Napa Valley is renowned for being one of the premier wine regions in the world. But, did you know that you can create special memories within this magical place without sipping a single glass of wine? The natural beauty of the mountains and vineyards is reason enough to head for wine country, but there are a few other things to keep in mind for your next getaway.
Round Pond Estate Olive Mill Tour and Tasting
Located in Rutherford, Round Pond has both a winery and an olive mill, and they are not to be confused (we pulled up to the winery by accident when we were looking for the mill – they’re across the street from each other). By reservation only, you can experience a tour of the grounds and mill process, and you will have a hearty tasting of the olive oils (and wine vinegars) that are produced on the property. This is the fun part! The tour guide provides guests with an abundance of choices to capture the essence of the oils, from bread and fruit to cheese and salad. The cost is $25 per person, and it lasts about 1.5 hours for the tour and tasting. You will have an opportunity to purchase a bottle of whatever you like, too!
V. Sattui Marketplace and Picnic Grounds
No matter where we go, it’s always about the food for us! I had never heard of Italian-born Vittorio Sattui before we went to Napa, but because we share the same ethnicity, I was determined to check out his winery. In the process, we discovered their wonderful marketplace of cheese and gourmet food selections. I’m a sucker for good gnocchi, and I found it! The hubby and I bought some goodies and made our way to the extensive picnic grounds on the property. It was incredibly relaxing to sit under a tree and enjoy good food. An unplanned moment for us turned out to be a true delight.
Harvest Inn, A Napa Valley Hotel
I cannot say enough about this fabulous retreat in St. Helena. As soon as you enter the property, it’s as though you’ve been transported to another time and place. The first thing you see is the landscaping. All around you are flowers and blooms, fountains and wooden benches, with mountains and vineyards in the background. Spa services are available either in the Garden Sanctuary or in your room. The rooms are large and feature wood or gas-burning fireplaces. We opted for a suite that had a hot tub on the deck outside, and it was wonderful to unwind in the warm water during the chilly nights. The hotel provides complimentary breakfast, and we were impressed with the selection of pastries, cereal, oatmeal, fruit, and coffee. The setting is beautiful, and we never saw a single staff member during our stay. The rooms can be pricey, but there are usually specials going on.
These ideas are just a sampling of things to do in the Napa Valley. You could also go on a biking adventure, a hot air balloon flight, or a train ride through the countryside. It doesn’t have to be about the wine. It can be the simple things that make wine country special for you.