The best way to celebrate “spring break,” adult-style? A trip to Napa Valley, California. Here are must-sees for your weekend itinerary.With more than 400 wineries, the best way to do a Napa Valley trip is to establish a base of operations that’s close to everything. Located in the heart of wine country in St. Helena, the Harvest Inn (harvestinn.com) is a perfect choice. All the better if romance is on the menu: Each of the 74 rooms in this AAA Four Diamond, country-style estate features a cozy fireplace and offers views of the Mayacamas Mountains and the Inn’s landscaped gardens.
After checking in at the Harvest Inn, venture just up the road to Charter Oak Winery (charteroakwine.com), a boutique winery where the wines — and art — do all the talking. “My husband, Robert, uses the same redwood bats and 100-year-old basket press that his grandfather used,” says Layla Fanucci, who, along with being a winemaker’s wife, is an established artist. Her distinctive cityscapes decorate the lovely home-turned-winery.
For a completely different experience, head up Howell Mountain and experience CADE (cadewinery.com). Designed in collaboration with renowned architect Juancarlos Fernandez, the winery sits “above the fog” at 1,800 feet and offers panoramic views of the valley below it. Visitors can enjoy tastings from the current selections and can also tour the state-of-the-art winery that is the first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold Certified estate winery in Napa Valley.
Make your next stop on this must-do Napa tour the famed Silverado Trail just outside of Yountville. Nestled in the heart of the Stags Leap District, Pine Ridge Vineyards (pineridgevineyards.com) boasts an extensive network of wine caves carved out of the bedrock. Visitors can also learn about the science of winemaking by touring the educational demonstration vineyard. After your mental workout, reward yourself with the winery’s famous five-by-five tasting: five wines expertly paired to five bites prepared by the winery chef.