The Ultimate Insider's Guide To The New Napa Valley

Lauren Brocato And Laura Eckstein Jones | April 20, 2021 | Lifestyle Feature

Upon the horizon awaits a return to life as we once knew it as well as a collective, brimming desire to escape and explore once again. Luckily, Napa Valley is eager to welcome visitors with open arms and has a slew of fresh finds to make your stay worthwhile. Whether you are a Napa aficionado or a novice to the ins and outs of the area, we’ve curated an insider’s guide to all that’s new in Napa Valley.

WHERE TO STAY

The Four Seasons Resort and Residences Napa Valley is a serene oasis and a must-see on any trip to Napa Valley PHOTO COURTESY OF VENUES
The Four Seasons Resort and Residences Napa Valley is a serene oasis and a must-see on any trip to Napa Valley.

The hospitality scene in Napa Valley is hot right now, with a host of enticing options sure to become your new go-tos. For those looking for immersion among acres of vineyards, forests and mountain ranges, the Four Seasons Resort & Residences Napa Valley —slated to open in Calistoga with an on-site tasting room this spring—is a natural pick.

The Four Seasons Resort and Residences Napa Valley PHOTO COURTESY OF VENUES
The Four Seasons Resort and Residences Napa Valley

The 85-room spot offers topnotch amenities such as a spa with eight treatment rooms as well as signature treatments all curated with a nod to the area’s wellness roots.

Days spent at Solage, Auberge Resorts Collection are complemented by beautiful surroundings and soothing ambiance. PHOTO COURTESY OF VENUES
Days spent at Solage, Auberge Resorts Collection are complemented by beautiful surroundings and soothing ambiance.

Right across the street, Solage, Auberge Resorts Collection has recently unveiled a fresh face through a comprehensive $30 million renovation. New to the scene is PicoBar, the resort’s second restaurant, inspired by the traditions of walk-up taco eateries, but with an elevated twist.

Bites from restaurant Solbar at Solage, Auberge Resorts Collection PHOTO COURTESY OF SOLAGE, AUBERGE RESORTS COLLECTION
Bites from restaurant Solbar at Solage, Auberge Resorts Collection

All guest rooms and public areas display a refreshed look, while luxurious, newly built suites and a reimagined outdoor and pool area take the resort to great new heights.

Auberge is also set to welcome a new name to its portfolio later this year—Stanly Ranch, Auberge Resorts Collection. The highly anticipated resort and residential property take up 96 acres of the historic Stanly Ranch, which is located in South Napa—a quick 45-minute drive from San Francisco without traffic. Expect 135 elegant cottage hotel suites complemented by picturesque views of the sprawling surrounding landscape, along with 70 Vineyard Home residences, 40 Cypress Villas, a nature-inspired spa and five-star, farm-to-table dining.

Solage, Auberge Resorts Collection offers complimentary cruiser bikes so guests can enjoy the beauty of the entire property with ease. PHOTO COURTESY OF SOLAGE, AUBERGE RESORTS COLLECTION
Solage, Auberge Resorts Collection offers complimentary cruiser bikes so guests can enjoy the beauty of the entire property with ease.

Last on our list—but certainly not least—is Bann at Oak Knoll Napa, which opened at the end of 2020. A stay at this Thailand-inspired, resort-style bed-and-breakfast, helmed by owner and San Francisco restaurateur Lalita Souksamlane (known for her Osha Thai eateries around the city), is a must. Inside Bann, which translates to “home” in Thai, each room is adorned in curated art and handcrafted items that showcase the luxury of Thai culture, making for a truly immersive experience.

WHERE TO EAT

TRUSS Restaurant and Bar’s highly anticipated menu will feature standouts such as gourmet quail from chef Anderson’s friend and farmer Brent Wolfe of Wolfe Ranch, as well as a collab with Sausalitobased California Caviar Co., in which Anderson harvests, cleans, salts and packages California white sturgeon. TRUSS RENDERING COURTESY OF VENUE
TRUSS Restaurant and Bar’s highly anticipated menu will feature standouts such as gourmet quail from chef Anderson’s friend and farmer Brent Wolfe of Wolfe Ranch, as well as a collab with Sausalitobased California Caviar Co., in which Anderson harvests, cleans, salts and packages California white sturgeon.

