When they talk about the Napa Experience, you naturally think…Wine. Little did I realize the treat that I was in for this Fall. Thanks to TMN Events, I just came from photographing one of the most beautiful, ambient, tasty experiences I have yet to attend…a corporate incentive trip with a 3-day event in Napa. Although I stayed at a cozy, white picket fence, farmhouse on a nearby winery (yeah, I was roughing it), the guests stayed at the Bardessono Resort, a sanctuary of artistic landscaping and unique artwork – a dream for artists, photographers or lovers of anything beautiful.
A quick look around the grounds and you can stroll through the Hotel’s private gardens filled with fresh vegetables and herbs. Not only were we allowed to sample the ingredients that would be in our meal that evening, but we were lead by the Executive Chef, as he provided a personal tour of the gardens, answering any culinary question you had about his field-to-fork cuisine. The evening was topped with a personal sommelier-led wine experience, giving guests a one-on-one experience into the nuances of food and wine.
But let’s not forget about those wineries. The next afternoon took us to Peju – a magical destination of wine and food pairings with a Tasting Room Ambassador in the vineyard. Let’s face it, wouldn’t we ALL want to be a Tasting Room Ambassador? I think I would be very good at it. My favorite was the bacon pairing, because everything tastes good with bacon, and wine is no exception. There was a myriad of other Vineyards we visited including Flora Springs, Caymus, Robert Craig, and Cairdean Estates to name a few. Although I was not sampling, I can tell you that at the end of the day, everyone was, most definitely, having a great time. Between the tunnel tours of the Historic Flora Springs Ghost winery, and the intimate conversations with the Winemaker at Robert Craig, it was hard not to fall in love with this glorious wine country and the passion that runs it.
For someone who loves to eat food as well as photograph it, our final dinner at the Michelin Star-rated restaurant, Bouchon, was an exquisite end to what had been an outstanding red, carpet event. With an open kitchen, the head chef was accessible to talk and answer questions as our guests milled around the kitchen, sampling and chatting with the staff as though it was a dinner party at the neighbors. A trio of musicians played in the background, creating an exclusive, warm ambiance, leaving the guests (and me) with lasting memories of a Napa Experience like no other. For more information on how you can experience Napa, contact TMN Events, they’ll take you there!