The Napa Valley is a bucket-list vacation for anyone who enjoys wine, cuisine, stunning views and tranquil spas—but is it also a bucket-list destination for a business retreat? Absolutely.
Sure, you are going to get some world-class wine and dining experiences—the valley is known for delivering as much or more than travelers have come to expect with international travels—but what it also does is shake up the normal work retreat and inspires teamwork in a plethora of new ways you won’t find anywhere else.
Filled with unparalleled meeting spaces, teams are immersed in a culture-rich oasis, creating a great space for bonding and big ideas. In addition, the group outings that are available are one of a kind. On trips, it’s natural for teams to gravitate towards co-workers they’re comfortable with, and stick with them through an event—but with the valley’s many off-the-beaten-path excursions, they are also a great opportunity to create unique moments for networking and forge new working relationships.
The one thing we all know about bonding is that there’s no better way to connect, and converse, than over food. However, rather than simply enjoying a conversation around the dinner table, create a conversation by going to a Culinary Institute of America’s Napa Valley Bootcamp. Your team will get a full immersion into the world of professional cooking, and together you’ll prepare and dine extraordinary dishes that’ll have everyone trying not to talk with their mouth full.
And, what goes best with delicious food? Drinks! At the Napa Valley Distillery, team-building comes with a twist—of orange and lime. Co-workers have the amusing opportunity to compete in group cocktail competitions. Or, if they feel like something more relaxing, they can participate in mixing classes and educational barrel tastings.
Of course, this wouldn’t be the Napa Valley if there wasn’t wine on the itinerary. You can take ordinary tastings to the next level by having your team bottle themselves with their own personal blending session. At Judd’s Hill Winery, blending guides turn wine education into entertainment as guests choose to their perfect Bordeaux-style blend, including hand-bottling, labeling, and foil to the bottlenecks. Perhaps there is a valuable training lesson hidden between the lines in this out-of-the-bottle team-building exercise?
We also cannot forget that the Napa Valley is centered in some truly breathtaking landscape. While it’s just fine to sit back and drink in the beauty, nature is also a great place for people to connect. From bike tours to mountain hikes and memorable hot air balloon rides, there’s no end to the adventures a group can choose from.
Paddling the Napa River is a fantastic opportunity to truly experience the scenery. One tour of the river showcases the river’s transition from saltwater wetland to the fresh waters of the Oak Knoll, while another version takes you through the Carneros Wildlife Preserve, exploring the San Pablo Bay and Skaggs Island, a former top-secret naval base during the Cold War and Cuban Missile Crisis. It’s said antennae used to intercept Russian Radio communications are still buried below the water.
Whether your team is exploring the land, recharging in a mineral water spa, or working hard in the cool ambiance of a wine cave, the Napa Valley is a destination that will change your view of a “work retreat.” With more than 200,000 square feet of meeting space from ballrooms to barrel rooms and wine caves to vineyards, it merges both business and vacation into an unforgettable blend you’ll want to sip from again and again.
To learn more visit our website at https://www.visitnapavalley.com/meetings/.
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