A Guide to Napa Valley’s Most Exclusive Destinations

  • Guides
  • by DEVIN PARR
  • on OCTOBER 3, 2022
  • 32750
  • 0
  • Share
Share with your friends







Submit

From St. Helena to Calistoga, Napa to Yountville, it’s hard to not feel like you’re part of an exclusive club visiting anywhere in Napa Valley. It seems everywhere you turn in this world-renowned wine region, there’s a delicious cabernet sauvignon or sparkling wine to sip, an incredible meal to eat, a welcoming hotel with five-star service to check into, and a memorable tasting experience to enjoy.

While it’s all pretty dreamy, there are some Napa Valley properties that are a cut above. We’ve compiled a round-up of some of Napa Valley’s most exclusive destinations for you to browse for inspiration… or aspiration. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

1
Lodging / St Helena

Meadowood Napa Valley

This legendary 250-acre Napa Valley property in St. Helena promises beauty, history, and world-class hospitality at every turn. In fact, so robust are the wine, culinary, leisure, and wellness offerings at Meadowood, that guests would be hard-pressed to find reason to leave the premises while visiting Wine Country. 36 thoughtfully appointed cottages and suites welcome guests with cozy indoor fireplaces, outdoor terraces, soaking tubs, and a sense of relaxing privacy thanks to the hotel’s seamless integration with its natural settings. Meadowood also offers dining options that feature ingredients from the property’s gardens and surrounding communities, a Wine Center offering events and classes by top industry experts, an award-winning, all-suite spa, and countless opportunities to connect with nature and recreation through tennis, swimming, hiking, and fitness.

Insider Tip

For an otherworldly spa experience, book the Tree House Retreat specialty treatment room, featuring a hand-hammered copper tub and fireplace. Partly exposed to the elements, but still concealed for an ultra-private experience, guests may choose from a menu of signature baths – milk, mustard, or sea salt – while taking in the tranquil and luxurious setting.


Image courtesy of Meadowood

Details Visit Website
2
Wineries / St Helena

Lithology

The term “Lithology” refers to the study of the physical characteristics of rocks, a name aptly chosen to reflect the diverse soil types within Napa Valley that contribute to the range of unique personalities and profiles of wines from the region. The team at Lithology is a veritable who’s who of the wine world, Argentinian-Italian businessman, farmer, vintner, and entrepreneur Alejandro Bulgheroni at the helm, to a winemaking and enology lineup that includes icons like Matt Sands, Philppe Melka, Michel Rolland, and Maayan Koschitzky. Unsurprisingly, Lithology’s wines, produced from cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc from some of Napa’s top appellations, regularly earn top scores, including the elusive 100-point accolade from Jeb Dunnuck.

Insider Tip

Only two wine tasting appointments are offered each day at this picturesque St. Helena estate – at 10:00 AM and 1:30 PM – so be sure to book in advance. You will be rewarded with a premium 90-minute experience that kicks off with a Champagne welcome, followed by a comprehensive winery tour and a seated guided tasting in the cozy tasting salon.


Image courtesy of Facebook: Lithology

Details Visit Website
3
Lodging / Calistoga

Solage, Auberge Resorts Collection

With an emphasis on enhancing the stunning natural setting of Calistoga, Solage promises a welcoming haven for guests to relax and rejuvenate in contemporary Wine Country style. This award-winning Napa Valley resort boasts a sparkling 130-foot pool with private cabanas and views of the Mayacamas, otherworldly dining and drinks options like the recently-expanded Solbar and the newly-opened Picobar, and a massive spa with five geothermal pools, a wide selection of luxurious treatments, and a wellness studio so you can recharge your body and mind in one of Napa’s most iconic settings.

Insider Tip

Pizza enthusiasts take note! Guests who have booked accommodations featuring private patios are invited to indulge in a hands-on, custom pizza making experience for the ultimate in DIY fireside dining. Solage’s Chef provides all the ingredients, tools, and guidance for your pizza feast while you sip wines from the Vintner’s Collection and jam to old records on your curated playlist.


