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First up is where to stay: The Andaz Napa, a new upscale hotel located downtown, is a much-welcomed affordable option for the area (nightly rates start at $209). Aside from perks like free tastings every night, the hotel has a roof deck with porch swings and a fire pit.
Yountville’s Jessup Cellars is known as one of the friendliest tasting rooms in wine country, offering one-on-one tastings with cheese and chocolate pairings. But we’re extra excited for the new bimonthly speaker series with local artists and experts. October’s installment on the 17th revolves around the Art of Fermentation (tickets are $35).
Food-industry types now flock to Lulu?s Kitchen, the new restaurant at wine bar 1313 Main, to dig in to the burger on a Model Bakery English muffin. Oh, and to sip on some of the 1,300-plus wines served there. On a special occasion, spring for a bottle of one of the three premier Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignons.
Practice your swirl, sip and slurp at Lucero Olive Oil’s first tasting room in Napa, opening October 26. Though they own the most awarded olive-oil company in North America, the family only began selling in 2005. Don’t leave without buying a bottle of the fruity Ascolano EVOO ($16).
Regusci Winery has been around for more than a century, but it recently returned to its agricultural roots by planting a lush two-acre garden on the property. After a tasting, take a 30-minute tour of the garden ($30), where the produce beds are organized by type of cuisine. (You’ll find us at the pizza bed, thank you.) Call ahead to schedule.
In just its third year, the Napa Valley Film Festival is already drawing star-studded movies. It opens with August: Osage County on November 13 and closes with Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom on the 17th, with a screening of Saving Mr. Banks, starring Tom Hanks, in between.
Let’s be honest: There’s never really a terrible time to gaze at Napa’s sun-dappled hills and drink from the fruit of its vines. But October and November just might be our favorite time to go. The rush of harvest season is beginning to taper, and the crisper nights are perfect for sipping Cab in front of a roaring fire.
With a recent influx of new places to wine, dine and shop, it’s a better time than ever to spend a weekend there. Check out our itinerary for your next trip.
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