The Most Fun Way to Help Napa Valley’s Recovery? Go There and Drink Wine
It’s been nearly a year since the devastating wildfires in Napa Valley, and the region has welcomed wine lovers back in a big way. Now, one of California's biggest star chefs is helping visitors get in on the action and help the recovery effort in style.
Chef Nobu Matsuhisa is a dedicated fan of Napa Valley wine — sourcing a Napa Cabernet as one of the house wines for all of his restaurants. And recently, his Bay Area hotel property joined forces with the many hospitality partners championing a strong return to Napa tourism following the 2017 fires.
Nobu Hotel Epiphany Palo Alto is now offering a brand-new luxury culinary experience that allows guests to combine a city stay and a wine country getaway. The exclusive weekend package brings the Nobu experience on the road, with amenities like Nobu’s own selection of California wines, curated meals, and behind-the-scenes wine tastings.
The hotel, located in the heart of Silicon Valley — about 96 miles from wine country — serves as a luxurious home base. The package covers two nights in a stylish top-floor suite, with a private deck and expansive views of Palo Alto and the Santa Cruz Mountains; upon Friday check-in, guests receive a bottle of Nobu’s signature Matsuhisa Private Selection 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma County.
Saturday begins with breakfast at Nobu Palo Alto, where dishes include a bento with Umami Seabass and Jidori Chicken and Waffles. From there, guests head to Palo Alto Airport, where a private Bell 206 helicopter awaits to zip guests to Napa in 35 minutes — a speed unattainable on the ground. Along for the ride is a complimentary “wine country kit,” packed with water, road snacks, and sunscreen.
Once in Napa, a luxury car service escorts guests on a tour of some of the most notable wineries in the area. First stop: Domaine Carneros, founded by the family behind Champagne Taittinger. Domaine Carneros is best known as a small grower-producer of Pinot Noir and methóde traditionnelle sparkling wine (made in the same way as French Champagne, with the wine undergoing a secondary fermentation inside the bottle to create bubbles).
At the iconic Domaine Carneros chateau, Nobu guests are treated to a private, behind-the-scenes tour of the estate vineyards and winemaking process before settling in for a tasting and a luxurious snack of potato chips with caviar and crème fraiche.
Next comes a visit to the Adler Deutsch Vineyard on the edge of the West Rutherford Bench, a 3-mile stretch of land that boasts one of the greatest concentrations of exceptional wine producers in the world. Nobu guests will tour the private home and contemporary art collection of owner-vintners Robert Adler and Alexis Deutsch-Adler, who are still hands-on in the winemaking process.
With their team, the Adlers create a singular Cabernet Sauvignon wine expressing the terroir of their small, two-acre vineyard; guests are treated to a vertical tasting (one bottling over the course of years, with multiple vintages) guided by Robert and accompanied by a cheese and charcuterie spread.
The return helicopter ride returns guests to their suite in time for an omakase dinner at Nobu Palo Alto, personally prepared by Executive Chef Marlowe Lawenko behind the counter alongside Executive Sushi Chef Kihyun Seol. A coveted reservation since its July 2017 opening as the first Nobu restaurant in Northern California, the experience includes Nobu signature dishes such as Black Cod with Miso and Yellowtail Sashimi Jalapeño, and world-renowned sushi, enhanced with locally sourced greens and vegetables.
Want to keep the experience going after you leave? Guests will leave the weekend with a signed copy of “Nobu’s Vegetarian Cookbook” and two Adler Deutsch bottles to take home.
To book: nobuhotels.com; package from $11,500 for two guests (Friday through Sunday only)
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