Expedia.com and Visit Calistoga bring you the best ways to spend a getaway in Napa Valley.
During the summer months, it’s hard to think of anything lovelier than a glass of wine on the porch with a sunny view of the grapevines. But just because fall turns to winter doesn’t mean you need to bundle up and forget about weekends at the vineyards. In fact, the cooler season can be just as charming in Calistoga, and Winter in the Wineries proves it with an invitation for you to romp around the vineyards with discounted rates on lodging, wine tasting, shopping and more.
Regardless of what the temperatures are like outside, the valley is a year-round destination where you can sip wine, dine and relax to your heart’s content. It’s about time you experienced the grapevines in the winter months, so cozy up and spend the weekend roaming among the vineyards. We at Expedia.com partnered with Visit Calistoga to build a winter weekend itinerary with everything from accommodation to eateries to ensure your stay leaves a long-lasting impression.
First things first, reserve two nights at Roman Spa Hot Springs Resort and you’ll be so happy you did. Mud baths and geothermal waters within walking distance of your room? Yes, please. This enchanting accommodation, surrounded by gardens and fountains, offers the serenity you’ve been craving. Better yet, you’ll find it conveniently located near all the wine action.
With your hotel covered, it’s time for some fun. If you’re looking for the royal treatment, make your way to Castello di Amorosa, where you can act like kings and queens as you sip wine and tour this 13th-century Tuscan castle replica. Sneak a peek at the Torture Chamber and Armory Room, before sampling local cheese and Italian-style wines in the comfort of the Il Passito Room.
Save room for a feast at Evangeline. This French bistro with a Creole twist will have your taste buds begging for more. The eatery’s fried chicken has practically become a cult classic in the valley, while the white truffle Parisienne gnocchi and shrimp etouffee are certainly crowd pleasers, too. If you’re in town for New Year’s Eve, ring in 2017 with the bistro’s special two-day menu on December 30 and 31.
It’s Saturday, which means you’ll want to pass the time tasting your way through the wineries. If you’re going for longevity, eat something hearty for breakfast, and Café Sarafornia is just the spot. An order of the sausage-packed Wildcat Scrambler and a strong cappuccino at one of Napa’s last-standing diners will have you all set to take on the vineyards.
On to the grapes. You can’t go wrong at any of the local wineries, but there are certainly a few experiences that stand out from the rest. The Clos Pegase Estate, for one, is decked out in postmodern Mediterranean architecture with European gardens, where you can peacefully stroll among the cypress trees with a glass of vino in hand. Then there’s the Bennett Lane Winery that has a package that lets you take a hot air balloon high in the sky and then picnic at the property. And not to be missed is the Tank Garage Winery, a 1930s gas station turned wine haven.
Once you’ve hit your wine limit, it’s time for dinner at Calistoga Inn. The on-site brewery here was actually the first place to brew beer during Prohibition, so you might as well pair a pint with your order of country paella or basil pesto pizza. Dine with a view of the garden patio and you’ll find yourself wondering why you’d never before ventured to the valley during the winter months.
Yesterday was action filled, so take it easy this morning before checking out. You’ve been toying with the idea of a mineral bath ever since you arrived, so give into the urge at the hotel’s on-site spa. Add on a mud bath and indulge in the Calistoga volcanic ash, or go for a classic massage that will melt your stress away.
After all that rest and rejuvenation, stop by Yo el Rey Roasting for a 16-hour cold-brewed coffee that’s sure to give you a pep in your step. All the coffee beans are certified organic, as are the extras, such as syrups, milk and sugar. Once your caffeine buzz kicks in, it’s time to hit the road and bid the valley adieu until next time.
If you’re planning a weekend getaway in Calistoga during the chilly season, be sure to get a passport to Winter in the Wineries to score discounts on everything from hotels to 15 unique wine-tasting experiences. The passport is only $50 and valid between December 3 and February 5. And remember, any time is a good time to go wine tasting!
Written by Chloe Mulliner