The Napa Valley has a reputation for being the perfect summer destination with warm evenings, outdoor dining, and fantastic bottles of wine served under a romantic summer sky. As much as summer pulls on the heart, the experienced visitor to the Napa Valley knows that mid-winter temperatures are mild, the weather is often dry and sunny, and the days can be shockingly clear. In mid-winter the roads are rarely crowded, tasting rooms are not busy, and an array of restaurants are anxious to book your reservation.
Most visitors to the Napa Valley come by car across highway 37 and then up highway 121 or highway 29. On all sides of the road are stunning wetlands composed of a diversity of sloughs, wildlife, grasses, and reeds. Perhaps the allure of fabulous wines and foods quickly mask over the wonder of the Napa Sonoma Marsh, but on occasion curiosity sets in and after a quick phone call, a wetlands tour is setup with Wombat Charters.
Pride Mountain Vineyards is located on the crest of the Mayacamas Mountain Range at an elevation of 2,100 feet. Pride Mountain is recognized for its big red wines and produces a large spectrum of wines ranging from Cabernet Sauvignon to Sangiovese.
A days adventure to Pride Mountain Vineyards starts on a little country road that winds up out of St. Helena all the way to the top of the ridge. From the parking lot at the vineyards, you get a sense that you are on top of the world. To the north the majestic Mount St. Helena rises up to 4,341 feet and to the south Hood Mountain tops the Mayacamas mountains. Far away to the west are the busy streets of Santa Rosa.
2019 was an extraordinary year for rainfall in Northern California. Local residents became casual with the term “atmospheric rivers” as they watched the sky simply open up like a river. The rivers and streams filled with the precious rainwater and the fields and vineyards absorbed every drop they could hold. Now as spring warmth fills the valley the trees and plants are showering visitors with a stunning show of color.
The Napa Valley is just 30 miles long and just 5 miles across at its widest point. Inside of this beautiful little valley is 46,000 acres of planted vineyards. A typical vineyard with a modern spacing of 4′ x 7′ has 1500 vines to the acre. Although these two numbers are just rough approximations it shows that there are at least 69,000,000 grape vines in the Napa Valley. Grape vines can consume between 2 to 6 gallons of water a week from July through harvest. When we put this picture together it basically shows that the Napa Valley converts water to wine.
Wine Country Inn is located just two miles north of Saint Helena and is situated in the middle of beautiful vineyards and old oak trees. It is the combination of the inn’s amazing location and it’s many pathways and gardens that create an ambiance of peace and solitude. Perhaps words can’t describe the inn, so we simply took a drone and toured the property from about 400 feet. For a minute rise up above the valley floor and look north toward Mount Saint Helena and the town of Calistoga. Below are miles of vineyards and the Napa River as it winds to its source on the slopes of the mountain. As you descend back to the lush gardens of the inn take a minute and envision yourself sitting under the oaks on the outdoor sofa.
Steeped in thousands of years of tradition, soaking in mineral hot springs is believed to promote a world of good-feeling benefits. From increasing blood flow and metabolism, to the folkloric advantages of treating diabetes and liver ailments, mineral hot springs are believed to be a fountain of youth for anyone who steps in its waters.
St Helena to Santa Rosa (video)
With so much natural beauty, it’s no surprise Napa Valley welcomes nearly 3 million visitors each year. Hit the road for an easy, inexpensive way to see the picture-perfect vistas of Napa Valley, all from your car window. Take in the fresh valley air and incredible panoramic views of rolling hills and endless vineyards along these scenic byways. Here are Napa Valley’s best scenic drives.
Napa Valley’s dry Mediterranean climate makes it a wonderful place to visit and enjoy outdoor activities year-round. Hiking is a favorite activity for many of our visitors and St. Helena and surrounding areas do not disappoint. You can pack a picnic can hike to the top of Mount St. Helena for a picture perfect view of the valley, or spend just an hour or so stretching your legs on a beautiful tree-lined trail before engaging in other Wine Country activities. Here is a look at a few of the best St. Helena hiking trails as well as a few additional trails within a short driving distance of Wine Country Inn.