ECG Destination Blog: Meadowood, Napa Valley

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There’s something about a really really good glass of wine that puts this crazy world on hold and makes you think about how good life is or can be – if just for the moment. It’s the simple pleasures. 

Add 3 nights at the Meadowood Resort, Napa Valley, a heated croquet match, and two days of private wine tours and you’re off to an unforgettable customer event. Meadowood, in my humble opinion is the best location for a high end incentive or customer event in Napa Valley – (if you have the budget).

At first the resort layout seems a little daunting as their beautiful cottages are spread out all over the property.  Not to worry, it’s such a pristine setting that guests come to enjoy what turns out to be a five minute walk to the main lobby and restaurant. None the less, if walking is not your thing just call one of the valets and they’ll be at your cottage within minutes for a transfer in one of those new MercedeMeadowood, Napa Valleys ML 550 – loves those SUVs!

Tell your guests to wear all white because Mike McDonnell, the resident croquet pro, is going to lead your group with a nail biting, whooping and hollering croquet death match that brings out the killer croquet instincts in even your most timid guests.  It’s amazing how competitive some Type A guests really are!

The match is a blast and the setting couldn’t be better. Don’t forget a group picture in all whites after the match. An authentic croquet set to the winning team is a great piece of memorabilia.

Dinner is followed on the lawn adjacent to the croquet court and, as an enhancement we added some local vintners for a high end wine tasting before and during dinner.

Day 2:

Over the course of three site inspections and countless wine tastings at the best wineries in Napa, we came up with a combination of the best wine tours in the valley. I don’t want to give away our company secrets because a lot of work went into these select tours so you’ll just have to call me or hire us to find out. All of the “cult” wineries selected were less than 2,000 case productions, have at least a 97 rating, and are by appointment only.

The attendees were divided into groups of ten and then met at selected wineries for a mind blowing tasting experience and lunch catered by Meadowood. Did I mention that Rock Star Chef Christopher Kostow leads the charge at THE Restaurant at Meadowood which is only one of two 3 Star Michelin Restaurants West of the Mississippi. The other one is French Laundry – (2 month waiting list – good luck).

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That night we held dine arounds at some of the best restaurants in Napa. Again- call me for recommendations. Careful with overly exuberate clients who like to impress their guests as the wine tabs were hefty.

Day 3

For the final day in breathtaking Napa Valley, the exclusive experiences continued with tastings at boutique wineries, a cooking demonstration/class at world famous CIA and an Audi A8 race car driving experience.

That evening we held the final night dinner at Inglenook’s private barrel room. This building dates back to the turn of the century (the other century) and guests really enjoyed the food, ambience and pre-dinner cocktails in the wine caves.

All in all, this  was one of the best designed programs we’ve operated in Napa Valley and with the help of Meadowood’s very attentive staff, we pulled off our client’s best customer event to date.

As a side note, Meadowood offers some great meeting space and hospitality venues. We had a late night fire pit on the back lawn off of the Woodside room and many of the guests opened some of the day’s purchases resulting in deep philosophy and enhanced client vendor bonding.

Meadowood is almost finished with their new spa building. From what I know it promises to be one of the best.

– Jack Hartley

Jack Hartley is the owner of Event Connections Group located in the Baltimore/Washington D.C metro area. ECG specializes in high end incentive and customer events.