summer friday snapshots: napa valley

this week we head west for a weekend of wine tasting
July 27, 2012  |   column: DELIBERATE POLISH

for the lastest installment in our summer friday series, where we tag along with staffers on their half-day fridays (and luxuriously longer weekends), we flew to california’s gorgeous wine country for a tipsy three-day tour of the area’s amazing eateries and rolling vineyards.

who: sophie smith

job: marketing coordinator

where: calistoga, california

why: a very low key (and wonderful) weekend bachelorette party for a friend

1. early bird:  “there aren’t too many positives about taking a 6:30 am flight from nyc to san francisco, however waking up to this view on the plane as we flew over the rockies was a definite highlight.”

2.  first toast: “another as a little girl, i would always get funny looks from flight attendants when i would order bloody mary mix (virgin, of course!) but even today it’s my go to drink on the beverage cart. i fly delta just for the belgian speculos cookies—it’s the only way to get them in america!”

3.  memorable meals: “with it’s laid-back vibe and family-style dishes, ad hoc is like the low-key little sister to thomas keller’s legendary restaurant, the french laundry, but the food is just as delicious. you’ll force yourself to find room for the next bite.  (if you won’t be visiting napa soon, you can still get a taste of this amazing place with the ad hoc  cookbook.”

4. a feast for eyes: “this view from the kuleto estate vineyard truly took my breath away.”

5.  overheard at the vineyard: “i learned that the charming custom of planting a rose bush at the end of each row of grape vines serves more than just an aesthetic purpose — it actually helps protect the grapes!”

6.  happy sipping: “you can never taste too much wine in napa!

7.  feeling grovey: “the reverie winery has a redwood grove on its property, which was so special and stunning. i’ve never seen anything like it”

8.  a nightcap: we ended the weekend with brunch at sol bar at a dreamy spa and hotel called solage calistoga. the outdoor setting was the perfect place to unwind after a day of vineyard hopping and cap off our celebration. they kept bringing us more and more food to celebrate. we were beyond stuffed, but it was so good we managed to find a way to eat it all anyway.

where to stay

the chelsea garden inn

it’s a small, cozy inn, so we had it all to ourselves, and they have a lovely garden where we enjoyed breakfast every morning.

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