After spending a very productive week at Glam headquarters in San Francisco, a few of us “Glam Girls” took a ride up to Napa for a weekend of fine wine and even finer scenery. After a lovely drive along the Embarcadero and across the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, plus another hour of rolling peaks and valleys, we were finally amidst the fruit of the vine.
The Westin Verasa Napa served as our home base for the weekend. Located in close proximity to Sonoma, St. Helena, and Yountville, the hotel features heavenly beds, well appointed marble bathrooms, and a daily happy hour featuring complimentary wine and tapas from local vineyards.
We started our first evening in Napa by sampling a variety of cabs at Wines by Mark Herold, which was located just a block away. After a few sips, we headed back to the Westin for dinner at La Toque, chef Ken Frank’s, Michelin starred restaurant. The decadent seven-course tasting menu was accompanied by expert pairings and explanations from a fabulous female sommelier. Her descriptions were the kind even non-connoisseurs like ourselves can appreciate. Though we intended to go out after dinner, the plethora of flavors and abundance of red, white, and bubbly, did us in.
On Saturday morning we started the day with scrambled egg tacos and iced coffee from the Oxbow Public Market. Breakfast is crucial when heading out for a day of countless tastings. To safely get from one winery to another, we enlisted the services of a designated driver, a brilliant program that provides a chauffer to drive your car throughout the Valley for $50 an hour.
Swanson Vineyard’s Sip Shoppe was the first stop on our agenda. Charming and whimsical, the store, tasting room, and elegant garden feel like a New Orleans inspired candy store for the over 21-set. We were greeted by Mr. Swansom himself, who explained the signature varietals. And while we were pleased with the tasting, we were equally smitten with the brand’s quirky labels that make the perfect gifts—“Mazal Tov,” “Just Married,” and “Expensive!”
Then it was on to Yountville for lunch at Etoile at Chandon Winery where we dined al fresco, oblivious the scorching June heat. A Brut Classic, Blanc de Noirs, and Chandon Rose accompanied our tabouleh salad and roasted chicken. The delicious meal refueled us before we headed on to Scribe Vineyard.
Perched on a Sonoma hilltop, Scribe is a treasure. With a swing hanging from a California redwood and blankets strewn across the grass, the vineyard harkens back to a bygone era. Our colleague Alexa Malott and her husband Matt, who joined our Napa jaunt, are members so our crew got the VIP treatment. We relaxed in the shade as we tasted seasonally appropriate Pinot Noir and a delightful Chardonnay, which were poured by an exceptionally friendly staff who instantly felt like old friends. The fresh cherries and Parmesan made for the perfect snack.
We then headed back to the hotel for a quick siesta before headed out to watch the sunset over Napa Valley. We took in the glorious dusk sky from an outdoor table at Morimoto, where we took a quick vino break to enjoy fresh sushi and cocktails. And no day in Napa can be complete without a nightcap so we finished the evening with a champagne flight at 1313 Main St.
For our final hours in wine country, we headed down the Silverado Trail to Hagafen Cellars, a stunning vineyard and tasting room complete with some of the best Riesling in town. After stocking up on some of our favorite Kosher vintages, we cruised on to Buffalo’s Shipping Post to get our Pinots and Chardonnays back to NY. So what if it cost an extra $100 to get those 12 bottles home? We’ll be savoring our sips of Napa throughout the summer.