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How AFAR Editors Do Wine Country

By Andrew Richdale


From the May/June 2016 issue

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Photo courtesy of Gundlach Bundschu

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Given our proximity to wine country (our office in San Francisco is about an hour and some change from Napa), many AFAR staffers are on a first-name basis with winery folks. But it's not all about that Cab. We also like to build a little play time into our wine time. For example:

Where We Chill Out
“The Meritage Resort in Napa has a spa that’s been carved out of a hillside vineyard, which is just as romantic and mysterious as it sounds. The moody cave-like space has a vaguely Mediterranean feel, with trickling waterfalls and dangling chandeliers. Many treatments incorporate some kind of wine-themed ingredient, like a Cabernet scrub or grapeseed oil. In each locker room, there’s a bubbling jacuzzi, a steam room, and a sauna, as well as a bucket of iced towels for when you get a little too hot.” Danielle Walsh, associate editor

Where We Camp Out
“I love doing a high-low wine country weekend: camping at Bothe-Napa Valley State Park, hopping to downtown Calistoga for dinner for a soak and a massage one day, and going wine-tasting the next. Just make sure you get a site far from the busy St. Helena highway. And ask your favorite winery for a s’mores-friendly bottle to bring back to your campsite.”Aislyn Greene, associate editor

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Where We Rock Out
“Maybe it’s just my 30s talking, but there is no impossibly cool, hole-in-the-wall club I’d pick for a live show over the groves of Gundlach Bundschu. Artists such as beachy Real Estate and indie soul queen Cat Power make regular stops at the Sonoma winery to play for crowds of around 100 in the barn or on the amphitheater lawn. Equally rocking and lovely: the sharp, gingery gewürztraminer you can glug during the show.” —Andrew Richdale, senior editor

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