There are times when the Napa Valley can seem like one long line of cars punching the brake lights whenever they see a “Tasting Room” sign. But at Meadowood, a 250-acre resort tucked away in a quiet corner of Napa, you’d never know that overenthusiastic imbibers were sipping and spitting just five minutes away. This bucolic fantasy of redwood groves, azalea gardens, and lush lawns blends country-club looks with some of the country’s most outstanding food and surprisingly personal weddings.
The fact that Robin Williams got married here a couple of years back doesn’t impress most of the couples who choose this as their site. Three things that are much more important: 1. A wealth of ceremony and reception spots, such as a croquet lawn for cocktails, a bar for wine-tasting, a pool café for brunch, a spa for the ladies, shady groves for late lunches, and acres of lawn for erecting big white wedding marquees. 2. Outrageous food. Meadowood’s main restaurant is the only hotel dining room in the U.S. with three Michelin stars (the chef even has his own chicken yard). 3. A dedicated wedding specialist who’s been organizing weddings here for a decade, and knows her stuff inside-out.
Though it feels like another world, you’re only five minutes from downtown St. Helena. On most days it’s only a 90-minute drive to San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge.
Keep in mind
For all its size, Meadowood hosts some of the more charming weddings in the valley, whether you’re dreaming of a half-dozen rows of folding chairs and baskets of white parasols, or crystal chandeliers illuminating a cloud-white tent.