"The Best of the Napa Valley" trip

October 4, 2012 (Thu) - October 10, 2012 (Wed)
6:30 PM - 11:00 AM

Avia Napa Hotel
1450 First Street
Napa, California 94559

View Map  |   (864) 848-9556

Cost: $3,469 per person, double occuancy/$998 single supplement

View more details below

Food     Wine     Vacation/Tour    

“The Best of the Napa Valley”

Organized by Cindy Cohn, (864) 848-9556, cindycohn@charter.net

Tour Itinerary, October 4-10, 2012

Come with us to discover Napa Valley, also known as America’s Eden, in a personalized, small group setting with a certified sommelier as your guide. To understand the beauty of this region, one needs to combine four experiences: Explore, learn, taste and indulge; Explore behind the tasting rooms; Learn about the terroir — the soil, weather conditions, the grapes and the process that gives a specific personality to the wine of a region; Taste the award winning wines; and Indulge in the special luxury that the Napa Valley offers.

Join us at one of the world’s most premier travel destinations where astonishing views flourish at every turn. Imagine fields of blooming mustard flowers, beautiful rolling hills covered with vineyards and countless numbers of wineries tucked throughout the countryside.

Whether you are tasting wine, dining at an acclaimed restaurant, pampering yourself in one of the lavish spas, golfing at a top resort or enjoying your stay at one of the valley’s newest luxury hotels, Napa Valley is sure to invigorate your soul with pure bliss, just as it has countless others.

All too often, Napa’s magnificent charm bombards travelers with its bounty of activities and attractions. Visitors find it difficult to decide which of the region’s more than 350 wineries seems most worthy, and how can they best experience it to the fullest?

Your own personal sommelier will be your guide on a week long, fully-escorted Napa wine vacation. You will have exclusive behind the scenes access to meet the winemakers and experience the passion they have for their art and the pride they take in their wine. You will discover and taste the fine wines of the Napa Valley and savor the sheer diversity of wine attributed to the patchwork of terroirs which gives each wine a personality of its own.

Our Napa wine vacation takes you on a voyage of discovery into the unique world of the valley’s wine culture. Take pleasure in tasting the fine wines of the Napa Valley, meet passionate vignerons, discover little gems in the vineyards, savor the fabulous cuisine, take in a round of golf and indulge in an ultimate relaxation package at a renowned spa. Afterwards, retreat to one of Napa’s top of the line hotels.

Whether you are a newcomer to the wine world or an accomplished enthusiast in search of celebration, exploration or rejuvenation, this signature Napa Valley wine tour offers a place for you.

Enjoy exclusive behind the scenes guided tours of some of the valley’s most exciting and exclusive wineries, learn about the valley from local friends and professionals in an enjoyable and relaxing atmosphere. Participate in private cooking classes and demonstrations, indulge in the wines, savor the cheeses and gourmet specialties prepared by award-winning chefs.

Tour Price: $3,469 per person double/twin occupancy. Single supplement of $998.

DAY 1: Arrival, Hotel Check-in, Dinner Together at local Downtown Napa favorite

You arrive at your convenience at the Avia Hotel. Check in, unpack and unwind in your luxurious suite. You will be on your own until dinner which gives you the opportunity to visit downtown Napa. You will be within walking distance to Napa’s downtown Mill’s district which is filled with delightful shops. It is a veritable treasure hunt with clothing boutiques, antique emporiums, home furnishing stores and a number of fabulous places to find gourmet food and wine.

“Meet and Greet” at 6:30 p.m. in Avia’s wine bar.

Dinner at 7:00 p.m. downtown: Our select restaurant has been rated “Excellent” by Zagat Survey, America’s Most Prestigious Restaurant Guide.

DAY 2: Silverado Trail, The Road Less Traveled

Buffet breakfast on your own in the Avia Kitchen which includes Continental favorites, chef-prepared eggs, fingerling potatoes, breakfast meats, Crêpes Suzette, pancakes and waffles, oatmeal and other local signature dishes.

Mid-morning departure: A journey along the Silverado Trail offers you an adventure of all that Napa Valley was and is: old and new, historical and state of the art. Our first winery of the day will include learning different vine trellising techniques, finding out how to identify Merlot grapes, learning about sustainable farming and sampling their reserve wines which includes a special taste of their library wines. A delightful picnic lunch will follow in the vineyard’s olive grove. From there we will move onto our next stop along the Silverado Trail. Here we will learn about the vineyards of the Silverado Trail, wine making, and a little bit of history during a relaxed, sit-down tasting of select wines including their signature wine — a rare treat!

Our last tour of the day begins with a walk through the culinary gardens of one of the valley’s highly acclaimed chefs and perhaps a chance to harvest a few vegetables before disappearing into the wine caves. This will end in the vineyard kitchen to sample local artisan cheeses and charcuterie with a fabulous flight of their wines.

DINNER: After a short rest and a chance to freshen up we will all meet back for a gastronomical dinner together in St. Helena at one of the Bay Area’s top 100 restaurants. Food & Wine describes it as “the hippest place in Napa.” A don’t miss is the “swinging subterranean wine bar and the witty wine list.”

DAY 3: Calistoga/Healdsburg: Hot Springs, Cool Wines, Warm Welcome

Early morning breakfast includes pastries, scones and muffins from one of Napa’s fabulous bakeries that is one of Rachel Ray’s top picks. We will depart early this day to head to picturesque Calistoga, located at the very top of the beautiful Napa Valley. Our first winery tour of the day begins with an educational tour through historical caves to learn the rich background of one of the valley’s oldest vineyards and its 120 year-old caves. You’ll be introduced to the classic method of producing sparkling wine and end with a formal tasting and refreshments paired to match.

