Ashes & Diamonds Winery
4130 Howard Lane, Napa
Sitting somewhere between a community gathering hub and a winery, Ashes & Diamonds, a new Napa Valley-owned spot by Kashy Khaledi is looking to shake things up. Khaledi cut his teeth as an ad exec at the likes of Capitol Records and MTV before deciding to get into the wine business. The first clue that Ashes & Diamond is unlike any other winery in the Napa Valley is the design: porthole windows, stark white facade, and mid-century modern furnishings are a nod to the Napa Valley of the 1960s thanks to LA-based architect Barbara Bestor. As for the wine itself, Khaledi brought in organic and biodynamic wine makers Steve Matthiasson and Diana Snowden Seysses who are churning out a particularly good Blanc (a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon from three vineyards in the Oak Knoll District and Yountville). And, in a true nod to his music roots, Khaledi tapped Brian Roettinger, who concepted the album cover of Jay-Z’s Magna Carta Holy Grail, to design the wine labels. Their yearly membership program starts at three bottles ($345), and perks include access to the "leaders and conspirators" conversation series, plus,…
Turnbull Wine Cellars
8210 St Helena Highway, Oakville
Counting Robert Mondavi and Cakebread as its neighbors, this small, family-owned and operated winemaker doubles down on its small-but-mighty Cabernet Sauvignon. (This spring, they played host to our first-ever Napa road-to-table event.) Here, second generation vintner Zoe Johns, who took the helm of Turnbull at the age of 33, brings her vision for a modern vineyard to life: a tasting gallery features a rotating roster of artwork from artists like Berenice Abbott, Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, and Herb Ritts, while a more elaborate private tasting and pairing program leans heavily on what's freshest from the garden. It goes without saying that the vineyard views are pretty killer from just about everywhere on property, too.
1712 Lincoln Ave., Calistoga
On the north end of Napa Valley, the thoughtfully revamped Indian Springs resort features 115 rooms across its 17-acre property. Accommodations run the gamut from charming cottages and bungalows to larger residences (two-and three- bedrooms, respectively), each with their own outdoor space for entertaining a group. The draw here is really the pools—an Olympic-sized mineral pool, originally built in 1913, is fed by the resort's on-site geysers. (Typically it runs between 92-102°F.) Next door, there's an adults-only pool that's a bit more secluded and open for night swims. Downtown Calistoga is within striking distance of the property so it's worth grabbing a cruiser, available for day use, and biking into town or, better yet, one of the nearby wineries. As far as dining goes, the activity centers around Sam's Social Club, which is open all day and serves up rustic American fare (chilled Hog Island oysters and rib eye steak frites) that draws from regional ingredients. A picturesque outdoor patio is flaked by heritage oak trees and tiny twinkling lights, making it especially pretty at night.
Joseph Phelps Vineyards
200 Taplin Rd., St. Helena
Family owned, and still run day-to-day by the Phelps family for the last sixty years, this Napa wine hero boasts over 130 acres of rolling vineyards alongside olive groves, fruit orchards, and bee hives—you’ll struggle to find a more picturesque setting to settle into for an afternoon of tasting. Start off with Phelps’ Insignia Blending Seminar Settle in for a full afternoon (or two) of culinary delights (Insignia is not only the vineyard’s signature wine but is California’s first proprietary red Bordeaux-style blend). This is a hands-on, but highly refined way to learn about terroir and varietal selections as you smell, taste, and experiment with blending the six Insignia components for a sensorially perfect glass of vino. All that tasting builds an appetite and Phelps have created a truly interactive food experience—named playful plates—where guests can continue the tasting experience (led by a seasoned wine educator) but accompanied by delicious, seasonal bites all chosen to complement the wine.
Nickel and Nickel
8164 St. Helena Highway, Oakville
By appointment only, this vineyard and winery sits on 42 acres of what was an original 1880’s farmstead.
W F Giugni & Son
1227 Main St., St. Helena
This Italian deli has been serving build-your-own sandwiches since the 1970s. Pick your bread base (we recommend the dutch crunch roll), and then take your pick from the endless meat, cheese, and fixings choice, including “Giugni juice”, the deli’s famous homemade balsamic vinaigrette, which we suggest adding to anything and everything you order. Arrive before 11am or call ahead to order, as the line can be long, and remember to bring cash. Photo @whatgraceeats
Brannan Cottage Inn
109 Wappo Ave., Calistoga
A quaint, immaculately-kept inn on the quieter east side of town. The decor is sort of old world with its rich wallpaper and mahogany wood. It's large pool and efficient spa makes it a good package at a slightly lower rate than some of the other hotels in the area.
Napa Valley Lodge
2230 Madison St., Yountville
Part hotel, part wine country retreat, Napa Valley Lodge exudes sort of an old, familial feel–like you're staying with relatives on their Tuscan vineyard. The rooms are bright and spacious and the staff is incredibly friendly; they'll help you customize your experience how you like it, offering advice as to which wineries to visit. The location is one of the assets here, centrally located, you can come back after a day of wine tasting, take a swim, and then walk to Bouchon for dinner.
540 Main St., Napa
The relaxing setting on the patio is one of the main draws of this bistro-style restaurant. Located in the Hatt Building, an historic 1890s ship chandlery, the space has the feel of a French brasserie. The menu is solid, with French favorites such as duck confit and roast chicken.
1339 Pearl St, Napa
To dine here it so indulge in authenticity and flavor, as well as minimalism.
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