Napa Valley, California – a magical part of the world with incomparable natural beauty and world-renown wine production. Lush green landscapes nestled between mountain ranges drew settlers here in the first place. Mild year-round temperatures with cool ocean breezes and sunny skies make it not just an amazing place to live or visit, but also perfect for viticulture. That’s why this relatively small valley boasts some of the world’s most award-winning vineyards. This April, I was one of the millions of wine enthusiast tourists touring Napa, and today I’m happy to share with the readers of Fabmood just what makes Napa, California so fabulously full of wedding inspiration.
My travels took me to a vineyard nestled high in the slopes of Mount Veeder called Mayacamas Vineyards. We entered an absolutely gorgeous stone building facility built in 1889 using stones collected from around the property. Recently renovated, its interior design combines original Old World Mediterranean aesthetic with contemporary elegance. The original wooden doors seem ancient – add to them the vineyard’s flourished logo and giant metal door knockers and you feel like you’re entering a medieval castle.
Our guide Kassandra loaded us into an ATV to tour the slopes where their grapes call home. Once we reached the top, we were rewarded with a stunning view overlooking the river valley. My favorite touch was a scenic overlook platform that utilized the thick century-old grapevines as part of the support structures. With a fresh breeze in my face and a stunning view of vineyards rolling across hillsides laid out in front of me, I could have stood there all day. I found myself imagining how spectacular it would be to stand there and say “I do” had I to do my own wedding all over again.
Back at the winery building, we settled into the reception area for our wine tasting. While waiting for Kassandra to pour, I had a chance to get a closer look at the beautiful décor. I just love their blending antique rustic elements like the wrought iron globe light fixture and the antique wine press with contemporary pieces. All of the rich brocade textiles added color and warmth in shades of burgundy – or should I say cabernet?
Honestly, the design of the Mayacamas is an amazing color palette for a Napa-inspired wedding. Start with rustic wooden furniture to emulate the barrels used for aging wine. Tuck some greenery in the corners, like olive branches which pair so well with wine visually and in the culinary sense! Layer rich cabernet-colored textiles for your tablecloths and ribbons around cream colored florals. Deep burgundy bridesmaids dresses would be just the thing, and the guys in a casual mix-and-match suit effect with browns and gray would be a nod to California casual style. Instead of a cocktail hour, you host a wine tasting. Hire a sommelier to offer a few different varietals and give your guests a mini lesson on viticulture while they sip some of the award-winning Napa wines.
If I’ve gotten your heart set on a Napa destination wedding, you have to read the fine print. Although an agricultural conservation law forbids Napa vineyards from hosting wedding events on their property, there are two great options available to you. First, many vineyards, including Mayacamas, can legally allow photo shoots and rehearsal dinners. Second, there are 5 vineyards that were “grandfathered-in” before the law was created, so they are able to offer wedding ceremonies start-to-finish on their grounds.
In fact, I was able to track down a few photos from a recent wedding at Merryvale Vineyards by Christophe Genty Photography to show you just how beautiful a Napa vineyard wedding truly could turn out. Enjoy!