Team Building Day with SSP

Team Building Day with SSP

Today we traveled to Napa in search of new venues, new food, and most importantly…new wine.

We started the day off meeting Christina at Westin Hotel and Resorts, located along the riverbank within walking distance of downtown Napa. Christina gave us a tour of the hotel where we saw different venue spaces, a selection of rooms, the saltwater pool, and a sneak peek into La Toque Restaurant. The hotel offers guests a fully relaxing experience with high-end flare – it was tough to leave!

Next we made our way to the heart of downtown Napa and met Glynnis who showed us Andaz Napa, a Hyatt Hotel. Andaz is filled with trendy décor and is easily accessible to all of downtown Napa’s charm. We all left wishing we could call their Vintner’s Suite our new apartment.

Then we stopped at Danielle’s newly built home, had a “splash of wine,” toured her beautiful home, and met her cat Toots. Poor Toots has a GPS device around his neck which looks like something built in the 90s. The device was probably as big as Toots’ head. I’m still surprised he can hold his head up, let alone breathe with it on!

Lewis Wines was next on the list, where Danielle’s husband David hosted us for a tasting. We tasted the 2013 Vin Gris Syrah and the 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon, making sure to use proper tasting etiquette (taught to us earlier by Danielle) – smell the wine first, swirl it around your glass, smell again, taste, and then spit it out. However, we don’t waste wine at SSP so we skipped the "spit it out" step.

For lunch we drove to Auberge du Soleil where we enjoyed each other’s company, college pictures of Danielle, and an absolutely breathtaking view. Oh, and the food was amazing as well! I could have stayed up there all day. I ordered the Herlioom Tomato Risotto, with shrimp and bacon bits. It was so rich and flavorful; I had to remember to breathe between bites. 

The last stop was Quintessa Winery. We got a behind-the-scenes look at their cellars before walking up to one of the tasting rooms, located on a peaceful hilltop. Guests have the option of taking a cart or walking up to the top. We needed some cardio, so we decided to walk. The scenery during the walk itself was beautiful, but when I arrived at the top of the hill, I couldn’t believe what was in front of me – a wide open view of endless vineyards with the mountains and skyline as a backdrop.

Overall, SSP had a fun AND educational day in Napa. We got to know even more about each other and the culture of the area. Hoping it won’t be too long until we go back again! Or maybe, Danielle will simply let us all move into her beautiful new home so we can do it every day.

- Hayley