Whether you’re planning a long-awaited trip with your closest girls or you’re searching for an itinerary for you and the entire bridal shower, Napa Valley has just what you are looking for to plan a great outing! Between the views, the wine, and the hospitality you can have the weekend of your life within 20 minutes of your hotel.
There are a few tricks of the trade to planning the perfect Bachelorette getaway in the Napa Valley. Firstly, you may not want to tell the wineries that you are a bachelorette party. If we can be honest, and as someone whose day job is at a winery, a group of young women looking for one last hoorah as single ladies has a bit of a negative connotation to it.
Many wineries schedule bachelorette parties exclusively in the morning, and some don’t allow them at all. Your second bit of advice is to not be what wineries fear in a bachelorette party! Wineries for the most part put a tremendous amount of craft and love into the wine, and it’s disheartening to have a group of women on their fifth winery of the day talking over one another and their host.
If you are here for a long weekend, and you hit five wineries the first day, you won’t want to look at wine the rest of your time here. You’re in wine country!! You can live here for a decade and not hit every great winery. Aim for two or three per day and spend time enjoying your friends and the beautiful vistas the Valley offers.
In this article, I want to give you a basic structure for a weekend in Napa for your bachelorette party. We’ll go as North as St. Helena to stay close to Downtown Napa, while still showing you what other great little towns the Valley has, including Yountville and St. Helena, and if you would like, you’re within a 10-minute drive of Calistoga as well, providing for a perfect stop for brunch, lunch, linner, dinner, or whatever!
JCB Tasting Salon in Yountville
Your first stop you’re going to want to start with bubbles! Take a 15-minute drive from Downtown Napa to the JCB Salon in Yountville. You’ll want to start with a flute of the N°21 Crémant de Bourgogne, which is the perfect beginning to your day. Enjoy this easy and approachable sparkling wine that has notes of almonds and white flowers on the nose and a voluptuous, full mouthfeel. There are a few options for the flight, but to start your day, a bottle or glass of their bubbles is enough to get you ready for your next stop.
What makes the JCB Lounge your perfect start, is that there are enough things in the space to pull you in a million directions. Look at the jewelry, chandeliers, and books as you enjoy your first glass, or you can rest with a smaller group on the cheetah print couch or at one of the raised tables. This is the space to shake off the morning and get into the groove with your girlfriends.
Piazza Del Dotto- St. Helena
Not even six minutes up the road is the space that will give you the perfect Instagram and the perfect pairing! As with each of their three properties, Piazza Del Dotto is known for cave tours and food pairings to go with their traditional Napa Valley wines. The Piazza itself welcomes you with an Italian inspired aesthetic and grandeur that is complemented by the opera music that greets you. Del Dotto makes opulence synonymous with joy and begs you to partake in that joy without pause or guilt. I would recommend a cave tour that will showcase Del Dotto’s finest 100% Cabernet Sauvignon that differs only in the barreling. An Oakville Cab with a barrel from the Troncais Forest in France, this wine will elicit a softer vanilla note compared to its compadre barreled in Oak from Centre. The cave tour highlights this and is punctuated by a wine pairing of cheese, charcuterie or even a fresh-made pizza.
A regular tasting flight, however, also charms and delights as it goes through Piazza Del Dotto’s varied options. Unique to Del Dotto is their Cave Blend wine which is 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot and the remaining Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, Zinfandel and Sangiovese. This wine has high tannins that provide for a sharp mouthfeel that subsides for a long fruity finish. If you have a special Cabernet Sauvignon you’re saving for the perfect dinner, this is the wine you would drink while you’re cooking.
Chimney Rock Winery – Napa Valley
After the tours and tastings at Piazze Del Dotto you may want to sit and enjoy the beautiful patio and rich history of Chimney Rock Winery. This spot nestled in the Stag’s Leap District of the Napa Valley was originally an 18-hole golf course that became a nine-hole golf course due to their founder Sheldon ‘Hack’ Wilson, who had the ambition to turn this gorgeous piece of land into a premier winery. Since 1984, this South African Cape Dutch-style architecture has embedded itself among the most distinguished Cabernet Sauvignons Napa has to offer.
During you and your ladies’ day out, you might most enjoy their Rosé made from Cabernet Franc and sourced from a dedicated part of their estate. This wine is delicate and fresh with bright summer cherry with subtle spices indicative of a beautiful Cab Franc. Their Elevage red blend, however, is what you are likely going to take home. This romantic, Bordeaux blend gives a full mouthfeel while still being very approachable. It’s luxurious while still being comfortable and begs for a comfy robe in front of a fireplace.
Luna is where you will end or start your day. As the name suggests, Luna has a cosmic, relaxing quality to not only the grounds and the tasting rooms, but also the beautiful wines they pour. Their staff is equal parts charming and knowledgeable, with a laid-back demeanor. Their Italian heritage is evident not only in their Tuscan traditions, but also their choice of wine.
Their Pinot Grigio is mellow with a big mouthfeel, and the creamy finish has notes of gardenia, lemon tart, and jasmine. You can drink it all day and feel as light and sweet as the wine itself. Their showstopper for me, was their Reserve Sangiovese. Made from a mix of French and Hungarian oak, the wine is barrelled for 20 months with warm temperature malolactic fermentation. This Sangiovese is incredibly complex, the 2015 vintages allows for a beautiful wine right away and yet it still has the tannin structure that will allow for great aging potential. On your nose you’ll get dark berries and cedar, eliciting the characteristics of the Valley floor, and the medium body provides a base for the tart floral notes of blackberries, nutmeg and cherry-vanilla cola.
For a bachelorette party, girls’ weekend, or just a getaway with your friends, Napa has the dreamiest views, food and wine all within a half hour from Downtown Napa, or at any of the hotels and B&B along the Valley. Explore everything this beautiful part of the country has to offer while kicking back, sitting with your friends and living the laid-back, Wine Country lifestyle!