Ria Sonny Pete


Napa and Sonoma wineries in California offer a most unique vacation.  The valley is a place that lets you do what you want … when you want … and it does not matter what schedule you are on. 

Great food and great wine can be the key to a very successful vacation.

I like to let the vacation trip just happen. 

We had an idea of what we were going to do.  We decided to just ask for information from everyone and see what would happen.

Which brings us to Mr. Sonny Kerstiens, Director of Sales and Marketing at Napa Valley Marriott hotel and spa.  

All we can say is WOW!!  See photo above ...It is always about the people you meet and we are very happy to have met Sonny.

It turned out we had a blast in the Valley!

The hotel is situated conveniently off Route 29 which happens to be the main road up through Napa valley and all the wineries.

With a quick meet with Sonny we were able to figure out some of the more popular wineries to visit along with a couple off the beaten track.

Everyone in the hotel was helpful and always willing to answer even the most mundane questions about Napa and Sonoma. 

Extra bonus in the hotel is every evening from 5-6pm they offer Free (yes, I said FREE) wine tastings in the lobby.


Glad to say we chose well. 

The Hotel location as well as just how nice the staff were made this a very nice experience.

There are many boarding options in the Valley such as B& B's along with some of the more exclusive properties. Yountville, which is a short ride from our hotel, for example, has some beautiful and high end places to stay.

For us and for the many customers I would send here it is a matter of taste and of course cost.

The famous restaurant "The French Laundry" is located in Yountville. If you plan to go there just make sure that you make your reservation 2 months ahead, sorry to say we did not.

We were lucky enough to meet the owner of Bottega Restaurant, Michael Chiarella( note the photo). You may have seen him on his PBS Napa valley cooking show. He was very gracious.

Using a trusted professional always is a big part of planning that can make a big difference in your vacation experience. We like to think we can assist here.

Most wineries offer their own tastings along with various pairings with cheeses or chocolates, for example, some without additional charges.

Most wineries also allow you to share the tastings with your partner. Coppola Winery provided a Cabana and pool for the day at a cost (consider it your own wine pool club for the day),

There was V.Sattui Winery with Italian deli on site and picnic area for you to enjoy your lunch along with some of their wines. Great location easy to get to. A must, do not pass up.

Pedroncelli Winery, in Sonoma, also gave us an education on Zinfadel wine country. Shirley was most gracious and kept telling us this is “Zin country”.

We also stopped by Beringer winery the oldest active winery. Our server was Adrian (see photo) who explained how during prohibition the Beringer winery stayed open by offering there wine for medicinal purposes and supplying wine for the clergy. wink wink.

It was also noted that this enabled them to being very active when prohibition was lifted!

One of our favorite stops was Truett-Hurst up in Healdsburg (about 1 hour from our hotel) where we met tasting room and wine club manager Cindi Howley .

The concierge at the Marriott, Lauren, suggested this stop for us and it turned out to be just perfect.  Cindi was great and just kept telling us to enjoy the grounds and enjoy the wine.

We definitely took advantage of this local area’s very comfortable picnic area which led us through a wonderful herb/vegetable garden. As we continued through the garden we came upon a creek with nearby tables and Adirondack chairs. Yes we enjoyed the peacefulness of this area very much and wanted to especially thank Cindi for her hospitality.

Foodies take note. The restaurants here are some of the best. Match it up with some of the most incredible wines in the world and you have scored!!

We look forward to sending some our friends to Napa and Sonoma in the future. It is a perfect location to relax and unwind from the typical vacation. Along with meeting many new friends and enjoying the wine please contact us about sending you to this beautiful area for that special trip.

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