Meadowood embodies the soul of Napa Valley in its entirety—a veritable perfect storm of wine, food, and hospitality gathered on 250 acres in a beautiful natural setting.
You can feel it as you enter the driveway—that same magical sensation that compelled H. William Harlan and his partners to purchase the property just 48 hours after setting eyes on it in 1979. Back then it was a rustic country club, albeit set on breathtaking land—not the impressive destination resort of today.
Harlan would become one of the most admired vintners in the valley, but it was his original vision for Meadowood—to make a community gathering ground for Napa’s vintners and growers—that would set the stage to transform the property into the perfect destination to entice visitors to taste the fruits of the Valley’s labors. There is perhaps no other place that has become as fitting a symbol for what Napa Valley represents today.
A key element to the vision of making Napa Valley the premiere wine region of the world was that winemaking and hospitality are inseparable. Meadowood added a collection of guest rooms and cottages and, in 1987, became one of California’s first Relais & Châteaux members. Its vintner members and their families have full access to tennis courts, swimming, hiking, an award-winning golf course, and even a croquet lawn. The resort also features a Michelin three-star restaurant under the guidance of Chef Christopher Kostow where his commitment to local food and local wine is showcased. Produce comes directly from Meadowood Garden and the wine list highlights the finest wines from Meadowood’s Napa Valley neighbors.
The understated, unpretentious style of Meadowood was designed to blend seamlessly into the natural setting. The guest rooms reflect a Californian style of living—guests can take advantage of the natural beauty of the surroundings with ample outdoor space, and the natural beauty is reflected in the colors and tones of the inside decor.
Napa Valley Vintners’ first office was at Meadowood, and the inaugural Auction Napa Valley took place there in 1981. The auction was originally conceived as the perfect way to bring the vintners together to raise funds for the community and awareness of Napa Valley wines. Thirty- three years later, Meadowood continues to be the location for what has become one of the most important wine auctions in the world, raising more than $120 million to directly benefit and support local charities in the community.
Although Napa Valley Vintners now has a new home, the strong connection continues. For the past 10 years, Meadowood, Napa Valley Vintners, and the Culinary Institute of America have collaborated to bring together the most important wine writers in the country for The Symposium for Professional Wine Writers. The four-day conference explores contemporary wine writing, and this year’s keynote speaker was none other than Robert M. Parker Jr.
As a gathering place for vintners, Meadowood has grown and thrived with the families of the local community and is certainly part of the culture of the valley. As a resort, Meadowood represents the essence of Napa Valley on a world stage.
The Napa Valley Ag Preserve, established in 1968, was the first of its kind in the United states to set land aside specifically for agriculture and today protects roughly 38,000 acres (15,400 hectares) of valley floor land.
More than 61,000 acres (24,600 hectares) of land are certified or pending certification in Napa Green Certified land, a signature land and environmental certification program; nearly 35,000 acres (14,000 hectares) have been certified; more than 1/3 of all vineyard land has been certified.
More than 53,000 acres (21,400 hectares) are in permanent conservation easements, or about 10% of Napa County.
The Napa Valley Appellation
Only 4% of California’s wine grapes come from Napa Valley.
The Napa Valley has a dry Mediterranean climate, which covers only 2% of the earth’s surface, and is ideal for growing wine grapes.
Only 9% of Napa County’s 504,450 acres (204,000 hectares) are planted to grapes or about 45,000 acres (18,200 hectares) under cultivation.
There are approximately 700 grape growers in Napa County.
There are approximately 430 physical wineries in Napa County producing 815 different wine brands.
The NVV has more than 480 winery members. Of NVV members, 78% produce fewer than 10,000 cases annually; and 67% produce fewer than 5,000 cases annually.
95% of Napa Valley’s wineries are family owned.
The local wine industry and related businesses create an economic impact of more than $13 billion annually to the Napa County economy and represent a mighty $50 billion economic impact on the U.s. economy.
The local wine industry generates 46,000 jobs in Napa County and 303,000 nationwide.
Through its annual community fundraiser, auction Napa Valley, the Napa Valley vintners has invested more than $120 million in local nonprofits since the auction’s inception in 1981. To make the most meaningful difference, the NVV awards grants to organizations emphasizing prevention and early intervention in the areas of community health and children’s education. the goal of the auction is to strengthen the Napa County community, from American Canyon to Calistoga.