Over Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend, Mr. Cool and I managed to escape San Francisco for a bit to attend a friend's birthday party in Napa. It ended up being a gorgeous weekend, and we appreciated that the area was far less crowded than it is during the summer or fall. We met up with our friend and her fiance at The Meritage Resort and Spa, where they had rented a suite for the weekend. I immediately fell in love with the large rooms and cozy fireplace:
After a long week, I was perfectly content to relax in the room with a bottle of wine and good conversation. We did manage to leave the room for dinner (at the resort's restaurant), but otherwise we all called it an early night.
The next morning, Mr. Cool and I snuck out early to join our other friends who live in the area for brunch at ABC Baking Company. After filling ourselves to the brim with delicious oatmeal, breakfast burritos and coffee, we walked with our friend to check out the apartment she rents in an historic mansion downtown. Her building dates back to 1886, which has our 1912 apartment beat by a long shot!
Up next, it was time for some wine-tasting! The birthday girl and company decided to head north to Calistoga for the day, so we joined them at Sterling Winery for an afternoon of tours and tastings. The grounds were beautiful, and we got lucky with another gorgeous, clear day:
The winery itself sits on top of a volcanic hill, so visitors have to take a gondola to the top. I was happy to oblige, and to take in more stunning views as we made our way up the hill:
After a short ride, the real fun began. We took a self-guided tour of the grounds with a glass of Pinot Grigio in hand:
After the tour, we relaxed in the tasting room for a bit before making our way back down the hill. The sun was shining bright on our descent, and it was the perfect ending to a wonderful and relaxing visit to the Napa Valley:
I need to make an effort to visit Napa more frequently during the winter months. At one point during the afternoon, the temperature rose to 75 degrees, and it was just perfect.
Have you ever visited a favorite spot during the off-season?