Drink, Eat and be Merry! Exclusive tastings.

Your friends come to town and you need an A-Game Expedition to share your love of wine with a day trip to explore unique vineyards in the Napa Valley. Wine has evolved to a lifestyle and a massive commercial business, evolving from use as a holy sacrament used in religious ceremonies. Anyone can visit the cellars lined up along the congested bumper to bumper Hwy. 29 or the Silverado Trail.  We prefer smaller boutique properties, exclusive premium wine producers who generate less than 2000 cases a year and are not open to the general public.  Clients meet privately with winemakers/vintners for tastings of their wines and lunch on property. An enchanting experience meeting the makers and understand their personal Journey, the interconnection between wine and the place where it is made—the vineyard. 

A last-minute request from a client drew us back to our exclusive Napa Valley firm who curates bespoke wine experiences. We provided a comprehensive overview with a possible overnight Valley stopover at a private Villa or hotel – we were gratified to discover suites at Calistoga Ranch for the single night and a chef table on the edge of the vineyard for an under the moonlight dinner!

Fall Crush Napa Valley

Our client had a noteworthy plus, a jet would deliver them directly to Napa, definitely a luxurious amenity! Our team took over on arrival with a deluxe eight passenger Mercedes Sprinter, comfort and style and a designated driver. Vintage cars are also available for smaller groups. We can add a few miles of bicycling as well if you are inclined. Fields of golden yellow mustard blossoms line the paths in spring, autumn is equally stunning, glorious shades of ruby reds and brilliant yellow, the verdant summer leaves transform into a fall pageant, a reminder of the portentous sleepy season.

Back to a day of unique private tastings and lunch under the trees on a hilltop estate with a small vineyard proprietor. Only you and your friends will be the guests here sipping handcrafted wines, away from the crowds. Guests need an appointment and would struggle to find the property, located off of an unmarked road with no vineyard sign. Any tasting here is by appointment only, for serious wine enthusiasts, and takes place at the owner’s home, the vineyard is predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon but there are also some Bordeaux varietals and even a small amount of Sangiovese on site. This family celebrates more than 60 years of farming in the valley, but their roots were planted there more than 100 years ago. Four generations of family manage the successful sought-after vineyard.

Napa Valley Vineyards

If you can tear yourself away from the rambling hillside property and the soaring views, mosey to Vice Versa Winery and enjoy a private tasting with Vintner Samantha Breton. A few years ago, Vice Versa began selling its wines “en primeur” and allowed Paul Hobbs to complete his integral work as the team welcomed consulting winemaker Philippe Melka to the helm of the winemaking team which also includes Maayan Koschitzky and Ashley Leon. Big Cabs dominate the wine menu, the founder’s philosophy and wine style is rigid. After 22 months of aging, only the best barrels make Vice Versa. The best of the best make BBS. The best of the BBS make Magnificent Seven. This draconian approach to classification is rarely taken as it leaves tiny yields, but they find what remains is the purest expression of a vineyard’s identity and in turn, the wine’s spirit. They consider these wines a work of art.

You may have noticed we don’t include many names, the Vintners prefer we not mention their properties to prevent unscheduled tastings. We offer a select list of visits with some of Napa Valley’s most prominent vintners, a curated experience.

Fall leaves Napa Valley

Wine loves good company, you invite your friends, we will curate the wine Journey!

Four Seasons Resort Maui

Popped into the Four Seasons Resort Maui for a few days of needed R&R. Following a wedding party in Maui, I was happy to arrive mid afternoon and despite my room not quite ready, I was thrilled to plop at the Fountain Pool cabana. No fees for poolside cabana, a lovely surprise in these days of hotels billing for every service. My years of growing up on a Southern California beach has resulted in bi-yearly sun spot evaluations and biopsies – I was always too fair to be in the sun, but who knew we shouldn’t have slathered ourselves with coco butter or baby oil to bake all day in the searing sun?

I digress…within a minute, several pool staff hovered, Ms. Books, this is a better plug for your laptop, let me help you.

Ms. Books please see the pool spa menu; do you need a foot massage with your cocktail? I need a detox cocktail after a wedding week; do you have an instantaneous cure? Yes, a smoothie will begin the process.

Oh, I think my book is in my bags with the bellman…no worries; guest services will retrieve your book and deliver to your cabana.