First up is TRUSS Restaurant and Bar at the Four Seasons Resort and Residences Napa Valley, a modern, fine-dining eatery serving a farm-fresh a la carte menu featuring dishes rooted in French technique, as well as a highly curated, 250-label wine list. Michelin-starred executive chef Erik Anderson, formerly of COI and The Catbird Seat, among others, helms the spot, which boasts an elevated yet laid-back environment. Slated to open in mid-2021, the restaurant has sweeping vineyard and Palisades Mountain views.

Chef Nick Tamburo of North Block CHEF PORTRAIT BY MARIANA CALDERON/COURTESY OF NORTH BLOCK;
Chef Nick Tamburo of North Block

Another can’t-miss spot is the new restaurant at North Block in Yountville. Originally from Massachusetts and more recently from Manhattan’s Momofuku Ko, chef Nick Tamburo brings with him a thoughtfully curated menu featuring dishes made from fresh, locally grown ingredients for a curious palate: simple plates infused with raw, smoky elements. Also notable is the wine list, which features risingstar winemakers from Napa and Sonoma as well as established favorites and European selects. Dr. Wilkinson’s

Backyard Resort & Mineral Springs’ debut culinary venture House of Better in Calistoga is another hidden gem. Opened in April as part of a largescale renovation, this Southwest-inspired restaurant serves healthy New Mexican plates, including salad bowls, fermented beverages and seasonally rotating pies by Trevor Logan, the talent behind San Francisco’s Green Chile Kitchen.

WHAT TO DO

Sequoia Grove Winery in Rutherford is offering a brandnew Terroir on the Terrace food and wine experience
Sequoia Grove Winery in Rutherford is offering a brandnew Terroir on the Terrace food and wine experience

There truly is no limit to the amount of activities on hand in the area, but the following recommendations are musts. Located in Rutherford, Sequoia Grove Winery has been a star attraction for a while now, but the new Terroir on the Terrace experience, offered on Saturdays and Sundays, takes things up a few notches. Starting with a walk through the demonstration vineyards, in the shade of 115-year-old giant coastal redwoods, no less, guests first learn about the iconic winery before being escorted to the private Cambrium Terrace for a multicourse wine and food pairing by chef Britny Maureze that includes housemade papardelle, adobo-marinated salmon and more among the several stellar pours.

Memento Mori’s tasting salon is located in Napa’s Tannery Bend district PHOTO: COURTESY OF WINE WEST TOURS
Memento Mori’s tasting salon is located in Napa’s Tannery Bend district

Another noteworthy experience is visiting the Memento Mori tasting room, where visitors can taste founding winemaker Sam Kaplan’s world-class cabernet in a hip industrial area close to downtown Napa. With grapes sourced from five of the best vineyards in the area—two Beckstoffer Vineyards in St. Helena, and in Oakville, Weitz Vineyard, Vine Hill Ranch and Oakville Ranch—each bottle shines with unique, elegant characteristics.

2018 Memento Mori Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon PHOTO: BY PETE HALVORSEN
2018 Memento Mori Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Founded by three childhood friends after they overcame a series of health scares, the boutique winery’s name translates to “Remember you will die” (interpreted by the founders to “Remember to live”), an apt message after the horrors of 2020.

Last on our wine to-do list is the privately guided Women in Wine Tour experience with West Wine Tours, where groups of up to six guests journey to three female-led spots on a vintage Volkswagen bus. Finally, what’s a trip to wine country without a bit of shopping?

A selection of artisanal home goods at Jeffries General PHOTO: BY T.J. SALSMAN
A selection of artisanal home goods at Jeffries General

Thankfully, Jeffries General, a new shop helmed by Pat Jeffries and his wife, Chrissy, recently opened in the heart of downtown Napa. A lifelong dream of the couple, the store carries a mix of artfully made sundries, home goods, clothing and accessories, and more, and is sure to become a staple in the community.



Photography by: Top to bottom:
PHOTO COURTESY OF VENUES
PHOTO COURTESY OF VENUES
PHOTO COURTESY OF VENUES
PHOTO COURTESY OF SOLAGE, AUBERGE RESORTS COLLECTION
PHOTO COURTESY OF SOLAGE, AUBERGE RESORTS COLLECTION
TRUSS RENDERING COURTESY OF VENUE
CHEF PORTRAIT BY MARIANA CALDERON/COURTESY OF NORTH BLOCK;
PHOTO: COURTESY OF WINE WEST TOURS
PHOTO: BY PETE HALVORSEN
PHOTO: BY T.J. SALSMAN