When you’re looking to make an escape from day to day life, there’s really nothing better than wine country in the fall. Enjoying easy access to such a beautiful place is probably my favorite thing about living in the Bay Area. Last weekend I was fortunate to experience an extra special treat on the invitation from Charles Krug Winery. I headed up to Napa not only to take in the fall foliage, but also to partake in the Napa Valley Film Festival. As you may have spied on Instagram, I made the most of every minute!


Charles Krug Winery played host to the Festival for the first time this year. That meant you got to enjoy screenings in their 150 year old carriage house, eat lunch on their expansive grounds and sip wine as you toured their tasting and barrel rooms. It’s a gorgeous spot – established in 1861 it is the oldest winery in Napa and the property also features the oldest tasting room in all of California (established in 1882). It’s been run by the Mondavi family since the 1940’s. I was in both wine and design heaven.


I always love a good wine tasting. The Charles Krug 2013 Merlot and the Sauvignon Blanc were my particular favorites.


I also got to enjoy some good old fashioned celebrity sighting too. The festival honored Kurt Russell with the Charles Krug Legendary Actor award. I had no idea Kurt Russell had been in movies since age eight. Apparently he had an influential conversation with Walt Disney around age 11 that helped influence the making of Mary Poppins! Now there’s a mentor for you.


Peter Mondavi Jr. presenting Kurt Russel with the Charles Krug Legendary Actor award (image by todd wagner)


We also got to hear Viggo Mortensen share tales about his long and storied career and also about how he once accidentally tired to bring a machete through an airport! Rather hilarious. His new movie Captain Fantastic, where he is the father of six kids, living off the grid looks awesome.

apt34_nvff10apt34_nvff24apt34_nvff17YOUNTVILLE, CA - NOVEMBER 10: Dev Patel attends the Celebrity Tribute at the Lincoln Theater during the 2016 Napa Valley Film Festival on November 10, 2016 in Yountville, California. (Photo by Frank Micelotta/PictureGroup)

Dev Patel of Slumdog Millionaire fame was so engaging. He seemed incredibly down to earth, passionate about his work, but with a really good head on his shoulders. I think it must be a British thing. His new movie Lion, co-starring Nicole Kidman, sounds spectacular.


When I wasn’t oogling the landscape or getting my fill of wine, I did get to see a variety of films. I can’t remember the last time I actually indulged in movie watching. I saw short films, a couple of documentaries and a really power feature called So.B.It directed by Stephen Gyllenhaal (yes, Jake’s dad). If it makes its way to mainstream theaters, I highly recommend seeing it, but bring tissue with you!

More than anything, the Napa Valley Film Festival was a wonderful reminder about all the components of humanity. Fragility, creativity, bravery, compassion. Wine making connects you to humanity in many of the same ways. It’s basically an art form as well. You have to be so connected to the land to be good at it. It is so easy to experience crushing defeats followed by soaring successes. Wine encompasses the full spectrum of human emotion. Being surrounded by such a beautiful setting, around so many amazing people and soaking up the art, the food and the wine was equal parts cathartic and inspiring. It reconnected me to the human spirit. I think we could all use a little of that right now.

I want to offer a heartfelt thank you to everyone at Charles Krug Winery for being so welcoming and for letting me take part in such a special event. I can’t wait for my next visit.



For more of my favorite spots in wine country CLICK HERE


For more of my favorite Gotta Getaway destinations CLICK HERE



This post is in partnership with Charles Krug Winery. Thanks for supporting collaborations that have kept Apartment 34’s doors open

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