Later, as I schlepped my carry-on through the lobby to my room, a bellman stopped me and inquired, do you need assistance to your room? Obviously, the detox process hadn’t quite resuscitated me yet.

Next morning, after my beach walk, I found my cute little reading glasses sitting on a lens polishing cloth on my nightstand, smudge free. A new day with clear vision of the world.

Short list of attention to detail and amazing service practiced at Four Seasons Resorts.

Pools, Beach, Sun, View and No Crowds.

There are three beautiful salt-water pools, palm trees, lush gardens, sea views, and the closest to the lapping waves private lounge areas nearly on the sand.

Serenity Pool for adults offers A List Cabanas for a fee, however these are virtually poolside suites, a cozy private space with sofas, flat screen televisions, and a refrigerator…slide the louvered doors shut and you could snooze all day and not be noticed! Dive into the Serenity Pool and swim to soothing underwater music, swim up to the in pool bar for a tropical Mai Tai served within a pineapple – certainly the fruit zeros out the rum if you are on a detox program! Did I mention the roving attendant passing Popsicle’s?

Prefer sand in your toes to piscine? Mosey lower on the property to the carved out lounger grotto’s practically on the beach, service of course is instant. In need of a private beach massage, look no further than the Massage palapas stationed at the end of the lounge area.

Loungers Steps from the Sea and Sand

At some point you need to depart to you suite. Enjoy the fabulous art collection, contemporary Hawaiian artwork including murals of vintage Hawaiian quilt patterns. Concierge can supply a walking guide, talk a tour and explore.

Various room and suite locations in the wings to choose from, if you need absolute quiet, we will reserve center garden/sea view suites. My massive suite with two luxurious lanai’s, yes, two, lanai’s was splendid. Obviously one lanai for breakfast surf views and the other to enjoy afternoon sunset views with cocktails, that pesky detox.

Refurbishing the suites is in process on all floors. One positive improvement I have noticed is hotels are placing attractive plug blocks near beds, so you don’t have to shove furniture away from walls to charge a phone or work on your laptop in bed. You think I am on vacation all the time while staying at these five star resorts? My little standard coffee maker was equipped with pouches of Kona coffee – honestly, I abhor those pod coffee machines- one dribbly cup at a time, and until I have enjoyed my coffee, I can barely find the hidden button to power it up, let alone the right combination of buttons for a LARGE cup – and then the large cups don’t fit under the spigot…

Bathrooms – oh, acres of marble and as a member of the Tribe of the Tub girl, if I can almost drown in the tub, it is the perfect depth and length! Easily a tub for two if one is inclined.

Proper lighting, a separate large shower and my favorite Molton Brown amenities.

As mentioned in my Four Seasons Lanai post, the abundance of locations to sit and ponder, read a paper, public spaces with sofas and a view are many and in all corners of the resort. I realize not everyone can spring for a suite with several lanais and you may want to escape your travel companion, the resort has abundant locations to do just that- escape!

Dragging the kiddos to the resort? Video room, video games, billiards, kiddie club will give them a day away from the parents with the well known Four Seasons Kids Clubs.

Dining options, hard to resist Spago right on property. If you desire a  romantic celebration or a special family dinner reserve the Ultimate Dining experience – a truly memorable evening. Your exclusive server will escort you to a breathtaking ocean-front location overlooking Wailea Beach, where you’ll savor a leisurely paced multi-course dinner customized for you by award-winning chefs, accompanied with wines, craft cocktails or specialty beers paired by the sommelier or expert mixologist.

As mentioned many private areas to read a paper, there are also several locations to stop for refreshment besides the pool bars and restaurants. Lobby Lounge with panoramic ocean views and evening hula dancers welcome the sunset to the sounds of local Hawaiian music.

Find sun-soaked tranquility at an enchanted enclave nestled on the magnificent golden-sand crescent of Maui’s southwest coast. Surrounded by lush tropical gardens and the dramatic peak of Haleakala as your backdrop, relax in Maui’s largest resort suites and guest rooms, which also boast the island’s largest hotel bathrooms.

My detox plan may have been jettisoned, however I found the Four Seasons Maui to be the perfect oasis to recover from a long wedding week. Can’t wait to return! R&R or drop in for a week or two of sailing, SUP, golf, hiking and surfing.

Four Seasons Resort Maui – The Perfect Oasis.