a week in san francisco

My husband Vin and I planned a much-needed escape from reality and headed west for a week in San Francisco and the wine country. After spending three glorious days in San Francisco, we drove north to Napa (or should I say Paradise) Valley.


This is one of the world’s premier destinations for wine lovers. Breathtaking views abound at every turn.

Picturesque rolling hills planted with vineyards year-round and wineries of every stature dot the landscape. The weather was gorgeous, the restaurants magnificent, and the vineyards beautiful and fun. But my favorite part of our getaway was our hotel, “The Bardessono.”


From 1920 to 2006 the property was the site of the Bardessono family home and vineyard. After the family moved from the property, they decided to create a special resort. Three years in the making, The Bardessono Hotel, Restaurant and Spa opened in 2009 as America’s Greenest Hotel. In 2010, the Bardessono was awarded LEED Platinum Certification by the US Green Building Council…one of the only two hotels in America to be awarded this designation.



At the hotel you can experience the seamless marriage of contemporary luxury and award-winning sustainability in the hotel, restaurant, and spa. It is a self sustaining establishment with an intricate geothermal configuration under ground, beneath the hotel. Tasteful solar panels dot the roofs of all the building and the hotel hums along, effortlessly providing its guests with everything they need yet without taxing our beautiful earth.


The hotel restaurant, Lucy, was named after the matriarch of the family, who was both a gracious
hostess as well as wonderful chef. The large garden behind the property is farmed by the chefs at the hotel. They visit it every morning to pick the freshest vegetables, fruits, and herbs, enhancing the specials for the evening menu. The understated beauty and elegance of the hotel coupled with the helpful and friendly staff makes a return visit to the Bardessono a sure thing for us.


Our tasting itinerary was assisted by the resort’s very knowledgeable concierge who arranged an amazing series of wineries. Each experience was unique…the first held beautiful, breathtaking views of Napa Valley, the second provided insight into the art of making wine, and another was both physically beautiful and possessed a spectacular collection of contemporary artwork. We enjoyed 5 private tastings in all. While the Newton and Hall wineries were our favorites, we also loved the Paradym, Swanson, and Round Pond. Each of them offered something unique; their settings, their grapes, their style, and their individual approach to wine making.



After a day of tasting, learning, and immersing ourselves in the beauty of Napa, we retreated to the Bardessono, collapsing into its warm embrace. Poolside lounging was followed by spectacular al fresco dinners. Unfortunately, reality, as always, reasserted itself, and our escape came to an end. We left Napa behind, crossed the Golden Gate Bridge, and boarded our plane to Alexandria.

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1 Comment

  1. Avatar Barbara says:

    What a wonderful vacation! We have enjoyed winery tours of the spectacular Castello di Amoroso, an actual castle built using European materials brought to California, and the always interesting Mumm facility. So glad you had a fun week in my home state!

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