Robin Laub, a Life Stylist

Yountville is Yumville!

Sorry, but I just have to gloat (again) about how grand it is to live in the Bay Area! Napa Valley is the main attraction this week and boy, what a bottle rock of a time we had! It was birthday celebration time for a great friend of mine, so we combined wine with rock-n-roll. It was called...BottleRock! The first ever wine, food, and music festival in Napa Valley.

Who ever created this extravaganza is a genius! It featured gourmet food from neighboring acclaimed restaurants serving award-winning wines poured by local vineyards. PLUS, we got to walk around with all in hand listening to incredible tunes. Now, we won’t talk about the bottlenecks at BottleRock because that would spoil the buzz so I’ll just focus on the positive ;)

We stayed in Yountville, just north of downtown Napa and headed out to explore. After passing my favorite restaurant of all time, Bistro Jeanty (and if you know me, I normally don’t eat at the same place twice except for this gem!) then walking past Bouchon Bakery (can we say yummy macarons?), and then after sashaying by Michelin starred French Laundry, we came upon our first local “wine walking” stop, Ma(i)sonry. Cute, cute, cute! The winery slash art gallery was adorned with an outdoor courtyard with various nooks for tastings. Bradley, our host was patient with our selective palates…some say wine snob I say hmmmm... The weather was warm and balmy and the cheese and wine made us whine no more! The ambience was awesome, the wine was a winner and the crowd was appealing. :)

We harmoniously walked back to our hotel, The Villagio Inn and Spa to freshen up for the rock-n-roll part of the evening. We changed into our rocker gear with bandannas, boots and big hats. Each day and night there was a phenomenal round-up of performers and you could easily walk from venue to venue, a little bit of Matt Nathanson, a little bit of Jackson Browne, and a lot of The Black Keys were unimaginable to fathom unless you were there. Can you say blister pads, pleeeaassee???

The next day, our DD, Roland of Napa Valley Tours & Transportation whisked us away to Failla, a small winery in St. Helena with egg-shaped wine tanks. Truly eggceptional! ha! We sat outside on the wraparound porch and enjoyed the scenery. Next up, Regusci for more conversation and fun-loving times! Then a stop at the infamous Oakville Grocery for warm chicken panini’s, salads and salted caramels. Did I say it was a deluge of food, fun and friendship? My oh, my were we in heaven and I think the birthday girl was in her glory! In the realm of wineries, I have a list of fabulous ones that I’d be happy to share with you. Just ask!

Finally, we made it back to the concert grounds for more eating, dancing and frolicking! Needless to say, Kings of Leon did NOT disappoint us! We also heard from Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. Missed Macklemore but my friends tackled Train, Cake and The Wallflowers to make up for it!

We finished the weekend off with a delightful birthday lunch at Bottega all in the adorable town of Yountville, or as it’s coined…Yumville! There is so much to do in Napa Valley and it's surrounding towns! But if you’re not a wine lover, fear no more. There are unbelievable restaurants for everyone’s liking, hot air balloon rides, bike riding tours, golf and even spas! It’s an experience I highly recommend! In fact, I can organize a fantastic 3-4 day Napa Valley excursion to please anyone’s interests. Just ask!

Cheers from your fellow BottleRocker,