Weekend in Napa

Happy Monday and what a wonderful weekend it was!  The Bay Area was experiencing a heat wave, and I was loving every second of it!
Making the most of the sunny warm weather, I headed up to Napa with some co-workers for what we like to refer to as an “offsite”.  To clients this reads as, we-are-not-checking-email-so-if-you-have-any-questions-hold-them-till-Monday.  
We arrived at the fabulous Bardessono Resort in Yountville, and settled in.  This picture does not even do this place justice – this eco (and dog) friendly resort is hands down the nicest five star hotel I’ve ever seen – each room has a bathroom the size of my living room, outdoor showers and bathtubs in your private garden, a lovely patio for early morning coffee… need I go on?  The rooms themselves are airy and bright, with lofted ceilings, fireplaces, and gourmet treats to snack on.  Don’t even get me started on the fancy toilets, swanky beauty products, and “smart technology” (the rooms literally know when you’re not there and shut lights off, air off, etc to stay green).  Dang!
Anyways… a quick cocktail by the pond and we were off to the Kuleto Winery and Estate for some wine tasting. 
Unlike most popular wineries up in Napa, this one is off the beaten path (nearly 20 minutes off the beaten path to be exact), and it was well worth the drive on the very narrow winding road to the top.  Pat Kuleto (owner of famous SF restaurants Boulevard, Farallon, Jardiniere, Epic Roasthouse, and WaterBar to name a few) started this winery in 1992, but it feels like its been there forever.  It felt like I had driven an hour out of San Francisco, and ended up in Tuscany – magical!
The grounds were absolutely stunning – rolling hills of wildflowers, huge grassy areas for lounging and picnicking, and even a lake with a boat in it (what villa is complete without a lake?!)  The views were incredible, and most importantly, the wine was fabulous.  I’ll definitely be going back 🙂
Take a look at the tasting area – lovely long tables under a raw wood arbor – in the summer its fully shaded from the vines that take over (can’t you just imagine a small romantic wedding here??)

We didn’t go into the barrel room, but they do tastings in there on cold rainy days.

You can kind of see the small man made pond down below – what you can’t see so well is the amazing antique wooden Chris Craft wooden boat in it.

Just look at those views!! In the distance, there is a larger lake – perfect for boating and fishing – and beyond that is the bustling valley (which we returned to all too soon)

That night, we dressed up and headed to dinner at a new restaurant that recently opened in Yountville – Redwood, the sister restaurant to Red was amazing – I WISH I had a picture of the food we ordered… we were tipsy and really hungry, so I think our eyes were bigger than our stomochs.  Luckily, that meant left-overs (which I love).
We ended the night with drinks on the porch at Bottega, Michael Chiarello’s restaurant, where he works nightly.  Proof?  He came over to check on us – twice.  We are kind of bff’s now 🙂

The next morning, I woke up early to make the most of my Napa stay.  I sauntered over to Bouchon – Thomas Keller’s bakery – where the line was already out the door by 8am.  I got there just in the nick of time – there was maybe 6 people in front of me when I got in line, but when I left 15 minutes later, the line was about forty people deep – down the block.

Take a look at these pictures and you can see why – the assortment of fresh pasteries, sandwiches, cookies, and little goodies is mind boggling.  I somehow managed to spend $50 on just myself.  Of course I had to get a few treats to bring back to Kris 🙂

Can we also make note of the Kate Gosslin lookalike in front of me?? That hair!!  I could not stop staring!


After breakfast, and a delicious latte in the early morning sunshine, I headed to the spa for a massage – it was SOO good.  I was sore for the rest of the weekend – just the way I like it 🙂

After my massage was a bike ride through the surrounding vineyards (no I can’t even make this stuff up) – it was hot and sunny, and I got to test out the resort’s new electic bike – SO COOL!  The motor kicks in on the hills, making for a super easy ride.  I could have kept at it all day!

Before hitting the road to get back to the city for my dad’s birthday celebration, I took to the cabanas at the pool, had a little lunch, and soaked up as much sun as I could.

Such a fabulous mini get-away.  I left feeling relaxed, happy, and very well fed 🙂

Hope you all had a great weekend too!!

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