Five Things to Do in Wine Country in March


A not to be missed architectural tour of Napa Valley icons, a Secret Cinema in Stags Leap, an eye-popping new photography exhibit in Rutherford and treasure hunting in Healdsburg, this and more all happening this month.


Sign up for an extraordinary architectural tour of Napa Valley’s Grands Dames


Far Niente Winery. Photo by Tom Spaulding


For the first time ever, the Napa County Historical Society and Napa County Landmarks present a docent-led Historic Wineries Tour of Napa Valley’s most iconic 19th century wineries on March 21-22.  The tour pays homage to a lesser known but prolific figure in Napa Valley history, Hamden W. McIntyre, who designed all five of the featured wineries Chateau Montelena (placed on National Register of Historic Places this past February 22), Far Niente, Beaulieu Vineyard, Trefethen and Del Dotto, as well as the chateau at Inglenook and Greystone Cellars.  His imposing designs and gravity flow construction helped launch Napa Valley’s renown as a premium wine region as early as the late 1800s.


Inside the Craftsman style Rutherford House at Beaulieu Vineyard. Photo Sally Seymour


One of the highlights of the tour is a rare look inside the Luther Turton-designed Rutherford House at Beaulieu Vineyard, one of the finest examples of Craftsman style homes in the Napa Valley with period built-ins, lighting and newel post ornamentation. 

Befitting the stature of wineries on tour, lunches will be prepared by Executive Chefs Christopher Kostow of 3-star Michelin The Restaurant at Meadowood and Thomas Keller Group alumnus Joshua Schwartz, currently of Del Dotto.

The two-day event costs $425 pp ($395 for Napa History or Landmarks member) including intraday transportation, wine tastings and gourmet lunches on both days.  A single day pass is also available at $235 pp non-member, with the Thursday, March 21 tour consisting of three wineries and the Friday, March 22 tour consisting of two.  Purchase in advance at The History Center.


Cruise into Stags Leap’s latest winery Odette Estate


The tasting room courtyard at Odette Estate


Opened last August, by owners Gordon Getty and Gavin Newsom, Odette Estate in Stags Leap district is the latest addition to the Plumpjack Group’s winery portfolio including Plumpjack in Oakville and CADE on Howell Mountain.  Odette, nestled between the palisades and knolls that defines Stags Leap, was designed by Kimberley Nunn and Dan Worden of Shopworks to have a light and breezy California modern feel.


The private tasting room at Odette Estate


Inside, Odette is the yin to CADE’s yang, with lighter finishes, curvy lines and lots of shine.  Open daily 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Napa Valley wine tasting is $10 pp; appellation tasting is $40 pp in the private room above or $60 pp including a Bouchon box lunch.

On the evening of March 16, Odette holds its first drive-in Secret Cinema on the estate grounds, a great way to unwind, perhaps, after crawling the 20th annual Taste of Yountville taking place that afternoon in nearby Yountville between 12 and 5 p.m.  Access to Secret Cinema begins at 6:30 p.m. for the 7:30 p.m. screening, $60 per car entry includes 2 complimentary pours in the tasting room.  Gott’s Food Truck will also be on site to dish out classic diner and drive-in fare.  Advance reservations required, follow social media to find out what’s showing.  


Catch a spellbinding new photography exhibit at Mumm in Napa Valley


Misty Valleys. Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Davis


Attend the opening night bubbly wine reception for Jeffrey A. Davis’ surreal photography exhibit “Serenity, Wonder, and Spirit” (Mar. 9-Jan. 5, 2014) at Mumm Napa winery in Rutherford on Saturday March 9 between 6 and 8:30 p.m.  The large-scale photographs capture the sheer wonder of the magical colors, forms and spirit in the world around us.  RSVP for the reception to 707-967-7740.  Mumm’s Fine Art Photography Gallery is free to the public and open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.


Snag fabulous finds in Healdsburg


Must stop shopping at Myra Hoefer Design on the Plaza. Photo courtesy Myra Hoefer Design


Emerging outdoors after a long winter, Healdsburg merchants hold their annual Spring Sidewalk Sale on and around the Plaza March 14-17, with most merchants participating March 15-16.   While there, check out Wade Hoefer paintings and Jonathan Scott Robinson’s Giclée prints (above) at Myra Hoefer Design.


Photo courtesy Rehealdsburg


A few blocks up at consignment shop ReHealdsburg, treasure hunt for home furnishings and accessories at their next pop-up sale March 15-16 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and March 17 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Fuel-up at Healdsburg’s many great cafes, my new favorite being Bravas, a tapas restaurant with great indoor and outdoor spaces and small plates to share.  Wines include both local and Spanish selections.


Check out the Poor House Napa’s new digs at Oxbow Public Market for stylish entertaining ideas


Tabletop linens, glassware, pottery and more in the Oxbow Marketplace. Photo Poor House Napa


Home furnishings and design shop Poor House has expanded into the main hall of Oxbow Public Market featuring everything for tabletop and kitchen.  The larger annex adjacent to the marketplace will continue to inspire with indoor and outdoor furniture, paper goods, accessories and gifts. 


Seasonal decor in the Poor House Annex


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