Nestled in the heart of Napa Valley amongst 50 wineries and lush rolling hills is family-owned and operated Wine Country Inn and Gardens–a stunning boutique hotel tucked away in the beautiful California countryside.
Innkeeper and third-generation owner Jim Smith sees to it that this celebration of Napa Valley cuisine is an all day affair. “We provide a full gourmet breakfast to all of our guests, afternoon wine tastings and an evening shuttle to bring you directly to and from restaurants in the surrounding area,” he tells us. At the hotel’s on-site wine tasting, guests are introduced to a local winery’s finest and can choose to sip with other vacationers or wander off in to the surrounding gardens.
Smith and his highly attentive staff also organize winery excursions. “Whether you’re new to wine or a seasoned veteran, we can point you on where to go,” Smith assures, “People shouldn’t be afraid to approach these wineries, and we take away the intimidation factor.”
Olive oil tasting is also a popular and unique activity in the area, “Growers show you how to look at olive oil’s color, clarity, smell and taste. You really can taste the difference between fresh hand-pressed oil and what you buy at the grocery…it’s like tasting a cheap jug wine versus a Napa Valley Cabernet,” Smith says.
Aside from tastings, this low-key and friendly inn unwinds anxious vacationers with spa treatments, crystal-clear swimming facilities and homemade goodies (check out their stellar granola recipe below). “Everyone needs to make a trip to Napa Valley in their life,” Smith believes, “There is just no other place like it.”
—By Emily Arno