SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS - We’re nibbling our chef-curated picnic on a large resort lawn in Napa, when a brother-and-sister duo stroll up, eager to play with our son, Ben. The lawn, which is the hub and gathering place at the new Vista Collina resort minutes off Highway 29, features corn hole, ladder toss and ample space to play a good game of fetch with our puppy, Cotton. In other words, it’s perfect.
Wine country getaways aren’t the easiest for families with young kids, but when you can find the right place to stay with the proper amenities — for us, that’s a dog-friendly hotel with games, new friends for Ben and an on-site gourmet grocery store — you’ll be asking yourself how soon you can return. And why you don’t have a lawn butler back home.
There’s also a wine-related perk to Vista Collina, which is tucked into a corporate park about 10 minutes from downtown: The Village, a collection of eight Napa Valley winery tasting rooms and a brewery, Napa Smith, surround the lawn. It’s been open for four months — and you don’t need to be a hotel guest to sip. Some, like Trinitas Cellars, Mi Sueño Winery, Luna Vineyards and Jayson by Pahlmeyer, we recognize. Others — Foley Food & Wine Society, Gen 7 Wines, The Wine Foundry and Cornerstone Cellars — are less familiar.