Kevin Nelson Writer

Travel. Adventure. Discovery

Holiday events in wine country

champagne glassHanukkah Hootenanny? Lighted tractor parade? Feast of Seven Fishes? In addition to a nice glass of bubbly, these are some of the ways to celebrate this holiday season in Napa and Sonoma valleys.

Read the article HERE.

Etude Wines: An interview with Winemaker Jon Priest

Jon Priest, Etude WinesThe other day I was fortunate enough to sit down with Jon Priest, the chief winemaker at Etude Wines in the Carneros District of Napa Valley, and talk about his love for pinot noir and other wines. Click here to see the article that came out of it.

A Thanksgiving Day idea: Go to the car show!

CorvetteIf you’re looking for a novel way to spend Thanksgiving Day, here is one: Go to the San Francisco International Auto Show. That’s how our family often spends the day, or at least the morning. You will see some amazing machines, such as this 2014 Corvette C7 Stingray at last year’s show, and some amazing old ones too. Read the article HERE.

Michelin star restaurants in wine country

French LaundryThe French Laundry, pictured at left, and Meadowood Restaurant are the Napa Valley restaurants that won three stars, the highest rating, in the prestigious 2015 Michelin restaurant rankings. In all, ten wine country restaurants won Michelin stars, and all of them are listed in this article HERE. I have only eaten at one of them—Bouchon, which was a fabulous experience— so I’ve got something to look forward to.

Fine luxury hotels in California’s wine country

Solage CalistogaThere are more than 20 four-diamond hotels in Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino counties, according to the AAA travel organization. Four diamond hotels are luxury hotels that deliver high levels of comfort and service, achieving their ratings after on-site inspections by AAA personnel. For an informative survey piece that lists all the four diamond  hotels in California’s wine country, including Solage Calistoga (shown here), please click HERE.

B.R. Cohn Winery: Wine, olive oil and rock ‘n’ roll

B.R. Cohn WineryThe founder of B.R. Cohn Winery in the Sonoma Valley is Bruce Cohn, who manages the Doobie Brothers, the 1970s-era rock band that made such hits as “China Road” and “What a Fool Believes,” has sold millions of records, and continues to record and tour today. Because of its vintage rock lineage, the winery has a casual, easy listening sort of vibe. In addition to wine, it makes olive oils and wine vinegars and hosts a big rock music festival every fall. Read more about it HERE.

6 Napa and Sonoma wineries with lovely views

Artesa There are many reasons to visit a winery—the most important of which is, of course, the wine. If you like a certain wine, by all means, go the winery that makes it and do a tasting at the source. Another reason to go to a winery is the beauty of its natural surroundings. With this mind, I just filed an Examiner piece about Artesa, at left, and five other Napa and Sonoma wineries that offer delicious views. Read it here.

Operation Bullpen after 15 years: Movie, book, endless fascination

Bullpen resizedOn October 13, 1999, the FBI brought down the biggest autograph forgery ring in American history, in the biggest one-day bust in Bureau history. Fifteen years later, the case remains a subject of endless fascination, with a movie in the works, the release of a new edition of my book Operation Bullpen, coverage in the media, online chatter and more. Happily surprised by this interest, I wrote this update for Sports Collectors Digest on all the things that are happening with the case. Read the article here.

Abraham Lincoln sighting in Napa

Abraham Lincoln bustThe other day I was driving down a street in Napa and saw something entirely unexpected: the busts of Abraham Lincoln, Oskar Schindler and Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce. What the heck? What were they doing there? The sight of these figures in history, so beautifully rendered, led me to some interesting observations about travel and the value of following your own path. Read the article HERE.

Nice digs in Yountville: Villagio Inn & Spa

VillagioThe Villagio Inn & Spa in Yountville is ranked as one of the best luxury hotels in California, and rightly so. On a trip to Napa Valley not long ago, I stayed there three days and nights and came away with the feeling of being well-tended, well-tended indeed. If you’re looking for a nice place to stay on your next trip to wine country, it’s worth considering.  For more details (and some light, entertaining humor as well), please see my piece here.

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