June 23, 2021 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Napa Valley: The Land Of Plenty With More Than 400 Wineries:

Meaning “land of plenty,” the Napa Valley name was given to the area by the native Wappo Indian population.

Word of the region’s abundance and temperate climate spread quickly in the 19th century and by the late 1840s the area was teeming with quicksilver mines and lumber mills.

The region’s popularity grew when steamships began traveling the three-hour trip from San Francisco to the city of Napa via the Napa River.

A railroad line soon became available from the ferry terminal at Vallejo on the shores of San Pablo Bay to the city of Calistoga, creating new access to the healing waters of Calistoga’s famed geothermal hot springs.

The Napa Valley has weathered some tough times in its relatively short history.

The Valley’s once-famed Silverado Mine was exhausted in 1875 after just three years of operation.

In 1893 an outbreak of phylloxera, a serious grapevine disease, crippled many of the Valley’s 140 wineries.

Prohibition, enacted in 1920, dealt the final blow to the early wine industry.

Only a handful of wineries survived the 13 years of Prohibition by producing sacramental wines and selling grapes to home winemakers.

Today, however, with vision and perseverance, the industry has greatly surpassed its earlier “golden age,” and now boasts more than 400 wineries, producing some of the world’s finest wines.

The Napa Valley stretches approximately 35 miles in a northwesterly direction; its width varies from approximately five miles wide at its widest point near the City of Napa in the south to approximately one mile wide near the northern-most town of Calistoga.

Napa Valley’s five regions include, from north to south: Calistoga, St. Helena, Rutherford/Oakville/Yountville, the city of Napa, and Lake Berryessa/American Canyon.

Explore Wineries With Platypus Wine Tours

Nine years ago, Napa Valley local Don Rickard started his wine tour company Platypus Tours with the goal of creating “the anti-snob wine tour.”

At the time, Rickard was managing a restaurant in St. Helena and realized that there was a need for a daily wine tour that was geared with a more casual approach that wouldn’t break the bank.  

“There were many limo companies and various transportation companies available but none that fit this specific market,” Rickard said.

Today, his approach has become a successful hit.

He said he has expanded to a fleet of 24 vehicles where his guides serve as both the driver and tour guide.

“They tell the stories, give the history, educate, and map out the daily tour,” he said. “We don’t tell them where to go but they get to build their own agendas based off of relationships that they’ve cultivated with the wineries.”

In total, Platypus Tours visit more than 250 wineries between all three regions: Napa, Sonoma, and Russian River.

For the “Join in Tour” guests visit four wineries over the course of a day.

Rickard said his guides focus on specific touch points when choosing wineries such as private tasting, back of house tours, owner or winemaker personal interaction.  

“We’ve found that by giving our guides ownership of putting together their own tour that they take pride in that and are much more accountable to putting together a memorable tour,” he said. “Our tours run every single day except Thanksgiving and Christmas. We will never cancel a tour based on a low count.”

Platypus Tours also offer private charters where the tour group can pay by the hour and have a guide take them to specific wineries, or have a special itinerary developed for them.

For the “Join In Tour” the company does pick-ups at any of the hotels and B&Bs within a certain region that the tour is based.

For example, Napa winery tours pick-ups take place from the regions of American Canyon, Napa, Yountville, and St. Helena.

For Sonoma winery tours, pick-ups are from Napa (because that’s where the company is based), Sonoma, and Glen Ellen.

For Russian River winery tours, pick-ups are from the regions of Petaluma, Rohnert Park, Santa Rosa, and Healdsburg.

The “Join In Tour” costs $99 per person (winery tasting fees not included, but the cost does include a picnic lunch).

For more information, call 707.253.2723 or visit www.platypustours.com.

Live It Up In Luxury At The Harvest Inn

Looking for an authentic Napa Valley experience with country estate-style accommodations spread among eight acres of gorgeously landscaped gardens and hundreds of redwood trees?

A hidden gem ideally situated at the center of the Napa Valley, the Harvest Inn is the perfect retreat where guests can relax and rejuvenate after a full day of wine country adventures.

Located in St. Helena, it offers stunning vineyard and mountain vistas with warm, inviting hospitality and high-quality service.  

The building of the Harvest Inn began in 1978. The original 54 rooms and main reception room were all completed by 1985.

Harvest Inn owner Rick Swig built on the additional 20 rooms (the Fountain Section) along with the Fountain View Conference center in 2006.

General Manager Debbie Greene said the property stands out as a relaxed, romantic retreat offering extraordinary beauty, comfortable luxury and a low-key ambiance every season of the year.  

“The Main Lodge features a welcoming lobby with singular 20-foot ceilings and custom carved woodwork throughout,” Greene said. “Just beyond the lobby is the Inn’s spacious Great Room, where guests enjoy fireside wine tastings beside the massive cobblestone hearth. The cozy wine bar offers fine samples of local vintages as well as tranquil views, handsome leather sofas, a grand piano and backgammon tables. Complimentary guided wine and cheese tastings from local producers are offered on weekend evenings in the Great Room.”

Each morning the Harvest Inn provides a complimentary wine country breakfast for all guests.  

Breakfast is served in the Wine Country Kitchen, with charming indoor or outside patio seating amidst sweeping vineyard and Mayacamas mountains views.  

When guests aren’t exploring the wine country, there are two heated swimming pools open 24 hours, a well-equipped Fitness Room, and relaxing massage therapy services developed by Spa Director Loma Alexander, named one of the world’s top 20 spa visionaries by “Spa Magazine.”

The Harvest Inn is located at 1 Main Street, St. Helena. For more information and nightly rates, visit www.HarvestInn.com.

in News
Related Posts

Snap and Hulu Expanding Santa Monica Presence

June 22, 2021

June 22, 2021

Snapchat and Hulu, both based in Santa Monica, are expanding their footprints in the city. Learn more in this video...

Police Arrest Suspect in Downtown Santa Monica Homicide

June 22, 2021

June 22, 2021

27-year-old Long Beach man arrested as homicide suspect By Sam Catanzaro A suspect has been booked for murder in connection...

Two Suspects Arrested in Connection to Downtown Santa Monica Shooting

June 21, 2021

June 21, 2021

UPDATE: https://smmirror.com/2021/06/police-arrest-suspect-in-downtown-santa-monica-homicide/A man remains in custody for murder in connection to this incident, which was originally reported as a shooting...

Santa Monica Expected to Confirm Contract for New Interim City Manager

June 21, 2021

June 21, 2021

Former City Manager John Jalili expected assume interim post Friday  By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica lawmakers are expected to approve...

Free Lunches Provided to School Aged Children at Virginia Ave Park: Santa Monica Beat – June 21, 2021

June 21, 2021

June 21, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Free Lunches Provided to School Aged Children at Virginia Ave Park...

Santa Monica Aligns Mask Orders with LA County

June 17, 2021

June 17, 2021

On June 15, Interim City Manager Lane Dilg signed the 37th supplement to align Santa Monica’s local emergency provisions with Los Angeles County...

Former Santa Monica Resident Sentenced to Federal Prison for Embezzling More Than $22 Million from Employer

June 17, 2021

June 17, 2021

A former executive at a Hollywood-based digital marketing company that represents influencers on Instagram and YouTube was sentenced recently to...

Edify TV: Tourism Returning to Santa Monica?

June 17, 2021

June 17, 2021

A busy Memorial Day weekend in which Santa Monica hotel occupancy rates reached their highest levels since the pandemic began...

Santa Monica College Cancels Fireworks Show, Main Street Parade Also Off

June 17, 2021

June 17, 2021

Firework shows in Marina del Rey and Pacific Palisades back this year By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica College (SMC) has...

Summer Safety Tips When Hiking and Biking Outdoors

June 17, 2021

June 17, 2021

LAFD Captain Erik Scott gives us tips on staying safe while enjoying the mountains this summer. Brought to you by...

Edify TV: Closing Expo Line Bike Path Gap?

June 15, 2021

June 15, 2021

Plans are in the works to close a frustrating gap in the Expo Line Bike Path. Learn more in this...

Markedly Different Reactions to Sheriff’s Plan to Clear Boardwalk Encampments

June 15, 2021

June 15, 2021

Plan to clear Boardwalk by Fourth of July met with applause, condemnation By Sam Catanzaro Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex...

Edify TV: Westside Vandalism Suspect Arrested

June 14, 2021

June 14, 2021

A man has been arrested in connection with a series of Westside vandalisms in West L.A., including at a local...

Loved Ones Ashes Stolen From Families Car In Santa Monica: Santa Monica Beat – June 14, 2021

June 14, 2021

June 14, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Loved Ones Ashes Stolen From Families Car In Santa Monica *...