I don't know if you know this, but Downtown Napa is a pretty up and coming place.
Downtown Napa is already home to the Napa Valley Wine Train, The Oxbow Public Market, Taylor's Automatic Refresher, The Cordair Gallery, ZuZu Restaurant, The Bounty Hunter, and Back Room Wines.
Soon though, downtown will boast a restaurant led by Masaharu Morimoto of Iron Chef fame, as well as one created by Tyler Florence (also of Food Network).
I have been heading out there as often as I can and refer to it as my second home. I don't know what it is about Napa Valley, but I feel like I belong there. I probably would have moved already if I didn't also love Sacramento so much and have some very important ties here such as my house and my friends (who I love very much)!!
Last Thursday, I attended a Sauvignon Blanc tasting and tweetup hosted by the Cordair Gallery. After the party, many of us headed back to where I was staying, the Avia Hotel, just a block or two away from the Cordair Gallery.
So many wines, so little time. The highlights for me were St. Supery and Ceja Vineyards (which is actually sold by the glass in Sacramento at Zócalo!)
I had a chance to meet Dalia Ceja at the tweetup. Check her out here making empañadas.
After the tasting and socializing, about ten of us headed back to the Avia, and had dinner in the restaurant. I was very pleased when I saw a Sobon Zinfandel on the menu for around $7, and also that the chef happily added some grilled chicken to a salad I ordered that did not originally contain chicken.
After dinner, I said goodnight to my friends and headed up to my cozy room. I was so impressed by the hotel and service, I want to share it with you here. I have never felt so spoiled in all my life!! CC was stuck at work, so didn't get to share it with me… and I'm pretty sure that was the only negative thing about my stay.
Inside the Avia Hotel, Napa:
Inside my room:
Sometimes, no, most of the time beds in hotels aren't all that great or my bed at home is better. My only exceptions have been in this hotel and in some of the Westin hotels at which I have stayed. The Avia spared no expense on the bedding or decor, I'm sure.
Tub, right beside bed. I am a bubble bath loving type of girl. Did they design this room for me? :)
Inside of the bathroom. The shower head is a dual one with the option of an overhead waterfall or a nozzle with a hose. Then again, you could just get in the tub with a bottle of sparkling wine like I would do. :)
The Avia has some pretty smokin' internet deals from time to time. Your best bet to catch them is to follow them on twitter here, or go to their website and hook one of their package deals.
One of the specials is a 20% discount for California residents. Staycation, baby!! :)
Oh, and do pickup one of the winetasting cards during your stay. There are 14 tasting rooms within stumbling distance of the Avia! (Keep in mind that each wine-tasting room has its own definition of the taste, from a single glass of wine to a full flight.) You can buy one online here or there is one included in a package deal at the Avia.
Also recommended: Go see my friend Chris at Olabisi & Trahan Wine Tasting Room, just a 1/2 block away. Do taste the 2007 Olabisi Mendocino Chardonnay. There's also the Ceja tasting room a few blocks away and of course the Cordair Gallery.
Fun fun fun and only a little over an hour from Sacramento! It was great meeting many of my Napa twitter contacts in person and I can't wait to do it again.