Close your eyes for a second and think about this county, what’s the first thing that pops up in your mind? Probably the wine, the green landscapes and sunshine… right? That’s how we envisioned it, but it was not what it turned out to be, unfortunately!
After being in a drought for 5 years, as soon as we drive into Napa, the rain starts pouring on us… but this doesn’t mean we still didn’t make the most out of it. We didn’t really have that much planned for our 24 hours in Napa, we only had a lunch and property tour scheduled at Round Pond Estate, and then we were looking forward to our stay at the wonderful Auberge Du Soleil resort.
Round Pond, is a California farm, winery and olive mill located in Rutherford, specializing in expressive wines, olive oils and unique tasting experiences. We arrived there at 11:30am, just in time to enjoy our “Il Pranzo” experience.
The morning started with a quick tour of the gardens, where the experts guided us through the process of creation of the oils and the wines. Afterwards, we sat down for lunch in their outside patio, where we shared a table with 8 other people from all over the world.
This was a great experience, as it is always nice to connect with other people from different countries over shared passions. Our lunch started with a selection of antipasti, accompanied by an olive tasting… there were so many different kinds and each one of them was so unique! From basil olive oil (our favorite!), to rosemary olive oil or blood orange olive oil… you will definitely leave this place with a good taste in your mouth.
After our lunch, they took us on a private tour of the farm, where we got to discover so much more about all of their products and activities. The most fascinating part of the tour was probably the visit to the vinegar cellar, where we finally had an insight into the process of vinegar making.
Also, the milling process was extremely interesting, as we had no idea to how olive oil was made before that. At Round Pond Estate, they have their own mill, and they use two different techniques to make each oil special. It was also nice to see how many of their ingredients were imported straight from Tuscany, which made us feel closer to home.
With full stomachs and a little sleepy from all the food and wine, we drove to Auberge Du Soleil. It’s hard to find words to describe this place, as it literally seems like a corner of heaven on Earth.
Despite all the rain and the clouds, this place took our breaths away.
When we set foot into our Deluxe Hillside View Suite, we were literally stunned away. As you can tell from the pictures, our suite was extremely big and spacious, but also really cozy at the same time. With our own fireplace and leaving room, huge bedroom and spectacular bathroom, this is the kind of place you want to spend all day in… which is what we ended up doing.
Exhausted from all the traveling, this was the perfect place to relax, and the rain made for a perfect excuse to stay in. I think we still both remember how comfortable that couch was, we spent hours sitting there watching TV!
At dinner time, we had a choice, we could either take our car and drive somewhere to get food, or stay in our gorgeous resort and enjoy dinner there. Can you guess what we did? ;)
We had dinner at The Bistro & Bar, the atmosphere was casual and really cozy, our waitress was extremely nice and the food was exquisite. We both had the Auberge Burger with Pomme Frites and Francesco also had a side of foie gras. For dessert, we had the Auberge Cookie Plate, we shared a Chocolate Chip Cookie, a Peanut Butter cookie and a White Chocolate and Cranberry cookie; don’t ask us to decide which one was our favorite, because it’d be too tough!
The day after, we woke up super early because of jet-lag, so after I hit the gym and Francesco was asleep as always, we had breakfast at The Restaurant. There we had fruit, poached eggs with salmon and hollandaise sauce, scrambled eggs with bacon, bagels and french toast; we really can’t help ourselves, and we go all out at breakfast time!
As it was still raining, we didn’t have a chance to use the pool… but we still decided to treat ourselves to a spa day. A lady at the spa, suggested we check out the three pools outside… as it was kind of cold, I decided to go for the hottest one, and I would do it all over again. Being in the hot boiling water, while the rain was pouring on me and the wind was hitting me on my face, was such a mystic experience that I’d recommend everyone to try. I didn’t get sick, but instead felt so much better afterwards!
Auberge Du Soleil is one of those places that we still dream of, even months after our visit there, so we highly recommend you stay there if you plan to visit the Napa Valley. And, who knows, maybe one day we’ll be back there too, and we’ll finally get to enjoy it on a sunny day!
A quick but very big thank you goes to Parasol PR, who helped us plan our fantastic stay in the County of Napa. Both our amazing experience at Round Pond Estate and our stay at Auberge Du Soleil are things we couldn’t be more thankful for!