The Wine Country Agenda: Las Alcobas Resort Opening, Kitchens in the Vineyards Home Tours and Inaugural Campovelo Ride

In April, all roads lead to Saint Helena, the cradle of Napa Valley winemaking.

Las Alcobas Resort Opens

Photos credit Las Alcobas Napa Valley, a Luxury Collection Hotel

Las Alcobas Napa Valley, a Luxury Collection Hotel, is the latest resort to open in Wine Country and is truly unique in its walking distance to the shops and eateries in St. Helena, nearby wineries and vineyards. The resort features an onsite, highly-anticipated new restaurant, a spacious 3,500 square foot spa and dedicated event spaces. Designed by Yabu Pushelberg, the resort combines the charm of the completely restored ca. 1905 Acacia House with the sleek, modern look of the transformed cottages surrounding the Victorian.

Most of the 68 guestrooms and suites feature firepits on the terrace while ten rooms with private balconies beckon with outdoor soaking tubs. Inside, the contemporary spaces are finished in warm, natural tones and luxury bedding. Atria, the airy new spa, offers curated, ancient healing treatments and aromatherapy blending with organic and local ingredients. Acacia House, the new 40-seat restaurant that officially opens in May, is led by Chef Chris Cosentino with a menu that reflects the bold flavors chef is known for. 1915 Main Street, St. Helena

The 20th Annual Kitchens in the Vineyards Napa Valley Home Tours

Photos courtesy Kitchens in the Vineyards

Water Tower Retreat

Be inspired by five distinctly designed Wine Country homes and gardens during the 20th anniversary Kitchens in the Vineyards ($70 pp in advance) on April 29 from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm in St. Helena. The self-guided tours will lead you through indoor and outdoor entertainment areas styled for spring by local designers including Erin Martin, Daniel Hale, Rhondda Reed and Janene Kraft while Wine Country chefs will provide additional inspiration with small bites at each location. The Kitchens in the Vineyards tour benefit the summer chamber music festival, Music in the Vineyards.

In-town Transformation

All the homes are in the small town of St. Helena, making it easier to navigate and savor each one. The tour homes include a fully renovated mid-century home that maximizes indoor-outdoor space, a sleek, light-filled contemporary by Zak Architecture, an historic water tower converted into a stunning weekend retreat, a newly-built, modern farmhouse overlooking the vineyards and a classic Mediterranean style villa.

Sleek Sanctuary

To get a full taste of the Wine Country lifestyle, attend the preview party ($250 pp) on Friday April 28 beginning at 4 p.m. for a private tour of the homes followed by a sunset reception and wine-paired dinner at Robert Mondavi Winery. To book in advance and for details, check out the website.

Premiere Campovelo Gran Fondo for Foodies

Chef Chris Cosentino. Photo credit Josh Telles

In Wine Country, there are epic food & wine events and there are active lifestyle events, but the premiere Campovelo combines both in a 3-day weekend (April 28-30) headlined by Top Chef Master winner Chris Cosentino. An avid mountain and road cyclist, Cosentino of SF restaurant Cockscomb and now Acacia House in St. Helena, brings his chef friends, pro cyclists and St. Helena wineries together to push for a common cause, No Kid Hungry, part of the national anti-hunger organization Share Our Strength.

The weekend begins on Friday with a check-in at Cliff Family Winery, a guided warm-up spin around Napa Valley followed by a special 5-course dinner ($175 pp) by Chef Chris Cosentino as he opens the doors to his new restaurant Acacia House at Las Alcobas. Saturday and Sunday mornings are devoted to cycling with choices of rides of all levels of difficulty, or for non-riders, a hike followed  by yoga. On Saturday afternoon, attend the CampoVelo Festival at Brasswood Cellars featuring inspiring conversations among Chef Cosentino and guest chefs, vintners and pro cyclists, demos and local beer and wine tastings, and on Sunday celebrate the end of the weekend with the Big Pig (& more)Feast at Charles Krug on Sunday from 12 – 4 pm which will include live music, lawn games and other amusements.

Harvest Inn lobby. Photo credit Paige Green Photography

Daily and weekend passes range from $150-550 pp and a single event Big Pig Feast pass is also available for $45 pp. Special VIP, all-inclusive, special access passes ($5,000 single/$6,600 double) are available through Charlie Palmer’s Harvest Inn, a CampoVelo hotel partner along with Las Alcobas. All fees support beneficiaries Chefs cycle for No Kid Hungry, Napa County Bicycle Coalition and Napa Valley Vine Trail. Check the website for details on schedule, passes, travel information and booking.

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