Jet Set: Wine Country, Napa Valley

Ted Mandes - the Palm Beach Wine Auction, Kravis Center - insider's travel guide to wine country, Napa Valley

Jason Nuttle Photography

Palm Beach Gardens resident Ted Mandes first visited Napa Valley in the early 1970s, and for the past 12 years it’s been a regular sojourn for him and his wife, Cindy, for charity and pleasure: Every September, they visit Napa to taste and acquire California vintages that will be served and auctioned at the Palm Beach Wine Auction, which Ted founded in 2008. Since its inception, the January event has raised more than $2 million for children’s art education programs at the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach.

Palm Beach Wine Auction - Kravis Center

Best time to go:  Spring because the wineries are less busy and the winemakers have more time to spend with you.


Insider's Travel guide to Napa Valley - Day Fashion , blue jeans

Day Fashion: Blue jeans; it’s a wonderfully casual place.


Vibe: Napa is about hardworking people who are dedicated to the wine industry. They eat, sleep and—no pun intended—drink it 24 hours a day. You really feel that passion and dedication to their craft.



Antica winery - Soda Canyon Road - insider's travel guide to Napa Valley - luxury travel in California's wine country

Favorite winery: Antica, at the top of Soda Canyon Road, which is owned by the Antinori family and has a 40-mile view—one of the most spectacular settings.


Enjnoy dinner at Press in Napa Valley - insider's travel guide to Napa ValleyBest seat in town: Dinner at Press, owned by Leslie Rudd of Rudd wineries. Chef Trevor Kunk does farm-to-table so well.

Photo by Morgan Bellinger


Healdsburg town square - hidden gems in Napa Valley - insider's travel guide to California's wine country

A must-do experience not in the guide books: Healdsburg is worth the drive for a beautiful, peaceful town square that’s often overlooked.


travel guide to Sonoma County and Napa Valley - travel tip: hire a driver

Guilty pleasure: Hire a driver when you’re tasting in Napa. It allows you to relax, take in the scenery and enjoy the wine.


Bouchon Bakey - Thomas Keller - guilty pleasues in Napa Valley and Sonoma County - insider's travel guide to California's wine country

Best bite: The apricot croissant from Bouchon Bakery, the patisserie owned by Thomas Keller, with a triple latte.


Unwritten rule the locals live by: If you want to know something about wines and what’s going on, talk to the locals. They enjoy the wines from not only their own wineries but from others as well.

Hometwon goods to sample and stockpile: Wines you can’t get at home.

NapaStyle - insider's travel guide to Napa Valley

Favorite shop: NapaStyle in downtown Napa has a fun selection of kitchenware.

Signature drink: Whatever wine you’re enjoying at the moment.

sipping on wine in Napa Valley

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