The Destination: St. Helena, Napa Valley, CA. Although the Inn at Meadowood is technically in St. Helena, the entire region is generally thought of as the Napa Valley. Geography was never my strong point.....but I think that Napa Valley is the entire region, and within it there is Napa County, Sonoma County, Yountville, St. Helena, Carneros, Calistoga, Healdsburg, and some other counties. All of these regions are known for producing great wines, and some are known for a specific type of wine. The valley itself is actually quite beautiful; even if you aren't a big wine person, it is an amazing place to stay.
|View from our cottage.|
(Click on images to enlarge them)
|Our little deck|
The rooms, suites, and cottages are spread out all over the property, with a centrally located gym, pools, reception building, restaurant, tennis courts, cricket field, and spa. Some of the cottages are high up on the hill tops overlooking the entire property, others line the beautiful golf course and tennis courts, and many more are hidden amongst the lush forest. All of the rooms/cottages are accesible by car, and each one has a parking spot nearby for the residents. You don't have to deal with any valet parking, which is always nice. The Inn (more of a resort if you ask me) is equipped with a stunning fleet of new mercedes SUVs that they use to shuttle guests around from their rooms/cottages to other parts of the property if desired.
|Taking a walk around the massive property|
|Still on our walk around meadowood.....gorgeous|
|Barrels at Opus One|
|The designated driver + me|
However, we also went to Opus One, a world famous winery which was started as a collaboration between Robert Mondavi (the guy who basically started Napa Valley) and Baron Rothschild (one of the greatest french winemakers).
|This is an art piece at Opus One|
that is mean to represent the
way shoots of some varieties are
grafted onto roots of a different
variety in order to produce a
pest resistent, high quality grape
Here comes the downer: I didn't really like the wine that much. Opus One usually makes just one varietal every year, which consists mostly of Cabernet Sauvignon with a few other grapes thrown in for good measure. I have to be honest and say that both of the Cabs I tasted at St. Helena Winery were far more balanced, smooth, and pleasant than Opus One. Obviously, I do have to admit that this may just be due to my own taste preferences; the wine was pretty oaky and had some big tannins, and that is just not my thing. There was less blackberry (what I tend to like about red wine) and more licorice and oak (what I tend to NOT enjoy about red wine); I do enjoy some oak, and even that faint leather or tobacco that comes along with a good read wine, but the tannins and oak on this one were just too much for me. However, my dad, who is a red wine guy through and through also preferred the St. Helena Cab to this one.....and it is far more affordable. So there.
|A shot of part of the Oxbow Public Market|
However, we ended up eating at Gott's Roadside since my dad and brother had never been before and I was pretty sure that they'd really enjoy it. We spent less than an hour there so I didn't really get to thoroughly see each vendor, but I wish I could go back and spend more time there. They have a spice vendor, a patisserie, a cupcakery, a chocolatier, a cheese merchant, an awesome looking coffee place, a vendor that focuses entirely on selling fine ingredients for cocktails (think bitters, essences, and all that good stuff) and much, much more.
|Mushroom Statue Garden in Yountville|
|Little did we know as we walked through|
these doors that we were about to have
the experience of a lifetime!
The Trip: Overall this little trip was great. We spent a lot of our time relaxing/lounging at the Inn, because the property and amenities were so great that we really wanted to enjoy them fully. We also got a good amount of the wine country experience into our short stay, and I think we managed to strike the perfect balance between going out and exploring what the Napa Valley has to offer and relaxing in our wonderful haven called Meadowood.