Food & Drink

Lap of Luxury in the Napa Valley


When it comes to a Napa Valley wine country escape there are a myriad of choices. Planning the perfect itinerary that allows for wine tasting adventures and relaxation can be tricky. Fortunately Brannan Cottage Inn created an amazing customized getaway for us.

Ahhh bubbles!

A wonderful trip begins with the right accommodations. Located in the town of Calistoga, Brannan Cottage Inn provided everything we desired. Their charming six-room inn has a historic feel complemented by amenities that modern travelers expect: WiFi, comfortable beds, luxury linens, robes, and nice bath products but it was their E-Conceirge service and personal touch that made the trip perfect.

They crafted the itinerary based on our preferences and gave us some unique customized experiences during the short stay. Upon arriving in the quaint town of Calistoga we visited Domaine Somm for a private bubbly tasting with a food pairing. Everything we thought we knew about sparkling wine was challenged during our tasting. We began with a 2013 Onward Petillant Naturel Malvasia Bianca that was fruity yet dry followed by a NV Twenty-Five Reasons Rose Petillant produced locally. This style of sparkling wine contained less bubbles than what we are accustomed to but we enjoyed them both. The 2011 Berthet-Bondet Cremant du Jura was a classic bubbly with just enough fruit and a dry finish, a favorite. The most surprising of all was the NV Karanika Brut Cuvee Speciale, a Greek sparkling wine that tasted oh so French.
Better with bubbly!

Better with bubbly!

Next on the schedule was a private tasting at Davis Estates. As we drove up the long driveway into the property the vines were turning a beautiful autumn shade of gold and red. The restored 1920s era barn was the location for the tasting. The 2012 Davis Estate Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley was refreshing with a clean finish. The 2012 Davis Estates Chardonnay Napa Valley was inviting and smooth. Their red wines really wowed us starting with the 2011 Davis Estates Merlot Napa Valley tasting of red and black fruit, followed by the 2011 Davis Estates Cabernet Franc Napa Valley with spicy notes and a smooth finish. The 2011 Davis Estates Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley was rich and elegant. The final treat was the Pinwheel Late Harvest Cabernet Franc that tasted like liquid raspberries in the glass, wow!

The sun was setting as we drove back into town to check in to our room. Having stayed at the property in previous years I was delighted to note the changes. The historic character has remained but the modern touches make it feel luxurious. The Deluxe King Room came with a fireplace and a delightfully large comfortable bed. The linens were truly amazing, as were the fluffy king size pillows. The cozy robes made staying in an obvious choice. The radiant heat floors in the bathroom were an unexpected surprise. The E-Concierge allowed us to personalize our stay with additional items such as sparkling wine in the mini fridge which we enjoyed while we devoured the cheese tray. We felt truly welcome and relaxed.

We had discussed a number of options for dinner but after careful consideration decided to try the Kopio specializing in Southeast Asian cuisine. The menu was daunting with selections from Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, and Thailand. With help we selected the Thai Chicken Salad made from string-cut pear that was refreshing. The Malaysian style fried noodles with shrimp, tofu, egg and spices with similar to a Pad Thai but much spicier and very filling. The Spicy Seafood Pot came to the table sizzling and was equally delicious. We were sad to not have the capacity to even sample dessert.

Our cozy room with fireplace was beckoning to us so instead of soaking in a mineral pool we choose to enjoy the warmth of the fire along with the sparkling wine. After a restful night of sleep in the very comfortable bed, enveloped in the downy softness of the Frette sheets and bedding, we went in search of coffee and pastries to enjoy on the sunny deck. It seemed impossible that a whirlwind trip would leave us feeling restored and ready to go back to our lives, but that is the magic of Calistoga.

Create your own magical escape with their Winter in the Wineries Package with 20% off best available package at Brannan Cottage Inn rate includes 2 Passports to Winter in the Wineries (12/6/14 – 2/8/15) with a tasting flight at 14 participating Calistoga wineries, plus choice of geothermal mud or mineral bath at Baths at Roman Spa (spa treatment available midweek only). Make as many trips as you like within this window to use all tastings.

Social Media Special a Limited Time Offer: Follow Brannan Cottage Inn on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest) for the very best, friends-only, limited time rate of 30% off best available rate on a stay between 12/1/14 – 2/28/15. Blackout dates & some restrictions apply; midweek stay required. May not be combined with any other offer. Must call 707-942-4200 to book; tell them where you saw this offer which ends 12/30/14.

Details: Domaine Somm offers private wine tastings for individuals and groups. They offer event space to host gatherings both indoors and outside. Their design-your-own wine club is a much needed option so that guests can customize their wine club shipments. Located in downtown Calistoga, visit their website or by calling 707-244-3007.

Davis Estates Winery offers a unique tasting experience in a restored barn amidst the vineyards. They offer a sampling of their wine while staying warm and toasty next to outdoor or indoor fireplace. Located at 4060 Silverado Trail they are open by appointment only Tuesday – Sunday by calling 707-942-0700.

Brannan Cottage Inn utilizes the very latest technology and has developed an App to help guests provide an unforgettable experience. The activities are chosen by a team of Napa Valley Insiders and include hidden gems for dining, wining, shopping, and spa visits. Located at 109 Wappo Avenue, Calistoga, CA, call 707-942-4200 or visit the website. App is available in iTunes store as Brannan Cottage Inn.

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