Home Base: Napa’s Silverado Resort and SpaAuthor:Mary Polizzotti
Napa has been a little quiet since a 6.0 earthquake hit the area about a month ago. Some damage is visible downtown, but overall, everything is intact, and it’s an amazing time of year to visit. Take advantage of the (slightly) thinner crowds and make a night of it.
Fancy some world-class golf, spa-time, or straight chilling? Make your base at the newly refurbished Silverado Resort and Spa. A California landmark for over 140 years, Silverado used to be a private estate used by a civil war general and then a California senator. The revival was overseen by design firm AMB and blends the existing colonial style with modern upgrades to its 330 guest rooms.
Refined room touches include an open kitchen design, redesigned fireplace, large patios, stone vanity, luxurious shower, crisp Spartan bedding, and additional modern fixtures that lend an air of warmth and luxury. If you can drag your self from the lush comforts of your room, you have 1,200 acres to cavort around. Lounge by one of the property’s 10 pools, play a round on one two PGA championship golf courses, or book a relaxing service at the 16,000 square foot spa. Or there’s always tennis or cocktail hour on Silverado’s famous terrace.
You obviously have dozens of wineries to choose from in Napa, but just up the road from the resort on the Silverado Trail, Pine Ridge Vineyards is well worth a visit. Part of the Stag’s Leap District, Pine Ridge produces several intriguing wines (I loved the 2011 Onyx). Shell out for the comprehensive tour you can take of the estate vineyards, wine production facilities, and wine caves. Guests sample direct from a barrel and wrap up with an excellent wine and cheese pairing deep in the caves. There is even a custom Dale Chihuly on display. If you don’t have time for a tour, at the very least peruse the demonstration vineyards where you can taste grapes direct from the vine and learn about the eight different varietals produced on their 200-acre estate.
Fueling up is no easy feat in Napa, there are so many tantalizing options! My favorite lunch or brunch spot is The Thomas, where you can perch on the rooftop in downtown Napa and take in the views as well as the delectable cuisine. Rosé and oysters hits the spot, but the kitchen also makes an amazing farro salad with ginger, currants, herbs, avocado, and a lemon yogurt vinaigrette. If you want to go big, go for their famous “BLAT”: Bacon, lettuce, avocado and tomato on grilled 7-grain bread with smoked paprika mayo. Yum!
A warm evening commands a visit to Bistro Don Giovanni. The lovely patio is the perfect spot to soak in mild temperatures and nosh on their delightful salads (the peach with little gems, marcona almonds, and goat cheese is tasty) and homemade pastas.
Before you head out of town the next morning, be sure to swing by local favorite Alexis Baking Company. Their homemade baked goods are an obvious favorite here, but don’t ignore their savory breakfasts – try the Huevos a la Mexicana for a full-on flavor explosion, and the breakfast burger with poached egg, Applewood smoked bacon on a potato bun is out of this world.