Start your stay at the Poetry Inn. The website doesn’t do justice to the ultimate privacy and knockout luxury of this property. Indeed, Poetry Inn’s bespoke exclusivity is rather like the private jet experience of accommodations in Napa. Consider this: the inn only has five rooms and architect Howard Backen designed the space so that no two rooms would share a wall or floor.
Rooms are warm, bathed in inviting cream tones with luxurious touches such as wood burning fireplaces, absurdly soft Italian linens, original artwork and expansive balconies. Indeed, your balcony is likely to be where you spend most of your time. Facing westward, overlooking the valley, Poetry Inn offers one of the best perches in Napa Valley for private unobstructed views and gorgeous sunsets.
The marble and limestone bathrooms make a statement as well, with chaise lounges, massive soaking tubs and separate indoor and outdoor showers. My favorite, The Robert Frost room, boasts a hammock on the outside shower deck.
Once through the gated entrance and up the precipitously steep hillside, you will be greeted by the innkeeper ( you could easily call this person your personal butler). Each day begins with a three-course breakfast and evenings start with wines from the Poetry Inn cellar. Whatever you desire, the butler/innkeeper is on-hand to deliver. It all has a bit of a Downton Abbey meets Napa feel to it.
Yountville is a mere skip from Poetry Inn and while you’ll be tempted to just snack on cheese and Breggo Pinot Noir on your private balcony, you should get out. If you want to keep it casual and no-fuss make the short hop to Napa’s Oxbow Market . It’s a large indoor marketplace with everything from oysters and cupcakes to pizza and tacos.
In nearby Yountville you’ll have easy access to some of Napa Valley’s finest (reservation required) dining including Bottega, The French Laundry, and Bistro Jeanty. For a more relaxed experience visit Redd Wood, an osteria-styled concept from Richard Reddington and his upscale steakhouse, Redd. I recommend the warm brussels sprout salad with burrata, bacon, frisee and apple followed by a pizza topped with house-made sausage, goat cheese, calabrian chili and basil.
Chocolate lovers must make a point of stopping into Kollar Chocolates. The young and talented Chris Kollar crafts exquisite and equally playful chocolates using local ingredients whenever possible. Cinnamon and fennel pollen truffles are divine, as is the famed Kollar Krack, made with pop rocks and dark chocolate.
Signorello: Skip a big dinner one night and schedule an afternoon of fine dining with Signorello’s wine and food experience. Visitors who indulge are treated to an exquisite four-course meal prepared by winery chef Britny Sundin and paired with the elegant wines of Signorello. During my visit I enjoyed a braised Snake River Farms pork shoulder with sweet potato puree and herb pistou as well as a Grilled Snake River Farms hangar steak with shitake and edamame sauté.
Cakebread: This classic Napa producer has a flair for precise, carefully crafted wines. The winery celebrated 40 years in Napa in 2013 and all of that experience shows in their wines. Visit the tasting room and sample wines that aren’t readily available nationally. The Reserve Tasting is a great option—if only for a taste of the hard-to-find Dancing Bear Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon./>/>
Chappellet: Getting to Chappellet requires a bit of a winding drive, but the views and the scenery make it worth the trouble to visit. The winery invites guests to a seated tasting and (weather-permitting) a walk in the vineyard. You will also get an up-close look at the unique terroir of Pritchard’s Hill (Chappellet was the first winery to plant on this high-elevation hillside) and why it produces such glorious wines.
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