Searching for a singular travel destination for the imminent holiday season? Wine connoisseurs and wine lovers alike may opt to give the warm, golden California sun a go and head to Napa Valley. Being the heart of some of the best wineries in California, Napa Valley provides travellers with a picturesque, unobstructed view of long stretches of vineyards and verdant mountains that are long immersed in history. Guests are carried back to the halcyon days of time long gone as they rediscover the age-old craft of winemaking. From a beautifully curated art gallery located on the grounds of a winery to local-favorite restaurants, we've listed some of our favorite things to see and do in Napa Valley:
Originally incepted in 1862, Schramsberg Vineyards produces an array of sparkling wines at the comfort of the same solitary, and now historical, Victorian estate that was first inhabited by the original owners and creators of the Schramsberg winery.
The winery opens its grounds to discerning wine connoisseurs and curious wine drinkers with a 75-minutes tour that covers the fascinating history of the lush estate and of the wines produce. Guests are immersed deeper into the rich history of the 153-years-old estate as they are walked through the property as well as the hand-dug caves. Furthermore, a comprehensive lesson on the traditional champanoise method of producing sparkling wine and a riddling demonstration are provided.
The quaint vineyards are no stranger to curious characters interested in winemaking, having once been visited and written about by author Robert Louis Stevenson in the 1880s. Of course, the enriching tour ends with a formal tasting of four Schramsberg wines that by itself is certain to make you come back wanting for more.
The Hess Collection Winery & Art Museum
The Hess Collection provides tourists with the best combination of two great crafts: wine and art. Located amidst the mountains, the gorgeous winery provides a tour around the premise, including a private tasting outdoors and a private tasting in the barrel room.
The tour around the vineyards is superb and guests are allowed to try the grapes from the vineyards before continuing to the private tasting in the barrel room. Moreover, the telling of the history of the winery is in-depth and fascinating. For those searching for some souvenirs, the winery has an excellent gift shop; while those interested in art may opt to visit the two-stories art museum located on the premise.
Oxbow Public Market
Searching for a local gem in Napa Valley? Drop by the Oxbow Public Market, a vivacious and always bustling dining destination that overlooks the Napa River. In the mood for a dozen, or more, of delectable raw oysters? Hog Island Oyster Co. is the restaurant you're looking for.
Meanwhile, those wanting something a little more "Good Ol' American" should drop by Gott's Roadside to try one of the best gourmet burgers in town. For something more decadent, drop by Five Dot Ranch for what could be the best steak in town. After dinner, the sweet tooth in you may choose to indulge in the Three Twin Ice Cream for a few scoops of delicious goodness.
Redd Napa Valley
Starving after all those wine tastings? Head to Redd Napa Valley to experience fresh, seasonal dishes peppered with hints of ethnic influence that are made for and inspired by Napa Valley. Signature dishes include the glazed pork belly with apple puree, burdock and soy caramel and the carnaroli risotto with maine lobster, lemon confit and white truffle oil.