Our second stop along the way takes us to one of Calistoga’s top notch estates, where their philosophy is to create food-friendly wine that is deliciously drinkable upon release. Here we will sample their current release wines before we move onto downtown Calistoga.

Downtown we will lunch in a relaxed setting to enjoy Wine Country-style cooking at it’s best. Our last stop in Calistoga is one of the most peaceful in the Napa Valley – a stone castle carved into a hillside overlooking a Chinese garden and lake with vineyards reaching out to the base of Mt. St. Helena.

But the day doesn’t stop there, after leaving Calistoga we head to downtown Healdsburg, a town renowned for its eclectic offerings of all the finest things in life … food, wine, friends and fun. The charm and personality of the town is inescapable. You will have some free time to stroll around and discover the treasures of this unique small town before meeting back as a group to end the day with a hands-on dinner cooking class featuring a delectable four-course menu.

DAY 4: Morning at Leisure, Choice of Spa Relaxation or Challenging round of Golf, Evening Free time to explore

Enjoy breakfast in bed at your leisure, provided by us through room service. Just relax or pursue independent interests, then join Kimberlee at the Greenhaus spa for a massage and other lavish spa services followed by lunch at one of the locals’ favorite spots. Or join Derek for a round of golf at one of Napa’s premier courses, an excellent way to enjoy Napa’s natural beauty. Lunch included.

Dinner: You will be on your own this evening to enjoy Napa.

Day 5: Having fun in Rutherford and Oakville

Buffet breakfast on your own in the Avia Kitchen, where you will have a full buffet that includes Continental favorites, chef-prepared eggs, fingerling potatoes, breakfast meats, Crêpes Suzette, pancakes and waffles, oatmeal and other local signature dishes.

We will begin our first tour of the day at one of the valley’s most exclusive wineries for a comprehensive tour of their estate, including gardens, vineyard, production and caves. A seated tasting of their current release wines and discussion of their viticulture practices and their philosophy on food and wine pairing will follow. Then we will move onto the home of one of Howell Mountain’s most esteemed families where we will sit with the founder tasting their current releases paired with exquisite treats.

For lunch today, we will dine in a local’s hot spot, where wine industry people and other business folks gather for a lunch meeting or just to socialize. The best thing about this place is the total experience. It is not just the great food and service but it is the jovial atmosphere of the restaurant that makes you just want to be here. Be ready. We never know who we might run into.

Our last tasting of the day is a formal tasting experience exploring the breadth and depth of this boutique vineyard. We will sample a delightful assortment of wines — including their flagship, along with small batch, unattainable wines, all perfectly paired with caviar, artisan cheeses and their signature chocolates.

Dinner: The Town of Yountville, renowned for its world-class restaurants and award winning chefs, has earned the unofficial title of “Culinary Capital of the Napa Valley.” After a short rest and a chance to freshen up we will dine at one of the area’s most highly acclaimed restaurants.

Day 6: St. Helena, The Heart of Napa Valley

Buffet breakfast on your own in the Avia Kitchen, where you will have a full buffet that includes Continental favorites, chef-prepared eggs, fingerling potatoes, breakfast meats, Crêpes Suzette, pancakes and waffles, oatmeal and other local signature dishes.

We’ve saved the best for last for our final full day in Napa. Affectionately known as the heart of Napa Valley, St. Helena is home to some of Napa’s most legendary wineries and our first tour of the day will leave no doubt as to why. This is one of the most idyllic pieces of property in St. Helena. This winery’s first priority is to produce premium wines in an environmentally sensitive fashion, and as we sit down for a visit we’ll taste and discover why.

Our second tour of the day takes us to yet another one of St. Helena’s star wineries. We’ll visit their underground cellar, surrounded by oak barrels and caves, where the tour will focus on the various stages in the process of wine making. We’ll start by tasting wine aging in the barrel, prior to its completed bottling stage and then move upstairs to continue enriching our tasting experience by sampling several of their award-winning wines after they have been bottled.

Lunch will be in St. Helena’s charming downtown district at one of the area’s most beloved destinations. The atmosphere combines the sophistication of a supper club with the flair of a speakeasy but creates the perfect upscale eatery and neighborhood hang-out. The menu is delicious, heartfelt and cooked from scratch with the highest quality ingredients available. After lunch, you will have some leisure time to shop the downtown and see why visitors come often and stay longer after each visit.

Our last vineyard tour of the week ends at the highest, oldest vineyard, and smallest winery in the Napa Valley. At the top of the Diamond Mountain District is, perhaps, one of the best places in the world to grow Bordeaux varietals and is unequivocally, the most beautiful and romantic . . . but you get a chance to decide for yourself.

Dinner: After a short rest and a chance to freshen up we will all meet back for our last dinner together at one of the most exciting, well-reviewed downtown Napa restaurants, located in the Mills district.

Day 7: Tour Conclusion.

Farewell Buffet breakfast together, where you will have a full buffet that includes Continental favorites, chef-prepared eggs, fingerling potatoes, breakfast meats, Crêpes Suzette, pancakes and waffles, oatmeal and other local signature dishes.

Hotel Check out. Departure at your convenience.

Contact cindycohn@charter.net for more information. I hope you can join us!