If you like wine, you’re my kind of person. If you like wine and you’ve seen the 2008 flick Bottle Shock, we’re well on our way to becoming best friends. Though the film certainly took artistic license in its explanation of the famed Paris Wine Tasting of 1976, the feat remains the same in history regardless. A vintage made in California became a winning symbol to the world of the premier scene that would emerge from the States’ golden coast shortly thereafter: wine. Since the seventies, the Napa region has undergone a remarkable transformation. From scrappy hippie to simply luxurious, the entire area is California’s boast to a romantic weekend done right. Sitting smack dab in the middle of two of the most recognizable names in the game, Carneros might just be the easiest little wine country getaway on the map.
Driving north, just an hour outside San Francisco, you’ll stumble upon its crown jewel. The Carneros Resort and Spa. At this point in the American travel imagination, you likely have no problem conjuring up images of some rustic wine garden, floral arrangements resting atop barrels, maybe a stable somewhere. But between the Hudson Vineyards and Clos du Val lies a stunning escape even from the already quiet pace set on the back roads out of the Golden Gate City.
Certainly, the hints of galvanized metal, outdoor showers and promise of on-site general store might give you the hint of a country vacation. But even a name like “FARM” can’t really disguise the dramatic lighting, cathedral ceilings, or elegant dining room fireplaces that greet you at just one of the three on-site dining options. One which sells picnic supplies, wine (of course), and don’t forget the boutique: COOP, where you can purchase luxury resort wear and accessories for your stay. Two pools with hot tubs for your apres vin adventures, one of which is adult-only. No offense kids, but sometimes being able to enjoy a drink or two away from all the ruckus is a necessity, not a luxury.
Complimentary fitness classes on weekends and private training appointments available make it simple to keep trim even when indulging, and if outdoor activity is more your cup of tea, look no further than the Town Square, complete with bocce courts, or Carneros’ complimentary bicycles. Assuming by now that the resort sounds like everything you’ve ever wanted all wrapped up into one relaxing package with a hint of wine on the side, pause for a moment and consider the difficulty one might have just getting out of bed in the morning after a long day of tasting and exploring. Not to be outdone, the rooms at Carneros are just as spectacular as their list of amenities. In both the Harvest Suites and Cottages, fireside butlers are available for guests to fill your outdoor tubs and light firepits, and the elegantly appointed cottages feature 400 square feet of quintessential wine-country experience. Replete with sun-washed modern decor, each cottage offers large windows, French doors, and outdoor patios that can only be described as expansive. The resort’s two bedroom residences feature 1,200 square-feet of indoor living space and include living and dining areas, as well as an al fresco living room, complete with gas barbeque and in-ground spa.
If you do make it out of your cottage, suite, or house, don’t miss the spa. While the simple elegance of the resort may be enough to restore energy to your head, heart, and spirit, the spas’ body therapy treatments, facials, nail therapy and massage might also be just the thing to bring harmony and true wellness back to you. Rest and relaxation are never too far off: especially in wine country. Especially at Carneros, where time itself seems to stand still.
The Carneros Resort is located at 4048 Sonoma Highway in Napa. For information or reservations, call (888) 400-9000 or visit www.carnerosresort.com
Eleven Eleven Wines
“Just like looking at the clock at precisely 11:11 and feeling something special, Eleven Eleven Wines is the expression and celebration of the idea that what is meant to be will be.” - Aurelien Roulin
If you are looking for an intimate, off the grid, small production first-class winery experience with a great back story and Instagram-worthy architectural style, you need venture no further than Eleven Eleven Wines. Nestled at the edge of Napa, the name of this modern, unconventional tasting room represents the “meant-to-be” moments in life that are worth celebrating. For our part, our group of eight all thoroughly enjoyed the selection of incredible French-style wines, the warm, welcoming ambiance and knowledgable, friendly staff.
Co-owners Ellie Anest and Aurelien Roulin met in circumstances that in hindsight seem fated: onboard an international flight. Their in-flight conversation sparked an immediate connection, highlighting a shared entrepreneurial spirit and aspirations. Over time and many more conversations about work, life, and dreams, a lifelong friendship grew. Not sure what or when, they were certain that they would create something special together.
When they first met, Aurelien and Ellie had no idea that they’d be in the wine business together. They decided to begin their working partnership with a real estate investment - and out of pure coincidence, the land they purchased happened to have a world-class vineyard on it. As if Eleven Eleven was always meant to be, Aurelien connected with his friend Kirk Venge, a coveted Napa winemaker who took the pair on as his eleventh consultancy.
Eleven Eleven is located at 620 Trances St. in Napa.
For information, visit elevenelevenwines.com