurants praised for their sustainable practices and fresh, farm-to-table cuisine. If you’re tired of sipping wine all day, grab a wheat beer or a pale ale at one of the dozens of local breweries.