"During the day trip, each group will visit three vintners that are among the area’s most well-respected—by visitors and locals alike."
For months we have been sharing all of the cool deets about what makes our retreat a fabulous experience for the 200 operators who will join us. Your $799 pass includes so much—enriching education, meals, drinks, a luxurious dinner cruise, opening night party, plus of course, the day trip to Napa Wine Country. If you haven’t registered yet, don’t delay because there are fewer than 50 spots remaining! In case you have managed to miss the updates, head on over to sanfranciscoexecutiveretreat.com, where you can register and get the latest information.
So, let’s talk about that incredible trip to Napa ...
If you’ve never been to NoCal Wine Country, prepare to be amazed. There’s a reason why people come from all over the world to this region: It produces some of the country’s best wine. In fact, the first grapes were planted here in 1838, and centuries of award-winning winemakers have made Napa Valley a true rival to celebrated international vintages. Stay for the final day of our retreat and you will be able to sample some of these vintages personally—all included in the price. We’ve also negotiated special discounts for any bottles or souvenirs you may want to purchase before leaving each winery.
You don’t have to be a wine expert to join us; the fun of being with your group will make it a fitting close to our retreat. We’ll break into three groups and board Grech buses on our way to paradise. During the day trip, each group will visit three vintners that are among the area’s most well-respected—by visitors and locals alike. While enjoying a continental breakfast on the bus, the cityscape will soon be replaced by rolling hills of green and gold, lined with rows upon rows of carefully cultivated and nurtured vines.
You’ll visit Artesa Vineyards & Winery, which has a rich history to match its bold wines. With roots in the Old World and a Cordorníu Raventós family heritage dating back to 1551, Artesa (which means “handcrafted” in Catalan) is famous for the varietals for which the Carneros region of Napa Valley is best known: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Surrounded by pastoral countryside, Artesa is quintessential Napa. The avant-garde winery was conceived by renowned architect Domingo Triay and was designed to rise out of the highest hill on the 350-acre estate. From the porch on a clear day, you may see San Francisco and the Bay bridges as well as Mount Tamalpais, Mount Diablo, and San Pablo Bay. After being greeted with a flute of sparkling wine, you will enjoy a private tour of the winery and a tasting of three reserve wines while the chanting of Benedictine monks adds to the Artesa experience.
Beringer Vineyards is the largest and likely most famous brand on our day trip. In 1876, brothers and German immigrants Jacob and Frederick Beringer started with a dream of making wines that would rival the finest in Europe. As the story goes, while others in the area were captivated with finding precious metals during the Gold Rush, the Beringers were focused on fields of gold ... grapes, that is. Today, Jacob’s great great-grandson, Chief Winemaker Mark Beringer, guides what is now California’s longest continually operating winery and one of Napa’s finest. With more than 1,600 acres farmed across wine country’s best regions, Beringer is recognized as one of the state’s preeminent wineries.
Upon arrival at the vineyards, you can’t help but be impressed by the Rhine House—the very house that adorns the brand’s label. Designed by famed architect Albert Schroepfer and known for its unique 1880s stained-glass windows, it is the estate’s signature symbol as well as an historic site. Schroepfer’s architectural designs are considered to be defining structures of Napa Valley vineyards.
At Beringer, our party will enjoy a 30-minute legacy cave tour through the Old Winery and historic tunnels; our guide will regale us with the winery’s history while detailing its unwavering tradition of commitment to quality. Here you’ll sample three different wines, in addition to an exclusive barrel tasting.
Sterling Vineyards, founded in 1964, is an experience unto itself. Perched 300 feet above the town of Calistoga, Sterling offers panoramic views of the valley. Its architecture was modeled after homes on the Greek island of Mykonos. The winery’s tower houses eight bells from London’s Church of St. Dunstan’s-in-the-East, dating from the 10th century. The rich tolling of these ancient bells peals throughout the landscape on the quarter hour—it is just one of the unique touches of this winery.
"We’ll make a stop at Napa Ford Lincoln, which has graciously offered to host us for a sumptuous sit-down lunch with a few special bottles of wine to keep the mood flowing."
The Sterling tram is the only one of its kind in Napa, offering stunning views as groups ride up to the winery. At the top, you will be greeted with—what else—wine while you stroll through art galleries, overlooks, and elevated walkways that allow guests to follow the winemaking process from grape to glass. This is easily becoming one of the area’s most popular wineries, and we’re sure you’ll agree once you enjoy some samples.
Lest you think we’d skip out on a midday meal, we’ll make a stop at Napa Ford Lincoln, which has graciously offered to host us for a sumptuous sit-down lunch with a few special bottles of wine to keep the mood flowing. Fill your bellies and drink until you’re merry—but don’t forget that we have more wine tasting ahead. It’s a good thing we know someone in the chauffeur driven industry—otherwise you might never return to the hotel!
Early evening, we’ll head back to San Francisco and deliver you to our host property, Hotel Nikko, just in time for dinner on your own. The recently renovated Hotel Nikko is in the heart of Union Square, close to some of the hottest restaurants, hippest bars, and trendiest shopping the city has to offer. Don’t wait to reserve your room at the special rate of only $229 a night, because our hotel block is nearly sold out. Visit sanfranciscoexecutiveretreat.com for a complete rundown of the rest of our activities, details on education and registration information. We can’t wait to see you in California! [CD0517]