THE NAPA VALLEY GRAM: What’s New In the Valley this Spring and Summer
March 5, 2014
The bi-annual Visit Napa Valley NAPAGRAM is out! Here is an update of what to expect this spring and summer in the Napa Valley from new travel experiences, hotel renovations, festivals and events, to what you may have missed this last harvest. Enjoy!
Silverado Resort and Spa is renovating its 390 rooms and 12,000-square-foot conference center this spring. Designed by Anne Marie Barton of AMB Designs, the renovated rooms will have open kitchens, new artwork, redesigned fireplaces, crisp white bedding, new showers, stone vanities, and modern fixtures.
The Inn on Randolph renovated its five cottages, which now feature spa tubs, tile, and furnishings. Also new are gluten-free cooking and baking classes with Chef Jeffrey Larsen.
Golden Haven Hot Springs Spa & Resort in Calistoga has a new picnic area, two new all-weather bocce courts, and a fleet of cruiser bikes for guests to borrow.
The Inn on First has started an all-day, fly fishing experience on Putah Creek led by an experienced fisherman from Napa, and a three-hour class on the art of coffee roasting and blending taught by Charlie Sange, roastmaster of Napa Valley Roasters. The Inn also now offers in-room manicures and pedicures.
Embassy Suites Napa Valley has completed a year-long renovation of public and meeting spaces and has added a new fitness center. The design is by Betsey Kersting of Four Dimension Designs. The renovation follows a redo of the 205 guest suites in 2013.
Food, Spirits and Shops
Napa Valley Distillery moves into a larger space at the Oxbow Public Market in March. It will continue to offer daily tastings of six small-batch artisanal spirits, accompanied by a presentation on the history and process of distilled spirits production.
V Marketplace shopping complex welcomes Scents of Napa Valley, set to open on March 1. The store carries a wide range of men’s and women’s bath accessories from soaps, lotions, colognes, and perfumes to robes, towels, spa slippers, and candles.
Ma(i)sonry Napa Valley starts a weekly Vintner Dinner Series in June, to be hosted by various vintner partners including Pahlmeyer, Skipstone Vineyards, Tuck Beckstoffer Wines, Blackbird Vineyards, and Coup De Foudre.
V. Sattui has opened a salumeria at the winery. It now produces its own cured meats and sausages, and sells them in its delicatessen and at its weekend barbecue. House-cured meats are hand-sliced to order, and whole cuts of V. Sattui’s bresaola and salami are also for sale (shipping available within the U.S.).
Whitehall Lane now offers two-hour cooking classes every Friday and Saturday, with each class devoted to preparing a lunch menu and pairing it with Whitehall Lane wines.
Benchmark Wine Group opened The Parker Room in March, a lounge where visitors can browse inventory, consult with staff, and purchase wines on the spot.
Rutherford Hill Winery now offers Bordeaux Meets Napa, a tasting experience in the wine cave limited to 12 guests. Topics covered include learning to taste like a pro, important moments in Bordeaux and Napa Valley history, the art of breaking down flavor profiles, and how to pair food with wine. Thursday, Sunday, and Monday at 11:00 a.m.
Odette Estate finishes a new, LEED-certified winery and 18,000-square-foot cave this spring. The vineyards are also being replanted and undergoing conversion to organic farming. Key winery architectural features include a living roof, solar panels, and offices made from recycled shipping containers. The tasting room remains open.
HALL St. Helena is offering three new experiences in the renovated 1885 Bergeld Winery: the Hall St. Helena Bergeld Experience, the Demystifying Wine & Food Experience, and Wine Tasting 101. There is also a new hospitality center with a modern-art collection, demonstration kitchen, and floor-to-ceiling glass walls offering sweeping views of the Mayacama Mountains.
B Cellars’ new Oakville winery will have a 15,000-square-foot cave and a tasting room when it opens in late spring.
Bouchaine is now offering a culinary demonstration on the last Saturday of each month from March through October. It starts with a lesson on appetizers, then continues to an al fresco dinner on the garden deck paired with limited production wines and library bottles.
Knight Wine Tours has expanded its Immersive Wine Country Experience to include a mountaintop, chef-prepared buffet and wine tasting, an all-terrain-vehicle vineyard and winery tour followed by a winery lunch, a visit to a winemaker’s home and estate vineyard, and a hosted tour of a local artisan studio.
Auction Napa Valley 2014 tickets are on sale. The live auction at Meadowood Napa Valley and the Barrel Auction at the historic Charles Krug winery take place June 5-7, and is hosted by the Napa Valley vintners.
Arts in April starts on April 3 with the Napa Valley Museum’s second annual Napa Valley Collects preview party. It showcases works from renowned artists such as Pablo Picasso and 20th century California figurative painter Joan Brown. Napa Valley Collects continues through June. From April 10-12 the Napa Valley Historical Society hosts a 2014 Historic Wineries Tour, which includes Trefethen, Inglenook, and Charles Krug wineries.
Recent Developments You Might Have Missed
The Sunburst Calistoga, near Highway 29 and Silverado Trail, opened in August 2013. It has 50 guest rooms, two mineral-water pools, and a large mineral-water jacuzzi.
Lucero Olive Oil opened a tasting room and shop in downtown Napa in October 2013. Complimentary tastings daily. The shop features nine extra virgin and eight flavored olive oils, twelve balsamic vinegars, table olives, tapenades, and mustards.
Cate & Co, a gluten-free bakeshop, opened in November at the Oxbow Public Market. Created by Catherine Bergen, founder of C Casa, Cate & Co. offers freshly baked pastries, breads, and savory and sweet snacks, as well as sandwiches, flatbreads, and salads in a quick-serve, casual environment.
Hestan Vineyards opened a sleek, modern tasting room in Yountville in July. It offers limited- production Hestan, Stephanie, and Meyer wines, and gourmet cookware from Stanley Cheng.
The Napa Walking Tour is back. The 90-minute tour explores the main historical features of Napa and includes a microbrewery tour and beer tasting at Downtown Joe’s. Daily at 9:30 a.m., no reservation required. Starts at the Historic Napa Mill (next to the Napa River Inn).