Aboard the Napa Valley Wine
courtesy Joseph Cillo
Photos courtesy Mary Buttaro
on image to enlarge
Napa Valley -
world renowned for its wines and culinary treasures.
a multi-dimensional destination where visitors can experience:
wonderful scenery - rivers, lakes, mountains, vineyards - outstanding
recreation - biking, birding, hiking, walking, climbing, kayaking,
railing, shopping, culture and entertainment, history walks, theatre,
musical festivals, art galleries, parks, antiques, stimulating
people interaction, vintners, innkeepers, wine makers, shopkeepers,
food purveyors, tour guides.
how we spent two Napa discovery days via train, bike and foot
- organized by the Napa Wine Train.
1: we drive to Napa Valley, but, you can take San Francisco
BayLink ferry to Vallejo and connect to Wine Train coach. go
am Arrive Napa Valley Wine Train
station room go
orientation, welcome reception and breakfast buffet.
am - 2:30 pm
Napa Valley Wine Train go
Ride, appetizers and lunch. The train ride (36 miles round trip
between Napa and St. Helena) moves slowly through the vineyards.
Travelling leisurely in a restored vintage lounge car, sparkling
wine in hand, we can see the "bud break" in the vineyards
- we were that close to the vines. Toured various cars: dining,
bar, vista dome, kitchen. Indulged in lunch - exquisite cuisine
paired with limited production wines. Food prepared on board,
to order, was fresh, creative and is seasonally changed by Executive
Chef Kelly Macdonald. The staff, skilled at "Locust service",
delivered 120 plates in 15-20 minutes.
Events & Unique Activities - for all ages - make
time on the train special. Consider one of these - Vintner
Lunch, Family Date Nite, Varietal Voyage,
Santa Train, Murder Mystery and Dinner,
Moonlight Escape, New Year's Eve Train - for
your own getaway.
pm Check into The Westin Verasa Napa
This 4 star hotel, with a Michelin Star dining room - La Toque
- also rated "Best Restaurant in America" by Wine Spectator
- is located to maximize a Napa Valley visit - within easy walk
to Oxbow Market, Wine Train, historic downtown and the Riverwalk.
180 rooms - mostly suites. Guests are able to relax, revive and
renew in a plush oasis with a serene, elegant ambiance. We swam/refreshed
in the pool, relaxed in the hot tub and luxuriated with drinks/refreshments
at the pool side patio on the bank of the river.
pm Wine Social on Napa River at Napa
General Store go
The General Store patio backs up into the Riverwalk, the old Napa
Mill and the heritage waterfront of Napa's naissance. We socialized
with Napa residents, business owners and visitors while tasting
wines from Napa's Ahnfeldt Wines. This area is bustling with renovation
projects restoring historic structures for reuse and development
of new shops and housing with river views. Took a fun short ride
in a NV Hoppers Rickshaw go
an innovative ride for two - useful for shopping or wine tasting
- when "car free" is preferred. photos
pm Stroll to Oxbow Public Market go
for Tuesday “Local's Night" Clued about this
event and invited to join in, we headed for the Oxbow
Public Market for the live music, specially priced food
options, wine, cheese, chocolate, tea and coffee tasting. Combining
food and wine culture, Oxbow features a luscious cheese shop and
the worlds smallest winery (actually a micro winery): Folio
Enoteca - a measly 84 sq. ft. The fresh baked bread aroma
was hard to ignore. Newest addition to the Oxbow lineup is Kara's
Kupcakes. Taylor's Refresher, a cult burger stand anchors the
front corner. Hog Island Oyster Company - succulent product
for $1.00 a pop. Casual menus abounded. Oxbow,
constantly changing and growing, was alive and exciting. photos
The Westin Verasa Napa go
night swim/refresh in pool/hot tub photos