Destination I Do
Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Most Romantic Places in Napa Valley

Words by Jennifer Stein
Words by Autumn Millhouse

As a hopeless romantic, wine enthusiast, international trekker and bona-fide singleton, becoming a weekly contributor for a wedding-related web site is, with a bit of luck, a self-fulfilling prophecy. I’m honored to share my travels, food affections and creative wine preferences with you from this day forward. My intent is to bring you the hottest, hippest and most creative wine, food and romantic travel ideas for prospective brides, grooms and anyone involved in the romantic celebration of love.

As an award winning travel writer based in Napa my first contribution to starts with a sneak peak inside the one of the most romantic destinations in the world.

You guessed it – Napa Valley!

When couples travel here they oftentimes ask the locals where they should go to eat, taste wine and what hotels they would suggest their visiting best friends to stay at. Well, you have an insider right here sharing with you the most romantic places in Napa Valley to eat, sip and sleep.

Most Romantic Wineries:
Obrien Estate offers romantic tours for couples looking to get engaged, celebrate a anniversary or just celebrate a special moment. Castello Di Amorosa the castle of love, is a replicated Italian medieval castle filled with luscious wines to taste. Tour the torture room, wine cellars or explore the numerous towers and peek out at the beautiful views. Silverado Vineyards serves my favorite Sauvingon Blanc and some of the best views of the valley’s floor. Miner also possess some great wine and views too.

Most Romantic Hotels:
Auberge du Soleil is often referred to as the gem of Napa Valley and is undeniably the most romantic resort. With celebrity guests, four star service and breathtaking views its nickname is richly deserved. Avia is a new boutique hotel in downtown Napa full of sweet hip overtones. Conveniently located next to amazing wine tasting rooms, restaurants and shops you may never need to head up valley.

Most Romantic Restaurants:
Michael Chiarello’s new restaurant, Bottega is knocking locals and tourists socks off with his modern Italian cuisine, and relaxing, yet sleek atmosphere. If celebrity sightings aren’t your thing, step across the street for a completely different approach at Hurley’s Restaurant . Bob Hurley is often behind the lines preparing delicious California Cuisine with a non-nonsense unpretentious approach that his customers appreciate. Both restaurants offer al fresco dining, perfect for a starry evening.

Best time of the year to visit is during Harvest (Sept-Nov) when the wineries are at full production, harvest parties abound and the crisp air and golden amber leaves blanket the once green vineyards supplying sun-kissed views. Harvest is a time of the year when you smell the crushed grapes, glimpse the changing of the seasons and get a sense of the community. A community committed to a simplistic, yet richly joyful approach to life that which Napa Valley is well-known for. Understanding harvest is to understand the heart and soul of Napa Valley.

Fly into San Francisco, Oakland or Sacramento and drive into Napa Valley usually within an hour or two after landing.

Lastly, when more details are required pick up the quintessential travel guide for couples; Romantic Napa Valley: An Insider’s Guide for Couples.

Keep on Romancing,

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