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Romantic Getaway in Napa Valley

The Napa Valley is a popular destination spot for honeymooners and romantics. Napa is California's most well known wine growing area, and because of that it has inspired a thriving reputation for being a top weekend getaway destination, as well as a great place to have a honeymoon.

People who journey straight to the city of Napa, however, may be disappointed. Although it's a lovely small town that is growing all the time, it is not typical of what people have in mind when they say they want a Napa Valley vacation. What people have in mind is closer to what you will find upon visiting a romantic hamlet called Glen Ellen, or a bed and breakfast near a small town square in Healdsburgh or even in the center of the city of Sonoma. More on those further down in this article.

One thing that the city of Napa does have and might be worth a trip is the Copia Center. It is a living museum to cooking and wine, with a rotating series of classes and exhibitions. The official Copia website has a wealth of information regarding their food and wine shows and exhibits. Located on 500 First Street, Napa, California, 94559 and their phone number is 707-259-1600 or you can call toll free at 888-51-COPIA.

Healdsburgh

Healdsburgh is a quaint town with a town square with many fine restaurants. I've had many romantic dinners and tasty brunches in the restaurants that surround the square. There are restaurants to suit every taste, whether you like fine Italian dining served with the finest Napa Valley wines to vegetarian food in wine country. If you like food, wine, and a pleasant evening stroll, then Healdsburgh is a great stop.

The Healdsburgh area is known for it's Zinfandel wines. There is a great winery in town called, Seghesio (located at 14730 Grove Street Healdsburg , California 95448). Actually, it's called Seghesio Family Winery, and for a good reason. Head into their winery and it's like walking into a friendly Italian home. They are warm and gracious to their visitors, and are quick to answer questions. We purchased several cases of wine from them and never hesitate to purchase a bottle when dining out. And that's the great thing about wine tasting, is the opportunity to meet great people at create fond memories at some of these places. Seghesio is one of those places..

Fun wine tasting trips

If you are serious about your wine tasting, here's a good tip on making it an extra fun weekend. If you are going out with your hubby or wife, or even with other couples, what you do is draw up a list of all the wineries you want to visit on any particular day. Also plan rest stops for a picnic at one of the wineries. Most wineries have lovely picnic areas where a couple can spread a blanket on grass, or even sit at picnic tables. This is something many people forget, many wineries have picnic grounds where one can bring yummy goodies like cheese and bread or sandwiches, and compliment them with a half bottle of your favorite wine from a winery you just visited.

Here's another great idea. Create list of wineries you are going to be visiting and make copies for yourself and whoever else is going on the trip. Beneath each winery name leave blank lines for notes. Here is where you will write your tasting notes. Be sure to list the year (vintage) and varietal of the wine you are tasting, plus the price, then note the taste impressions and a general score. For the general score some people like to rate on a scale of 1-5, others draw little happy faces. Whatever scoring method works for you, use it.

The day following a tasting you can compare tasting notes and come up with a short list of great wines in various categories. This is fun to do after breakfast while enjoying coffee or tea. Once the list of best wines has been tallied, you compare notes and come to an agreement on which wines you want to purchase. On your way out of town you can hit the wineries you wish to purchase from. Easy and orderly. And, you won't end up with more wine than you can possibly drink!

The categories we use are generally:

Best wine under $20
Best Zinfandel (here you put the varietal for which the region you are visiting is best known for. For instance, Carneros is known for it's great Pinot Noir, among other things, Napa Valley is known for it's Cabernet, etc.)
Best Red Blend
Best Regardless of category

And you can also list the white wines you may be tasting. For instance, when tasting in Anderson Valley, we make a special trip to Navarro for their excellent whites, but also to Husch for it's luscious Chardonnay... Mmm.

 

Calistoga

Calistoga is perhaps our favorite stop for a romantic weekend in the Napa wine country. If you are planning a honeymoon in the wine country, we stronly recommend you take a look at the various Bed and Breakfast opportunities available, although the local small hotels are lovely as well, offering their own kinds of amenities.

The wonderful thing about Calistoga is it's smallness. It is small and charming. Many of the buildings are Victorian and full of history. Visit, stroll, fall in love all over again in a pleasant afternoon stroll, capped by a long and lazy afternoon brunch on a shady patio.

Dinner Calistoga

Dining in Calistoga is one of my fondest memories of my trips to the Napa Valley wine country. One of my favorite places is Brannan's Grill (located on 1374 Lincoln Avenue, Calistoga, California, 94515 and their phone number is 707-942-2233). Last time we ate there we ordered a perfectly seared Ahi tuna appetizer and lamb and some other tasty plates. We paired it with a Sequoia Grove Cabernet that was helpfully suggested by the waiter. We loved the wine so much we put the winery on our wine tasting itinerary for the following day.

Lunch in Calistoga

For lunch we had an wonderful time at Wappo Bar & Bistro. They have an outdoor patio which we enjoyed so much. The food was excellent with much attention paid to the fresh ingredients and the presentation. Because Calistoga is close to so many wineries, the wine selection was superb. We enjoyed lunch at Wappo Bar & Bistro so much, we made a point of visiting it for dinner as well! The Wappo menu is very playful, a fusion of different styles of cooking from around the world. It made for another memorable evening.

And that's what romantic getaways are all about. Creating a loving mood for the moment, cultivating pleasant memories for tomorrow. We hope we have provided inspiration for your next romantic trip, and maybe we'll see you there!

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