What happened to Winter?

I have been behind in blogging for lots of reasons. We decided to close for 2 weeks in January, stay home, and enjoy our own space. That was lovely. We were able to visit a few wineries during that time (coming right behind this entry): Pride, Paloma, Vine Cliff, John Anthony, Taste at Oxbow, as well as to enjoy dining out at Oenotri, Ubuntu, Norman Rose Tavern, Bounty Hunter, and more. There is also some new art that has been installed along First Street, and new breakfast creations coming your way. Thanks for your patience with the absence. Time to get writing!


Smoke-free, TV-free environment now at The Inn On First

I know we already announced this once before, but it bears repeating for new guests: The Inn On First is proud to boast one of the most comprehensive smoke-free Bed and Breakfast policies in the city of Napa. The majority of guest requests favor a non-smoking environment. The only way to provide this experience is to not allow smoking anywhere on the property.  We know it’s not popular to restrict guests from their freedoms.  Yet consistently over the last 4 years we have received complaints from guests on the property about the smoke drifting into their rooms from the one place in the garden that was designated as a smoking area.  After much thought, reflection, and deliberation we made the decision to restrict smoking from the property altogether.

The other decision we made was to remove the last 2 televisions from the largest suites.  The Inn On First is committed to supporting the values of intimacy and romance for their guests. After discussion with a large number of guests who were staying in rooms with televisions (8 out of 10 rooms had no television anyway), we discovered that most of them never turned it on. Because television is available to them 24/7, they wanted to have time in quiet to enjoy the pleasure of simple communication, reading a good book, playing a game of cards, sitting in the garden drinking wine, or simply taking a walk. We want to support those efforts and have removed the last 2 remaining televisions from the rooms.

And….we upgraded our WiFi for those who want to bring their own entertainment, and have installed new network boxes that have dramatically increased the wireless coverage on the property.  We also transitioned to a new reservation system that will automatically confirm your reservation so you won’t have to wait.  On the reservation page it will only show you what is currently available so you won’t have to wonder if the room is open or not.

We planted tulip bulbs last Fall and now they are springing to life all over the garden.  We bought some new fish for the pond as an egret had made dinner of 3 of the previous occupants, and added in more plant material for the new occupants to hide under should the egret return.  The cherry tree is blossoming beautifully which means we’ll have a few weeks of fresh cherries in early summer.  Now all we need is YOU!

Vine Cliff Winery: great wines to enjoy.

We often call Vine Cliff a great proposal winery because of the private picnic grounds that are hidden under a tree near a pond with a fountain nearby.  Secluded, quiet, and serene it can offer a perfect blend of ambience and privacy to pop that important question.  (If you want to propose we suggest you tell us what you plan to do so we reserve it just for you)

But I don’t want to forget that Vine Cliff is a great Stag’s Leap District winery producing some world-class wines.  The Chardonnay, neither oaky nor buttery nor overly acidic – dare I say it?- is well-balanced!  It is a Chardonnay that I really enjoy.  Their Cabernet, without question, is the quintessential Napa experience that many of our guests look for.   Combined with a small property, a small modern cave, knowledgeable and friendly staff, and a tour of the whole operation as part of the package, we think they offer our guests a great wine-tasting experience.  And for those who want to enjoy a picnic at the winery, even without the proposal, make sure to let us know so we can set aside a picnic table for you.

The chardonnay, neither oakey or buttery or overly acidic; balanced.

The tour of the vineyards, the caves, and the tasting.

Nice place to picnic; tell them ahead of time; sometimes we recommend it for marriage proposals and they allow us to reserve the table by the pond for privacy and beauty.