I couldn't remember what the grand prize was, but I remember yelling to Curtis, "Holy crap! I just won a contest and I don't remember what the prize was, but I think it's really friggin' big!" Boy, was I right! We won an all-expenses paid trip to Napa, California to attend the 2nd annual Wine Sisterhood Gathering. The Gathering is a "three-day conference featuring interactive workshops, winery visits, stellar dining experiences, and time to mingle with influential women from a variety of industries and backgrounds." I'm going to be talking about how inspirational this trip was throughout these posts, so bear with me!
So after our whirlwind visit to San Francisco, Megan drove us out to our hotel in Napa Valley, the Andaz Napa. We checked in and immediately started getting ready for the Welcoming Reception at Raymond Vineyards. No rest for the weary (or my blistered feet- from walking all over San Francisco!). The party had a 1920s, Speakeasy vibe, and we were encouraged to wear outfits befitting the occasion.
|Beautiful Hotel- I hope I get to come|
back one day!
I had purchased this gorgeous beaded dress from Simply Be, almost immediately after hearing about the reception's theme, so it's been hanging out in my closet for months, just teasing me. Needless to say, I was so excited to finally be wearing it!
|Accessories- Charming Charlie's|
Shoes: Target (Old)
Sadly, we didn't take many photos of the actual party- to be honest I think it was a combination of free-flowing Champagne and absolute shock at the party and venue itself. I have NO experience at all with wineries, wine tasting, wine tours, etc., so I don't think I was prepared for what would greet me. But after speaking with several of my fellow wine sisters, I don't think any of us were prepared for this! Imagine part Alice in Wonderland, part Willy Wonka, part Bacchanal debauchery and you have the party I attended.
|The storied Red Room, owner and host Jean-Charles Boisset, and me- taking it all in!|
From the Wine Sisterhood website:
" Named the 2012 American Winery of the Year by Wine Enthusiast for both their exquisite wines as well the spectacularly designed winery, Raymond is the perfect host for the Gathering’s Welcome Reception and Wine Dinner. From the Red Room, the members-only private club, to the Crystal Cellar, laced with fine Baccarat crystal throughout, to the quietly hidden Library Room, Raymond offers many corners to explore. Bring your flapper attire and get ready to toast in style!"
|The Crystal Cellar- Everything was backlit with red, sexy mannequins, delicious food, and barrel room|
Our host, and president of Boisset Family Estates, was Jean-Charles Boisset, and I was immediately enamored with him. He was so kind and charming (and French!). Walking through the winery, I felt like it was an extension of his personality and preferences. By the end of the night, I was pretty certain I wanted to marry him and move into the Red Room forever!
|Stainless steel wine "barrels" and a small selection of wine offerings|
Until this reception, I really had no idea what I was in for, but Raymond Wineries really set the tone for the evening and the rest of the trip! To Be Continued...