Wine tasting and skiing – two of my favorite activities that you wouldn’t think would naturally be in the same sentence but together makes an incredible vacation you’ll never forget. Amelia from our Marketing Team tells us more about this epic trip…
We started our trip in Napa Valley that really helped us slide into the “Cali” way of life – blue skies, fire pits, incredible food, never-ending vineyards and of course copious amounts of gorgeous wines. Napa is the fourth largest wine selling region and it did not disappoint.
I would highly recommend staying at both Carneros Resort & Spa and Meadowood when in Napa Valley. Both offer absolute luxury living, Carneros is surrounded by 28 acres of vineyards and farmland and has an inside/outside living style with outside baths and showers for the brave, fire pits and barnyard styled buildings. It had such a village feel atmosphere with its 86 beautifully refurbished cottages. They offer amazing experiences including wine and cookery classes and hot air ballooning to name a few. That is if you can draw yourself away from the home-from-home cottage. Whilst Meadowood, a country club set on a private 250-acres estate, oozes luxury and class but still in a relaxed way with its porch swings and forested valley it is set within. All the accommodation options offer a private deck and terrace with incredible woodland views so you really feel far away from it all.
Whilst in Napa, I was lucky enough to experience two very different but unforgettable wine experiences. Firstly, there was a wine pairing class at the “Secret Farmhouse” exclusively for Meadowood guests where you are welcomed into the home of chef Emily whose farmhouse has been in her family for generations. We were treated to a wine tasting experience with Handwritten wines down in the cellar where we tickled our taste buds with buttery Chardonnays and fruity Pinot Noirs. Emily also brought down some delicious light bites, all locally produced and the majority from her farm including the honey, fruit and not to mention the goats’ cheese from the resident goat ‘Marshmallow.’ Absolutely delicious! We then headed upstairs to the dining room decked in antiques and were spoiled to an incredible five course farm-to-table culinary experience all complimented with the wines we had tasted before. The passion from Emily was truly amazing and her hospitality even more so; I would highly recommend this to anyone who would like a more exclusive and intimate afternoon.
Founded in 1973, Joseph Phelps offer a signature wine blending experience which is what we did, the experience revolves around amazing wine and well thought out food pairings. An incredible morning where even the most experienced of wine drinkers would learn more than a fact or two. We spent the morning playing winemaker and learned the art of blending our own flagship wine to attempt to replicate their signature bottle “Insignia”, the finest wine made from each vintage, and it wasn’t as easy as it sounded. It was all about balancing the right acidity, fruitiness as well as the tannins. The whole experience was a real treat and afterwards you can enjoy the incredible views over the vineyards where you can sip a glass (or two) on the incredible terrace.
After stuffing ourselves with delicious food and wine we then headed to Lake Tahoe, an easy car journey with great views on our way. Skiing in Lake Tahoe cannot be compared to European ski resorts, from the amazingly groomed runs to the smooth-running of their chair lifts, the incredible views of the lake and Nevada desert (dependent on which side you’re on) and the tree lined runs – there really is nothing to fault. Beginner skiers don’t have to miss out; there are perfect smooth nursery runs to find your ski legs on. There is such a huge choice of resorts around the Lake that you would never get bored – perfect for the more advanced of skiers. After a long day of skiing, there is nothing better than heading back to your hotel and enjoying the outdoor pools, hot tubs, or for the brave, taking a dip in the lake followed by warming up by the fire pit tucking into some S’mores.
Lake Tahoe shouldn’t be mistaken as just a winter destination though, in the summer you can spend a week or two out on the lake and enjoy chartering a boat, water skiing, relaxing on the beaches or hiking to see the worldly views Lake Tahoe enjoys. The Lake is such a magical and fun place with so much to offer everyone.
To end this trip, I would recommend spending a few nights in the all-time favorite San Francisco and enjoy all the wonders of The Golden City.