Girls Weekend Weekend Getaway Wine

Napa Valley

May 26, 2015
Entrance to the Culinary Institute

I love traveling with my family, but sometimes you just need a girl’s weekend. Lucky for me, my dear friend Wendy Sipple, Editor of Real Weddings Magazine, invited me along on a press trip to St. Helena, the heart of Napa Valley. I love this little town! The Main Street of the town is filled with eclectic shops and places to dine. We stayed at the contemporary Wydown Hotel, located within walking distance to all the fun. As soon as you walk in, the lobby gives a feeling of comfort and the staff makes you feel right at home.

Wydown Hotel LobbyAnd speaking of being right at home, this luxury boutique hotel has only 12-rooms, giving you the unique feeling of staying in a guest bedroom at someone’s home vs. a hotel.

photo credit:

photo credit:

Our first stop was Beringer Vineyards located a couple miles down the road. You can’t miss this gorgeous Victorian home prominently situated on top of a hill. The grounds are immaculate and inviting as you stroll amongst the beautifully bloomed trees. The prestigious home is open for viewing, as it displays keepsakes from earlier times. And then, of course, there is the wine tasting room where we enjoyed some Beringer’s finest reserve wines.

Beringer Winery

Beringer grounds

Stained glass in Beringer

Beringer room

Beringer Wine TastingAfter a few tastings of some amazing wines, we headed off to the Napa Valley Health Spa for much needed pampering. I opted for a facial while Wendy indulged in a massage. Changing into our fluffy plush robes, we found a couple of lounge chairs by the pool to soak up a few rays before being whisked away to our treatments. Following an hour of pure bliss, we relaxed a little more before changing and prepping for dinner.

I only have one word to describe dinner: FREAKINGAMAZING! Okay, so it’s two, but it was that good. We were excited to hear that Press was the place to dine from everyone we spoke to, and boy were they right! I’m not kidding when I tell you they laid out the red carpet for us because that is exactly what they did. General Manager, Spencer Weiss, was a delight as he had a special menu prepared just for us highlighting some of the restaurant’s top dishes. These tantalizing dishes were remarkably paired with some of the best wines I ever tasted. Here’s a copy of our menu along with pics of some of the incredible dishes.

Pacific Cod

Pacific Cod

Grilled Wild Shrimp

Grilled Wild Shrimp

Dry Aged New York Strip Loin

Bryan Flannery Dry Aged New York Strip Loin

Banan Cream Tartlet

Banana Cream Tartlet

The next day, Wendy arranged for us to take a wine tasting class at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone. You haven’t experienced life until you’ve done wine tasting at 10 a.m. It’s quite the experience! I highly recommend taking a class at the Culinary Institute, as well as having lunch in the café, and dinner at the Wine Spectator Greystone Restaurant. The food is magnificently prepared by the students and the chocolate is to die for. Be sure to arrange for a tour around this amazing fortress and learn its fascinating history from the late 1800’s.

Culinary InstituteWell you gotta end your stay with doing nothing more than… you guessed it! More wine tasting. Our last two wineries we visited on two separate days were Markham Vineyards and Charles Krug, conveniently located next door to one another and across the street from the Culinary Institute. These are my favorite wineries. I visited these wineries years ago and both still remain to be the best (my opinion of course). We had so much fun as you can tell from our enthusiastic servers.

Here’s a tip for you wine lovers: if you find a winery you love and would like to have wine shipped to your home regularly, then look into their wine club. They offer special deals and discounts.

Markham Vineyards

Markham Vineyards

Charles Krug

Charles Krug

Wine bottles at Charles KrugThere are approximately 400 wineries in Napa Valley and couple hundred more if you include Sonoma Valley. Our weekend getaway is just a sample of the fun you can get into in Napa.

What are your favorite wineries in Napa and/or other places in the world?

Check out the PHOTO GALLERY for more pics.


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