Wine and Wellness Pair Brilliantly on This Weekend Napa Itinerary

These three days will include relaxing mud baths and organic, farm-to-food-truck experiences.

Outdoor terrace at Newton Vineyard

Newton Vineyard is an essential stop in Calistoga.

Photo by Teresa Barajas

Napa Valley is well known in the wine world, but it also offers an impressive array of options for exercise and wellness. A number of outdoor activities, from hikes that reveal panoramic views of rolling vineyards to bathhouses with geothermal pools and mud baths, are just a few ways to rejuvenate. Throw in a mix of winetastings and fresh foods procured from local purveyors, and you’re well on your way to a full sensory experience. Here’s how to enjoy both wine and wellness in Napa Valley over a three-day itinerary.

Day 1

Head to lunch at Truss Restaurant & Bar in the recently opened Four Seasons Napa Valley. Pair a farm-to-table lunch in the open concept space with dishes that include a yellowfin tuna bowl with California avocado and enjoy the sweeping vineyard views. Other menu items sourced locally include a wild mushroom bucatini with fall squash and sauteed maitake mushrooms. Pair your meal with one of 250 curated bottles selected by sommelier Morgan Grey, like a zippy chardonnay from nearby producer Chateau Montelena.

Outdoor couches at Truss

Start your long weekend in Napa right with lunch at the Four Seasons’s Truss restaurant.

Photo by Bonjwing Lee

After lunch, venture to the newly reopened Newton Vineyard tasting room in Calistoga (a city that’s worth a weekend getaway itself). Its unfiltered, certified organic wines are sourced from steep, well-drained soils; try varietals like single-vineyard cabernets and two single- vineyard chardonnays.

Next up, check into a Studio at Solage, Auberge Resorts Collection. The 100-room property offers a number of wellness programs in its 200,000-square-foot-spa, like a bathhouse with geothermal pools and mud bath treatments.

For dinner, the hotel’s Solbar highlights the best of the Valley’s produce, including a starter of compressed watermelon, garden cucumbers, hijiki (sea lettuce), and chile-lime-ginger vinaigrette, plus an entrée of grilled wild king salmon with roasted baby squash, tomato chutney, charred baba ghanoush, and yellow curry sauce.

Day 2

Start your day off on a walk with views at the historic Oat Hill Mine Trail. Located less than a mile from Solage, the pathway commands views of the valley and once guided quicksilver miners in 1893. At Napa River Ecological Reserve in Yountville, a short drive south, you can stroll along a river-hugging 0.5-mile loop shrouded by tall oak trees and wildflowers during the spring season.

After a little endorphin boost, wind down at Hotel Yountville’s poolside spa, which features hydrotherapy tubs and a soothing scalp and stone massage that enlists warm stones and botanical oils to release tension. The 80-room hotel is steps away from a number of Yountville’s best restaurants, including French inspired Bistro Jeanty.

Seasonal ingredients lead the rotating menu at Clif Family Bruschetteria, including fresh kale and Napa cabbage salads with pickled carrots and tamari glazed mixed nuts and sesame. There’s also an on-site tasting room where you can enjoy the food and wine pairings, including a plant-based and organic tasting menu.

For another afternoon sipping wine, Tres Sabores is an organic, family- and woman-owned winery that offers an intimate tasting experience, including lunch with winemaker and owner Julie Johnson. Visitors start with a tour of the winery’s gardens and olive grove, followed by a wine-paired lunch featuring seasonal ingredients from the on-property garden.

For dinner, take a seat on the spacious, peaceful patio at Acacia House and enjoy “Top Chef Masters” winner Chris Cosentino’s seasonally driven menu that includes dishes like heirloom tomatoes and stone fruit in a lemon verbena and raspberry vinegar, and a California striped bass served with a nutty fregola pasta, clams, and chorizo.

Seating at MoonAcre Spa

MoonAcre Spa is a modern update of Calistoga’s bathhouses from the 1880s.

Photo by Cynthia Glassell

Day 3

Relaxation takes center stage today, with a visit to Calistoga’s Moonacre Spa & Baths. The modern bathhouse offers a number of massages and a signature treatment called the MoonAcre Mud Bake, Bath & Massage, which includes a salt soak in a claw-foot bathtub, an outdoor mud bar, and a relaxing sit in the spa’s gardens as the mud dries. After an outdoor rinse, the treatment ends with a massage and steam.

After unwinding at the spa, grab a bite at the newly opened Crisp Kitchen & Juice, where each dish is seasonal and made in-house, including a gluten-free noodle ramen with bok choy, braised greens, kabocha squash, tofu, shiitake and enoki mushrooms, and nondairy macaroni and cheese with butternut squash, coconut milk, and nutritional yeast.

Finish your Napa Valley trip in Rutherford with a wine experience at the Napa Green Certified St. Supery. Each wine is paired with a small bite that also includes farm-to-table produce from its culinary garden and Dollarhide Estate Ranch. Past food and wine pairings have included “Vino and Veggie” and “Great Sustainable Seafood.”

Kristin Braswell is a travel journalist and founder of Crush Global Travel. She has penned pieces for Vogue, CNN, USA Today, Essence, NPR, Architectural Digest, Ebony, and the Los Angeles Times, among others. Her perfect day includes soca music, rum, and the ocean.
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