Image courtesy of Solage

Details Visit Website
4
Wineries / St Helena

Predecessor Estate

Co-owner William Ballentine’s grandparents came to Napa Valley from Ireland in 1922 and settled at the base of Howell Mountain, setting the stage for what would ultimately become one of California’s top grape-growing regions and Napa Valley AVAs. William, along with his son Cole, have carried on this legacy on Red Lake Vineyard at the northern end of Howell Mountain, crafting world-class wines from cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, merlot, and petit verdot. Predecessor wine tastings focus on either an exclusive lineup of several vintages of Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon, or a full portfolio tasting experience of all the wines.

Insider Tip

For an additional fee, the winery offers a carefully curated charcuterie pairing experience with their wine tasting to enhance the flavor profile of each Predecessor wine, which is absolutely worth the extra spend.


Image courtesy of Predecessor | Emily Steen

Details Visit Website
5
Wineries / St Helena

Fantesca Estate & Winery

Everything about this gorgeous St. Helena property – originally the dowry of Caroline Bale for her marriage to Charles Krug in the mid-1800s – speaks of luxury. Now owned by college sweethearts Susan and Duane Hoff, Fantesca is an immersive, working winery offering guests stunning views of Spring Mountain, a sprawling, 300-foot wine cave, and the chance to get a firsthand look at wine production while touring the property. The winery is also known for their extravagant member events, such as their Kentucky Derby celebration, Mardi Gras, where guests can ride a Fantesca float, and 9-Stars, a weekend consisting of visits to three, Three-Michelin Star Restaurants.

Insider Tip

To ensure each tasting is completely personalized, guests are asked to answer a short questionnaire before booking their private tasting appointment. Fantesca also only accepts six tasting appointments per day, which gives lucky visitors the feeling that they're the only ones on the property.


Image courtesy of Fantesca Estate

Details Visit Website
6
Lodging / Napa

Stanly Ranch

This new Napa Valley destination in the Auberge luxury hotels family combines the laid-back, rustic elegance of Wine Country with premium accommodations and amenities, all on a 712-acre ranch. Take in all that your natural settings have to offer as you open your patio doors to look out over vineyards, rinse off in your private, outdoor shower, enjoy a yoga, meditation, or breathwork practice at the Fieldhouse fitness and wellbeing center, or indulge in some delicious farm-to-table dining at onsite restaurant, Bear, open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Insider Tip

Die hard wine enthusiasts will want to book Cult Collector Experience. Let the Stanly Ranch team create a completely VIP wine tasting itinerary featuring insider access to some of Napa Valley’s most exclusive and hidden gem wineries. This one-of-a-kind experience is not open to the general public and offers unique access to rare, highly allocated wines with epic wait lists.


Image courtesy of Stanly Ranch

Details Visit Website
7
Wineries / Napa

Kenzo Estate

You will feel as though you’ve been transported to Japan at this elegant, 25-seat Michelin-starred restaurant created by Natsuko and Kenzo Tsujimoto in downtown Napa. Using ingredients flown in daily from Japan – including from one of the world’s most famous fish markets, Toyosu – Kenzo’s menu offers Japanese Edomae Sushi and Kaiseki using traditional techniques infused with modern flair, all served in a sleek, almost meditative space. Some of the best seats in the house are up at the counter, so you can observe firsthand the care, experience, and creativity that go into your exquisitely prepared dishes.

Insider Tip

While Kenzo offers a thoughtful selection of unique wines and sakes chosen to pair perfectly with the kaleidoscope of flavors in each dish, the restaurant also features the full lineup of Napa wines from sister property Kenzo Estate Winery to sip alongside your meal. For an extra treat, book the wine-centric Omakase Pairings experience.


Image courtesy of Kenzo

Details Visit Website
8
Wineries / Oakville Rutherford

Nickel & Nickel

Single-vineyard, single-varietal is the name of the game at Nickel & Nickel, the Oakville winery established in 1997 by the partners of the iconic Far Niente. Set in a restored farmstead on 42 acres between the Vaca and Mayacamas mountain ranges in the heart of Napa Valley, Nickel & Nickel produces a lineup of ultra-premium, terroir-driven cabernet sauvignon from some of Napa’s most celebrated growing regions, as well as a small selection of chardonnay, merlot, and syrah. Be sure to say hello to the property’s many resident horses – all rescues.

Insider Tip

Get down and dirty with the nuances of different micro- and meso-climates with the Terroir Tasting, a north-to-south comparative exploration of some of Nickel & Nickel’s most highly-sought winery-only exclusives from Napa’s most exciting sub-appellations.

