Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Napa Bottle Blogs

So here I am at the Napa River Inn, overlooking -- yup, you guessed it-- the river that runs through downtown Napa. I'll be heading back to Tiburon soon to start cooking and preparing for the holiday feast, but wanted to explain the Napa Bottle Blog and how it works; how you access the information.

The Napa River Inn, btw, is extraordinary-- it's a historical hotel in a downtown redevelopment area called Riverfront-- there's condos, shops and the hotel-- called a luxury boutique hotel-- that stretches through several brick buildings, wrapping around the river bank. At night, there's little lights blinking from my terrace to add romance and charm to the halready sophisticated scene. I thin one of the best things was being asked to sign a no-smoking contract when I checked in. I've heard of no-smoking rooms, but this hotel is serious about protecting its image and integrity.

The hotel is built into an old mill complex from the 1880's and includes several buildings-- as well as a theatre, a bakery, a Victorian candy shoppe (!), several venues for meals and the Napa General Store, which is a terrific store and reason enough to come to this part of town. The store serves meals and features merchandise by local artists and craftspeople in a large, barn like setting with heaps of charm.

My room is at the end of one of the buidlings, a really large studio with fireplace, king bed, terrace, big flat screen TV, desk and lotsa amenities. For turn down service, I was given a bucket of ice and some chocolate wine bottles to munch on.

Because I am doing research for Born to Shop California Wine Country, I am spending several days a week in Napa and the surrounding valleys, meeting with winemakers, chefs, artists and locals (wait til you hear about my Wine Whisperer) well as checking in and checking out the various hotels that seem like a good fit for readers.

I began this in October and reported many blogs' worth on where you can follow my visits to about ten different vineyards.

The reporting now switches over to this site, so to continue the search for information on all fronts, the next month or two will provide plenty of story.

But first, a toast. We're drinking a Tavel rose with our Butterball-- not quite a California wine. But I wish you all the best holiday season possible and send love from the bottom of my grapes.


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