Thursday, November 1, 2012

NAPA VALLEY LOVE AFFAIR

Marla and I started visiting the Napa Valley while students at the University of the Pacific. I have fond memories of picnics on the lawn of Beringer Vineyard’s historic Rhine House in St. Helena. A love affair blossomed!

My first job at Wesco Fabrics was in the woven wood shade department. One of my top woven wood suppliers was Shades Inc., owned by Lee Paschich in Calistoga. Lee’s great love, other than weaving beautiful woven wood material from bamboo slats and chenille yarns, was wine. He purchased beautiful Chateau Montelena in 1968. Lee and his wife, Helen, lived upstairs in the Chateau for a number of years. The winery was featured in the movie “Bottle Shock.”

A must visit for anyone visiting Napa Valley is the incredible Castello di Amarosa near Calistoga! Built for close to $30,000,000 by Daryl Suttui, it is an amazing replica of an Italian Medieval stone castle. Last year Marla and I, along with our daughter and son-in-law, hosted an incentive trip with top Wesco Fabrics’ customers to Napa Valley. Lisa is on our board of directors and husband Ray sells for us in Summit County and in the Vail area.

We visited again last month with our daughter Stacy and husband, Stan. The Castello’s main Hall is so authentic you would swear you are in Italy!

Wonderful wines from Catello di Amarosa!

Yountville’s Napa Valley Lodge is the perfect base for a Napa Valley holiday! Yountville is nirvana for any wood and wine lover. It is ranked 4th in the world for Michelin restaurant stars per capita; a total of 6 stars. Not bad for a town of 3000.

Bardessono is a chic new boutique hotel in town. I love this table in their dining room!

If you want to study the past of an area visit their historic cemetery. This is the monument for George C. Yount who came to the Valley in 1831. Yountville is named after him. He reportedly planted the first vineyard in Napa Valley.

Yountville, once a sleepy little town, has become quite the sophisticated destination. North Block is a new boutique hostelry with very interesting interiors by St. Helena designer, Erin Martin.

French Blue in St. Helena is a hot new restaurant on St. Helena’s main street. Their Blue Cheese burger was one of the best I have ever tasted!

Redd Wood is a brand new Italian restaurant by the owner of Yountville’s Michelin starred Redd. Great pizza!

Michael Chiarello’s Bottega is one of our favorites. I think you can tell that we are definitely having a…Napa Valley Love Affair!

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