Image courtesy of Nickel & Nickel

Details Visit Website
9
Wineries / Oakville Rutherford

Cardinale Winery


Cardinale was founded on a razor-sharp vision of producing some of the world’s finest cabernet sauvignon from Napa Valley’s top appellations. This dramatic stone winery is located in Oakville and evokes a feeling of luxury and exclusivity from the moment you turn off of Highway 29 to the tasting room. Wine tastings are by appointment only and take place in a stunning setting with panoramic Napa Valley views, where you will explore the current vintage of Cardinale as well as library selections that illustrate the longevity of this extraordinary wine.

Insider Tip

Keep an eye out for Cardinale’s exclusive events and offerings, such as a VIP New Orleans Jazz Festival experience, including luxury hotel accommodations, private dinners, limited-edition items, and rare wine offerings. But be sure to act quickly, as tickets are often gone in a flash.


Image courtesy of Cardinale Estate

Details Visit Website
10
Wineries / Oakville Rutherford

Promontory Winery

This spectacular Napa property – sister winery to the famous Harlan Estate Winery – is founded on the three pillars of discovery, territory, and vision: Discovery by H. William Harlan of the rugged yet dramatic land along Oakville’s southwestern ridge; the incomparable territory marked by elevation, panoramic exposures, diverse soil types, and cooling morning fogs that lead to premium grape growing; and, the vision to create truly memorable wines that tell the story of the land. Visits to this magical location are by appointment only, and deeply moving to all who are able to secure one.

Insider Tip

Promontory’s wine, “Penultimate,” available only through visits to the winery and to Founder’s List members, is harvested from blocks of vines that are almost ready to include in Promontory’s eponymous flagship blend. The goal is not to produce a lesser wine with this practice; it’s to create a wine that is ready to drink now instead of requiring years to reach its full potential.

Image courtesy of Promontory

Details Visit Website
11
Lodging / Oakville Rutherford

Auberge du Soleil

If you’re not immediately wooed by Auberge du Soleil’s description, “Inspired by the South of France. Infused with California Soul,” you will be the moment you set foot on this breathtaking property. Originally established in 1981 as Napa Valley’s first fine-dining restaurant by French restaurateur Claude Rouas, the property later expanded to offer 50 luxurious guest rooms and suites tucked on a spectacular hillside surrounded by 33 acres of heritage oak and olive trees.

Insider Tip

Even if you are not staying at this famed Napa hotel, dining at the Restaurant at Auberge du Soleil is considered a once-in-a-lifetime culinary experience. The Restaurant offers a range of dining experiences from lunchtime two- or three-course prix fixe menus to indulgent six-course dinner menus to custom wine pairings and more.


Image courtesy of Auberge du Soleil

Details Visit Website
12
Spas /

Spa Talisa at Four Seasons Resort Napa Valley

The Four Seasons Resort and Residences in Calistoga is already a study in luxury experiences; but a visit to Spa Talisa offers the ultimate Wine Country escape for holistic rest and rejuvenation. With eight treatment rooms as well as several relaxation lounges, a Spa Garden with a sunken whirlpool, refreshing misting decks, and peaceful lounges that look out onto vineyards and neighboring mountains, guests can find total Zen at every turn. Work up a sweat at the resort’s state-of-the-art 24-hour fitness center with Technogym equipment and an array of studio and outdoor classes, and then relax with one of the many personalized treatments that feature top-of-the-line natural, plant-based, and organic skincare and body products.

Insider Tip

Keep things on Wine Country brand by booking one of several wine-themed treatments, such as the Vineyard Scrub, which leverages the healing properties of grape seeds – rich in antioxidants and polyphenols – blended with olive oil to neutralize harmful free radicals on the skin.


Image courtesy of Four Seasons Resort Napa Valley

Details Visit Website

You might also like

Guides

The Most Luxurious Hotels in Napa Valley

Laid-back luxury and extravagance is what Napa does best. Choose any of these ultra posh…

Read More
Guides

Top 10 Places to Stay in Downtown…

The town of Napa boasts plenty of unique lodging options, from charming B&Bs to stylish…

Read More
Guides

8 Best Hotels in Yountville

Yountville is home to the highest number of Michelin stars per capita in the United…

Read More
Lodging

Napa Valley Hotels: What’s Open

Napa Valley is ready for you! We’ve got the complete list of Napa hotels currently…

Read More