Napa Valley is laid back luxury at its absolute finest. Rolling hills of lush grape vines, immaculately manicured gardens, outdoor dining spaces filled with sunshine, unlimited bottles of wine, and top-notch cuisine all come together for a getaway to remember, whether for a local staycation or full-on vacation. Those that call the Bay Area home (I’m a San Francisco local!) are lucky to be able to take a modest hour and a half drive North and arrive at this wine country wonderland that feels worlds away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Between the pandemic and the California fires, it makes sense that some are weary of planning a trip, but if you have a few days it’s certainly worth making the effort now that the smokiness has subsided. Currently, wineries are allowed to host indoor tastings at 25% occupancy, restaurants have increased indoor occupancy to 50%, and breweries are open for outdoor service.
Wineries are mostly open and accepting guests for reserved wine tastings. Moreover, many of the area’s best restaurants have made the necessary dining changes, including implementing strict health protocol.
There’s never been a more important time to support Napa Valley as it reopens for business! With that said here’s where to eat, drink and stay for a weekend getaway!
Where to stay
Meritage Resort and Spa: Vista Collina Resort
If you’re looking for more pampering by way of spa treatments and massages, book a stay at Vista Collina which is home to Spa Terra. At Spa Terra you’re invited to de-stress with a treatment in its underground Estate Cave or opt for an outdoor or indoor massage. The spa also features yoga classes overlooking the resort vineyards. Other luxe amenities include an expansive pool (complete with poolside bar) and fitness center.
The resort itself is home to nine Napa Valley tasting rooms which feature the wine from Trinitas Cellars, Foley Food & Wine Society, GEN 7 Wines, Anarchist Wine Co, Napa Smith Brewery Cornerstone Cellars, Jayson by Pahlmeyer, Mi Sueño Winery, and Luna Vineyards.
Currently four of the nine are providing outdoor tastings. The culinary experiences don’t end there, however, as the resort also has an on-property Fivetown Grocery that sells farm-fresh, local ingredients and products from the five towns that make up Napa Valley.
The Fivetown Grocery to-go menu includes soups, stacked sandwiches, salads, coffee and tea and more. Guests are encouraged to create their own picnic and al fresco dining experience on their expansive 16,000-square-foot event lawn which has a resident food truck as well.
Also on property is Olive & Hay, a farm-to-table restaurant that features an innovative Italian menu rooted in traditional Italian cooking, alongside an overflowing wine list. Standout dishes include pizzas like the Calabria with Calabrese sausage, buffalo milk mozzarella, honey, “solo di bruna” parmesan; pastas such as the tagliatelle basil pistachio pesto, market vegetable, semi dried cherry tomatoes, “solo di bruna”; mains that include a catch of the day and pan seared NY strip; and sharable plates such as the house-made meatballs.