Wine Country Agenda: Start The Summer Outdoors

Wine Country’s largest rooftop bar beckons at Sky & Vine

Credit Andy Berry Photography

Destined to be one of the best places in Wine Country to have cocktails, Charlie Palmer’s 7,000 square foot Sky & Vine Rooftop Bar is also a full-service restaurant that serves an all-day menu along with breakfast, Sunday “bottomless” brunch and bar offerings. Located at the top of the Archer Hotel, Sky & Vine boasts a breathtaking 360-degree view of historic Napa and surrounding mountains.

Credit Andy Berry Photography

The trellised dining area seats 90 plus an additional 14 at the bar while the eastern side is spread out with cozy lounge seating, the larger areas around two firepits, and all of them full-service. The Chef’s Show Kitchen bar provides more seating space for demonstrations and for events. For guests of the hotel, the rooftop provides an additional 5,000 square feet of private lounge and cabana space beside a ledge pool, as well as fitness and spa facilities.

Credit Bob McLenahan Photography

Look for elevated American cuisine here: for breakfast, avocado toast with beet cured salmon and cured egg yolk; all-day, an array of appetizing small plates such as lobster corn dogs, a crispy fried chicken sandwich or for brunch, a twist on the Monte Cristo. In addition to fabulous cocktails, the bar serves a unique selection of international wines and craft beer. Even better, Sky & Vine offers a reverse happy hour from 9 p.m. to close, with $9 cocktails and wines by the glass, $5 beers and nibbles from $4-$10.

Sky & Vine is open from 7 a.m. to 12 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and to 1 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Sunday brunch is from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. 1260 First Street, Downtown Napa

Countdown to BottleRock: Come for the music, stay for the food and wine

Stars and chefs crank up the heat on the Williams Sonoma Culinary Stage at BottleRock Napa Valley next weekend. For the 4th year in a row, musicians, celebrities and star chefs will mash it up onstage creating memorable dishes, and moments. This year’s line-up include Grammy™ award-winning musician, tv chef and bestselling cookbook author Trisha Yearwood, Food Network star Giada De Laurentiis, Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, Michelin starred chefs such as Dominique Crenn and Charlie Palmer and a host of celebrity chefs from around the country. Pairing off with chefs onstage are musicians and celebrities such as Halsey, Snoop Dogg, George Lopez, sports icons such as Ken Griffey Jr., Barry Bonds and Charles Woodson, the diverse mix is sure to spark fun antics onstage.

In addition to the culinary stage, guests will be able to graze on food from their favorite Napa eateries and sip wine, craft brews and cocktails from cabanas and bars throughout the venue. If you don’t already have passes, BottleRock tickets may be available through the official ticket exchange Lyte.

Sip on the riverfront at Stone Brewing

Seven years after co-founder Greg Koch first stepped foot in the ca. 1877 Borreo building, Stone Brewing has opened after years of sensitive restoration which largely preserved the stone building’s Italiante Renaissance design. Stone Brewing worked with local architects Napa Design Partners to execute the vision.

Today, the two-story, 9,500 square-foot restaurant, taproom and 10-barrel brewery is an homage to independent craft beer. In addition to serving their own highly-acclaimed and special release brews, Stone Brewing will feature guest beers in rotation among 24 taps of beer.

Upstairs, guests can sit at tables or at the large central bar. Downstairs, there is plenty of riverside patio seating with views of historic Downtown Napa. The food is crowd pleasing world cuisine such as Choripan Argentinian Sausage Sandwich, a Poke Fire Bowl and the Impossible Burger with more to come. Stone Brewing is open daily from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, til 12 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. 3rd & Soscol, Downtown Napa

Commune with nature at Mendocino Grove
Photos courtesy Mendocino Grove


One of my favorite places of all time to get away is Mendocino, a quaint town on the rugged coast that seems perpetually locked in time. There are wonderful B&Bs and inns in town, and fabulous restaurants, but the best experience is to stay a bit away in nature: on the coast, on the ridge or tucked away in 37 acres of redwoods at Mendocino Grove where it’s still just ¼ mile away from town. There are endless active things to do - hiking, beachcombing, fishing, kayaking - or not to do, plus wine tasting in Anderson Valley.

Mendocino Grove is a ‘comfy’ campsite with 60 safari-style tents, some with coastal views, glamped out with luxury linens and leather sling chairs on the redwood deck, set back from your own picnic table and fire ring. Not too far away are hot showers stocked with towels and organic bath products. If you decide to cook instead of dine in town, there are communal gas barbecues as well as “camp boxes” to rent that include all the dinnerware and cookware you’ll need.

Mendocino Grove is dog and family friendly, and wifi and electricity are available. The campsite just opened for the season. For more details and to book, check the website. 9601 California 1, Mendocino

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