The light is shifting, becoming shorter in duration and more golden each day. Grape harvest is over in Wine Country, and there’s a nip in the air (yes, even in California), so my thoughts turn toward the festive season and, of course, Champagne. Where sparkling wine is concerned, let’s face it, no one does it better than France. And if you live in the Bay Area, or happen to be visiting this week, Napa’s own little slice of French country hospitality is hosting a Champagne extravaganza. Auberge du Soleil will be hosting its third annual Champagne Week through October 30th.
The property will be offering daily Champagne tastings by premier and Grand Cru houses, along with a pitch-perfect Champagne-paired dining experience in the Michelin-starred restaurant on-site, one of Napa’s top dinner spots, helmed by longtime and much-beloved Executive Chef Robert Curry. Champagne houses featured include Krug, Dom Perignon, Laurent-Perrier, Duval-Leroy, Vilmart & Cie, and Legras & Haas.
Packages include a three-night stay in a Deluxe Valley View Suite, private winery tours and tastings accompanied by Director of Wine Kris Margerum, the Chef’s special tasting menu for two, with wine pairings, breakfast and lunch each day, and airport transfers.
You can also just make a dinner reservation and pop up from the city for the evening. This special pairing dinner is a marvel in both decadence and restraint. I was able to experience a preview of Chef Curry’s menu for Champagne week, modified for me as a pescatarian, and every course was not only compelling as a standalone dish, the Champagne pairings were also progressively thoughtful and spot-on. As one server pointed out, nothing is sacrificed in an all-seafood menu paired with world-class Champagne. Other courses included a sautéed diver scallop with sunchoke, hazelnuts and buerre noisette, beautifully matched with the Laurent-Perrier “La Cuvée” Brut.
I also caught a glimpse of the regular menu that includes meat dishes such as Wolf Farm quail and bacon-wrapped veal loin.
For lunch, there’s a three course menu with Champagne pairings, and the more casual bar area offers a decidedly fancy Champagne & Caviar flight featuring three one-ounce tins, each paired with a glass of Champagne, as follows:
- White Sturgeon caviar + Laurent-Perrier “La Cuvée” Brut
- Kaluga caviar + Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé
- Osetra caviar + Veuve Clicquot “La Grande Dame” Brut
If you’re able to stay overnight or, even better, for the whole three-night package, you’ll be well cared for in one of the property’s expansive suites overlooking the Napa Valley, with large terraces, complimentary mini-bar items re-stocked daily, exclusive spa products in the bathrooms, and plush linens, of course.
The spa is available to all overnight hotel guests, and even without a treatment appointment, you can avail yourself of the three pools heated to different temperatures. There’s also a self-guided art tour that allows you to experience Parc du Soleil, the current collection of sculpture curated by Aerena Gallery. All of the pieces in the collection are for sale.
For more information, visit Auberge du Soleil.