If you’re in search for somewhere to relax and rewind this long holiday weekend, a beautiful autumn oasis awaits in the backyard of San Francisco. Through the years, Napa has evolved to become more than destination for vineyards and wine tasting. It has swelled to new limits with newly opened restaurants, wineries, and lounges catered to the young and chic. Haute Living presents the Hautest happenings in the Napa Valley.
This uber cool wine lounge located on 1313 Main street has been a bustling hotspot since opening one year ago. Whether you’re in Napa with a group of friends for wine-tasting, or just need to find a subdued spot for a solo sip, 1313 Main has it all. This haute wine lounge boasts six different rooms where one is always sure to find a cocktail party, dinner, vintner reception or some haute happening. Winemaker Wednesdays and Bubbles & Beats (happening every Friday and Saturday from 9pm-1am) are just a small taste of what’s in store at this downtown Napa haunt.
The historical establishment has come back to life with a signature vintage twist. The Thomas and Fagiani’s hit the Napa Valley dining scene just a few months ago, and has been extremely well-received since its inception. Dinner (think organic, local, sustainable, delicious), a late-night bar menu (burgers, here we come) and scientific libations (think Beretta-style) are just a few of the offerings at this bustling establishment. Michelin-starred Executive Chef Brad Farmerie took it one step further with the launch of weekend brunch. Guests can expect to find mouth-watering items like Corn Pancakes with Bellwether Farms crème fraiche & blueberry syrup; Tea-Smoked Salmon with spinach, poached eggs, toasted sourdough and yuzu hollandaise; and French Toast stuffed with banana and house made Nutella. And yes, for those desiring a boozy accompaniment, The Thomas’ brunch cocktails are ready to go.
Gavin Newsom & Co. have hit gold once again with the Odette Estate. The PlumpJack Group’s newest California-modern style winery opened in August, 2012. Located in the Stags Leap District along the Silverado Trail, the Odette Estate vineyard tucked away off the beaten path is focused on Cabernet. According to Odette, Stags Leap District’s distinctive soils are famous for imparting unique characteristics to wines—including extraordinary power delivered with delicately articulated structure, varietal aromas and flavors.
Located right off the entrance of Sonoma valley (a cool 30 minutes from San Francisco, just over the Golden Gate), Ram’s Gate Winery is a gem for city-dwellers and tourists alike. This rolling-hilled hideaway is fully equipped with contemporary decor in a country setting, boasting stunning vistas for sipping. Indoor farmstead-style lounge areas and outdoor seated lounging areas (did we mention that the views are stunning?) are memorable highlights of the Ram’s gate experience. Though the food takes a back-seat, the wines hit high notes when paired with the fantastic menu. Foodies will be pleased to find a front-and-center seat at the sprawling kitchen bar. The sprawling property even offers fly-fishing by appointment – a perfect activity for the beautiful Napa weather.
Francis Ford Coppola’s “Wine Wonderland” is the family play land that never stops. The family-friendly Francis Ford Coppola Winery always has amazing things happening, and what better time to visit than this fall during harvest season. People of all ages can now enjoy even more festivities at Sonoma’s “Wine Wonderland.” From dancing to new tours and tastings to kids’ activities – there is something for everyone looking to celebrate the coming of the harvest.
Each harvest the Tasting Room offers guests a Fresh-Pressed Wine Tasting where they can sample the freshest juice, just in from the winery’s crushpad. In addition, guests can enjoy the Rustic Tasting Menu, where diners can enjoy a four-course tasting menu paired with Coppola wines as well as an array of winery-exclusive wines.
Coppola Winery also has fun activities to keep the kids happy during harvest. While parents enjoy wine-tasting, kids can have fun at their own Kids Smoothie Tasting. For just $1, this engaging and interactive experience allows children to learn how to taste different fruit flavors and smells at the Kids Smoothie Bar. The winery’s smoothie expert will blend the season’s bounty of fruits into delicious and unique smoothies, where kids can help guess the flavors. Each child will also receive a coloring book of tropical and seasonal fruits.