If it's your job to plan company retreats, incentive travel, or corporate getaways, you know how hard it is to find a destination that pleases everyone.
In Napa Valley, there's always a wide variety of activities to engage every member of your group. Our weather is usually mild enough to allow for outdoor activities all year round. There are gorgeous views in nearly every direction. And it's hard to argue with the world-renowned food and wine scene.
Here's just one three-day itinerary for your consideration. It's suitable for a small group of eight or fewer, or larger groups can be split up as needed. Either way, it's a perfect way to inspire and reward your team for all its hard work.
What's On Your
Vista Collina Resort
Arrive at your ideal Napa Valley home base: Surrounded by hillside views, Vista Collina Resort is Napa's newest luxury resort, offering the full range of guest activities you'd expect from a top- tier venue. Its centerpiece is the Village, curating the best of wine country into a single experience. Without even leaving the property, you can visit nine tasting rooms, a food and wine center, gourmet grocery, and a 16,000-square-foot event lawn. Get checked in and explore all this special resort has to offer.
Depending on your team's preference, you can choose from three afternoon activities:
1. At Judd's Hill Winery's Bottle Blending Day Camp™, a blending guide will lead your group through a personal tasting, education, and blending session as you choose your perfect Bordeaux-style blend from four barrel samples. Once you've each chosen a favored cuveé, you'll be led through hand-bottling, labeling, and the application of foil capsules to the bottlenecks. You can then take your personally crafted wine home with you the same day.
2. Or visit Mad Fritz Brewery for a tasting of artisanal beers, ales, and lagers. Here you'll discover such tempting labels as The Dolphin and the Fish (gluten-free pale ale), The Porcupine and the Snakes (Gruit ale), and The Sadyr and the Traveler (house-malted pale ale).
3. Or attend an interactive cooking demonstration or class at the CIA at Copia. This food-and-wine haven is the newest campus of the famed Culinary Institute of America, the world's premier culinary college founded in 1946. You might discover the history of Napa Valley or learn the pairing basics of how food interacts with wine. Classes range from hour-long chef demonstrations and lectures to two-hour wine tastings and pairing exercises.
Be sure to save a little room, though. Dinner will be in a private dining room of Michael Chiarello's popular Yountville restaurant, Bottega. Chef Chiarello's staff can provide a one-of-a- kind setting and create a special menu for your group, or you can choose from a variety of dining packages featuring seasonal menus.
Napa River kayaking
Rise and shine — you're going to have a full day! For a morning activity, your group can choose from three options:
1. Take an invigorating bike tour of the valley with Getaway Adventures, which features several “Sip and Cycle” itineraries that include visits to three or four wineries.
2. Get out on the water — Enjoy Napa Valley will rent your group kayaks or paddleboards to take on the Napa River. It even offers tours in authentic Venetian gondolas!
3. Or just take it easy and enjoy a little pampering. Spa Terra at the Meritage Resort features “cave-inspired stone massage,” facials with organic ingredients, and body treatments using locally grown lavender and other organic products.
Your group will have the chance reconnect over lunch at a local winery. Piazza del Dotto in Yountville offers the rural charm of an Italian palazzo, or find a more urban feel at Napa's Riverhouse by Bespoke Collection.
After lunch, your group will have the afternoon free to enjoy the amenities at Vista Collina or venture out to explore downtown Napa.
Then assemble together again for a chef's dinner at Acacia House, the award-winning restaurant in St. Helena's luxurious hotel, Las Alcobas. Featuring locally sourced, farm-to-table food in menus created by "Top Chef" alumnus Chris Cosentino, Acacia House offers a fresh take on California cuisine.
You'll want your group members to leave their Napa Valley visit with spectacular memories. So it'll be worth the early rising time to take a hot-air balloon ride at sunrise with Balloons Above the Valley. This once-in-a-lifetime experience takes your guests up over the valley with spectacular views of the rolling hills and expansive vineyards. Fresh coffee and pastries are served as the balloons inflate, then the flight is followed by a Champagne breakfast at Michelin-awarded restaurant C Casa.
After such a luxe retreat that feeds all the senses, your group will be ready to check out and return to work fully restored. You can bet they'll be talking about this getaway for quite a while.