Boutique Hotel Surrounded by Napa Valley Wineries
Located on a meandering country lane in the town of St. Helena, Wine Country Inn is a charming retreat in the heart of California’s most renowned wine region. There are no less than 50 wineries and 15 restaurants located within a 5-mile radius of the hotel, making it an ideal base for Napa Valley excursions. An included bottle of cabernet, 12 tasting passes valid at nearby wineries, and brownies make this Getaway an ideal holiday gift.
A stroll through the property’s olive orchards and past the gardens leads to a secluded jacuzzi and heated outdoor pool. Back at the hotel, you’ll return to find your queen-size guest bed turned down with a sprinkling of rose petals covering the bedspread. Most queen rooms feature fireplaces and vineyard views. Each morning, a complimentary breakfast buffet awaits. The innkeeper maintains a flock of more than 100 chickens as well as a quarter acre of fruit and vegetable gardens, so each meal's ingredients are truly fresh. The spread usually includes fresh fruit, housemade granola and breads, an egg dish, and entrees from the bagel bar and waffle station.
The innkeepers host a daily afternoon social with complimentary wine and appetizers from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the common room. Thursday through Sunday nights, a complimentary hotel shuttle transports guests to nearby restaurants for dinner.
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.