Subject: California Wine Country
A few suggestions...don't stay in Napa. You want to go further north into the valley. I suggest Calistoga. If you stay at a hotel with a mudbath/spa, it's a great way to unwind after a day of wine-tasting. You could taste all day, go to the hotel, take a mudbath, have a massage, then go to the hotel restaurant (since you'll be a relaxed puddle by then and won't want to leave the premises!) One place I would suggest is the Mount View Hotel. They are a great little hotel, have a wonderful spa, and an incredible restaurant called Catahoula. Ask if they have hotel/spa packages. More info at and

My favorite winery is Clos Pegase. The owners are wine collectors, and there are paintings and sculptures all over the winery. Take the tour of the wine caves, for they are beautiful and there are all sorts of artifacts down there. It's a winery and museum in one! (The wine is good too.)

I also like Sterling Vineyards, not for the wine particularly, but because you take an aerial tram up to it. It's relaxing and fun.

If you are an expert, you won't want to miss Opus One. I guess their wines are pretty famous. They charge $25 a taste for their specialty wine, so I haven't had it, but I suppose it must be excellent!

Neibaum Coppola is fun, especially if you like movies. It's owned by director Francis Ford Coppola and he has some movie memorabilia at the winery. I really like their red wines also. The grounds are also beautiful.

I would also second the recommendation to try Auberge du Soleil. Especially if you can go there for lunch or dinner before sunset and sit on the patio. It's beautiful, and the food is delicious.

Another favorite restaurant is Tra Vigne. Also the French Laundry is very famous but make reservations now.

Have a wonderful time. I hope this helped a little. Natalie Los Angeles