Best of Napa Valley with William Callnan III & Nikki Ballere Callnan

Experience Napa Valley Like a Local

 

William Callnan III & Nikki Ballere Callnan - Ceramicists, NBC Pottery

Will and Nikki met at a ceramics class back in 1997, and their shared passion became the foundation of their relationship and NBC Pottery. They work out of a home studio in Angwin, in the mountains above St. Helena, molding organic wares that grace the tables of area restaurants. With two young kids in tow, they enjoy exploring the Napa Valley's natural beauty and creative scene. Read on for their favorite places, from a perfect picnic spot to a winery with outstanding art.

5 Recommendations from William Callnan III & Nikki Ballere Callnan

 

Nimbus Arts

"Nimbus Arts has lots of programming throughout the week and on weekends," says Nikki. "Parents can even drop their kids at a class then go out and have lunch or do a wine tasting." Will adds, "Nimbus is not only terrific for locals but perfect for visitors who'd like to do something a bit different. There may be an art exhibit opening; an opportunity for you to play with clay, paint your own pottery, or try your hand at welding or fusing glasswork; or a 'Sip and Paint' session. You can even build your own art class. If you get a group of 6 or more people together, you can pitch your class idea to Nimbus, and they'll set you up with an instructor to make it a reality."

Nimbus Arts in Napa Valley

Las Posadas State Forest

"We have an amazing state forest here in Angwin called Las Posadas," says Will. "I love to take our kids, Gavin and Evie, and our dog, Sketcha, through the woods on walks and bike rides. There are so many amazing biking and hiking trails with wonderful views and even some waterfalls."

Las Posadas State Forest

Crane Park

"Crane Park in St. Helena is a great place to bring your family or have a picnic. You can drink wine; throw some horseshoes; play tennis or bocce; hit up the amazing skate park; and browse the farmer's market. The park is off the main drag, so it isn't typically crowded, making it an excellent place to kick back and just hang out. There's plenty of sun and shade, and you might even catch a little league game at the ball fields next door."

Crane Park in St Helena

Hess Winery and Art Collection

"The Hess Winery is on Mount Veeder, a bit off-the-beaten path but so worth the trek. Its beautiful architecture showcases works from some of most famous and accomplished artists of our time, including a few of our personal favorites, Anselm Kiefer, Gerhard Richter, and the disturbingly magnificent Francis Bacon. The delicious wines and amazing artworks create the perfect pairing – definitely something to check out."

Hess Winery and Art Collection in Napa Valley

Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch

"Our go-to restaurant is Farmstead," says Nikki, "it's awesome for the whole family." Will adds, "When we go out, we've got to have a place where the kids can roam. Farmstead has a big outside dining and bar area and the rest of its grounds are fenced and so the kids can play. The atmosphere is lively, and often they have live music or an event going on. There are gardens to stroll, a tasting room, and a gift shop. The food is rich and hearty, with an emphasis on organic and sustainably farmed farm-to-table cuisine. They also have a great happy hour – what's not to love?"

Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch