Hit the Trail
The growing season is in full swing with green canopies and grape clusters are starting to size and ripen, making summer one of the most beautiful seasons to visit wine country. Beyond providing a stunning backdrop, it’s also the most active time of the year in our Markham Napa Valley vineyards. The beginning of summer marks the conclusion of most work done in the vineyard and begins the start of the waiting game until harvest. “Being able to see the full, growing season from pruning to bud break through harvest” is what our Vineyard and Sustainability Manager Adrienne Uboldi finds most rewarding about the job. Right now, she’s busy finalizing crop estimates to get a sense of how much fruit this harvest will bring while managing the vine canopies to provide the grapes with the right amount of dappled light to ripen.
To catch some of this winegrowing magic in action, begin your day with a bike ride up valley before the heat of the day sets in. If you don’t have a bike with you, pop into St. Helena Cyclery for a rental. From there, set out on your own or explore one of their tried-and-true loops. Make sure to check out the Napa Valley Vine Trail, currently 12.5-miles and part of an ongoing larger project—with plans to build a 47-mile continuous walking and biking trail covering the entire Napa Valley from Vallejo to Calistoga. As construction continues, we’re thrilled to be donating a portion of our land in St. Helena to help create a safe and active community!
Rest & Relax
After you’ve gotten in your exercise for the day, it’s time to relax. Among many things, Napa Valley is known for having world-class spas and salons, and you deserve to treat yourself while on vacation. Calistoga Motor Lodge and Spa is equal parts nostalgic and modern, creating a one-of-a-kind boutique experience that focuses on playful hospitality. Head to their Moonacre Spa for an individualized experience, a day soaking in the geothermal mineral pool, or break out of your comfort zone with their apply-your-own mud bar. (If mud baths are your comfort zone, bookmark this list from Visit Calistoga, you won’t regret it.)
For a more quintessential wine country experience, Harvest Inn in St. Helena makes for a charming oasis. Sweeping vineyard views, a delicious and renowned restaurant, and plenty of pool and spa opportunities, Harvest Inn makes for an unforgettable Napa Valley vacation just a short drive from Markham.
Wine & Dine
Of course, it’s not a trip to Napa Valley without wine, so naturally, the next stop on our itinerary is a tasting right here at Markham Vineyards! Join us in our Historic Stone Cellar, or outside on one of our airy patios for a wonderful tasting experience. Enjoy a selection from a broad range of Napa Valley appellations or really dig into the history and soil by opting for a flight of single-vineyard wines from select estate vineyards.
Each flight highlights the unique winegrowing districts and vineyards within Napa Valley. Or maybe you’re looking for a more in-depth educational experience. Held at 12:00 pm every day, our Sips & Chips Experience breaks down the barriers and pretense of pairing food and wine by matching everyday snacks with Markham Vineyard’s whites and reds from Napa Valley. Sips and Chips is led by a dedicated host, who will entertain and educate you through this unique tasting.
Whether you’re looking to learn or just relax, we’re pouring the good stuff up here in St. Helena! Grab a few bottles to take back home or to enjoy with dinner.
After working up an appetite, head across the street to The Culinary Institute of American at Greystone, one of the world’s foremost culinary schools. Open for lunch and dinner, Gatehouse Restaurant showcases the talents of the student chefs and incorporates only the freshest ingredients.
If laid-back and lively is more your scene, head north to Sam’s Social Club in Calistoga for fresh fare and a vibrant atmosphere. Local tip: don’t pass on the Ricotta Crostini with pepper jelly jam!
Take in the Scenery
Tucked away in the hills of St. Helena, Bothe State Park provides a natural getaway from the hustle and bustle of the valley floor. Get a sight of wildlife and stunning redwood trees while you explore over 10 miles of trails. This park provides ample space to get some fresh air and reconnect with nature.
Following a long day of adventure, it’s time for an evening picnic, Napa Valley style. This valley is overflowing with indulgent cheese and meat selections to build a dreamy charcuterie board, but we’re also big fans of taking it to the next level with gourmet take-out to get a real taste of Napa’s culinary scene. But what’s a picnic without a view? Try catching the sunset at Calistoga’s Old Faithful Geyser and grab a glimpse of this active natural geyser while enjoying a glass of Markham—our just-released 2018 District Series Yountville Merlot is a bright, fruit-forward wine full of verve and character perfect for a summer evening.
We hope to see you in Napa Valley soon and look forward to hosting you for a Markham Vineyards Tasting. Cheers to the summer season!