Gift Ideas from Yountville, From Chocolate Ornaments to Winemaker For A Day

A lot of us are trying to simplify; we don’t need more stuff. Happily, more and more people are gifting enlightening and inspirational experiences instead.

Lucky recipients of gifts from Yountville, Napa Valley, could reign over a winery for a day and depart with wine that they create; be surprised with their own restaurant for a night and its star-studded chef; dip into an cosseting wine-themed spa experience; drift away in a hot air balloon for two with views all the way to San Francisco Bay; or immerse themselves in chocolate alongside their own personal chocolate chef.

Here are some suggestions for stimulating experiences (and a few other inspiring goodies) from Wine Country, that your readers might enjoy giving, or receiving. Please let me know if I can get you images or more information on any of these gift ideas, all of which are sure to sparkle under the holiday tree.


What would life be without chocolate ornaments?

Dip into an exclusive chocolate workshop at artisanal Kollar Chocolates where you will hand-roll dark chocolate truffles or fashion chocolate ornaments alongside Chef Kollar himself.

No time to make your own? These are better than a chocolate Santa!

Kollar’s Rocher Christmas Tree (toasted slivered almonds covered in chocolate) is trimmed with crispy pearls and makes a sweet addition to a Holiday tablescape. The Cocoa Pod Reindeer Sled is a whimsical chocolate decoration with rocher antlers and chocolate-covered orange peel runners.

One picture tells all: so much wine, so little time!

Wine lovers will relish this refreshing alternative to the usual wine gift – a cool giclee print on canvas or metal from an original oil painting by Napa Valley artist Gail

Redd Napa Valley restaurant is all yours
$12,300 (+ beverages)

A six-year Michelin-starred chef will cook dinner for you and your special someone when you buy out his Yountville restaurant for a night. Acclaimed Chef Richard Reddington creates an unforgettable food and wine experience. Image the look on your gift recipient’s face! 

The Scents of Napa Valley
Environmentally friendly Turkish hamam towels

Traditional towels called peshtamals are woven on hand-looms and traditionally used in Turkish baths. These uniquely soft-and-cosseting towels come in a rainbow of colors and patterns in sizes from hand towels to Harem towels, 33″x61″, which can be used as a bath towel, tablecloth, throw or even a wrap. They take up less space the regular towels, dry quickly, and are a natural alternative to ordinary towels in bathrooms, pools, spas, beaches, the gym and for baby. A great stocking stuffer.

Wine Barrel Sink Vanities Turn Wine into Water!
$2000-$2500 + shipping

Washing up never had it so good. Choice of four vanity styles wrought in natural materials and real oak wine barrels, with basins of porcelain, stone or glass.

Napa Valley Aloft –Your Own Private Balloon
From $440 for two (or $1100 in your own private basket for two)

The gift of romance for your someone special or for cherished friends: experience luxurious solitude as you float across the beautiful landscape of Napa Valley’s wine country. Check-in starts with pastries from Yountville’s noted Bouchon Bakery, followed by a bottle of Domaine Chandon sparkling in your basket to toast whatever special occasion you wish to celebrate, or simply celebrate life itself! The experience ends with a sit down brunch.

Goodies from Chef Thomas Keller’s Finesse, The Store
Salted Caramel Butter and Nottellem

Made by Bouchon Bakery’s pastry team in Yountville, one spread is a seamless marriage of sweet and salty used to sandwich caramel macarrons. The other is a play on traditional Italian cocoa-hazelnut spreads, elevated with Gianduja, a sweet Italian chocolate enhanced with hazelnut paste. Enjoy it on pumpernickel toast, layer a cake, fill a cupcake or fold into a crepe with fresh strawberries.

Elysian Fields Farm Sheepskin Rug
$300 – $600

These luxurious sheepskin rugs are made with the same holistic philosophy as Elysian Fields Farm’s renowned Pure Bred Lamb, found on the menu at Chef Thomas Keller’s The French Laundry restaurant. The rugs have been tanned, preserving the wool and leaving it soft and dense.

Copper culinary trinkets from Hestan Vineyards

The owner of Hestan Vineyards is also the CEO of one of the world’s largest cookware producers, including the artisanal Ruffoni copper cookware in Milan. As is befitting of an international culinary destination, Hestan showcases the largest selection of the Ruffoni copper in the US. The gorgeous copper and porcelain Fondue Set is easily packable ($325). A vintage-style casserole from Ruffoni’s Historia Decor line can be used in the oven but also makes a stunning presentation piece.

Bell Wine Cellars-Be a Winemaker Day
$200 per person 

Study a comparative tasting of varietals and explore clonal variation, then it is your turn to blend and create your own private reserve. Cab, petite sirah, chardonnay, a meritage? Take home a bottle of your own wine for sipping or cellaring.

Spa Villagio’s Spa Day Your Way Package

This gift indulges the recipient with their heart’s desire: a 100-minute body treatment of choice in a private spa suite with a complimentary hour of relaxation time and enjoyment of all luxurious suite-level amenities –fireplace, infinity soaking tub, Mediterranean steam shower, flat screen television with Bose sound system, plus a luxurious tranquility soak and spa refreshment platter, all in the heart of Napa Valley.

You can have it all at Hotel Yountville
$3,200 for two

Two night accommodations in the Hotel’s Yountville Suite, with a private hot air balloon ride, private wine tasting at Alpha Omega Winery, and breakfast in our gourmet restaurant Hopper Creek Kitchen.

Girard Winery Sumptuous Dean & Deluca Food and Wine Pairing
$120 for 2

A decadent, five course food and wine pairing gift for someone special, featuring dishes from Dean & Deluca ranging from Fresh Tomato Salad and Crab Cakes to Beef Tenderloin Crostini and artisan chocolates all artfully paired with Girard’s renowned wines.

Cosentino Winery “Poet’s Essentials Package”
$115 for 2

This gift includes a private tasting for two in the Poet’s Loft including a selection of small production wines alongside wine country accompaniments, plus a bottle of Cosentino’s flagship red wine, The Poet, to take home, and a tour of the winery’s estate-grown Merlot and Cabernet vineyards.