Skip to content

Tish Around Napa Valley: tricks of the trade

Spring is rapidly approaching in Napa Valley, so I am excited about the warmer days, blooming flowers, bud break and the vineyards coming to life. Spring is also a popular time for family and friends...

Tish Wiggins moved to Napa in February 2023 to launch her business creating customizable winery itineraries. | Photo courtesy of Allison Watkins Studio

Spring is rapidly approaching in Napa Valley, so I am excited about the warmer days, blooming flowers, bud break and the vineyards coming to life. Spring is also a popular time for family and friends to visit Napa Valley. As residents, we all get the quintessential questions from visitors asking where to stay, where to go and what to do. 

As a local tour operator and concierge, I want to give you a few tricks of the trade that will help you answer these questions. Before moving to Napa, I used various resources for research and to become familiar with the area. I still use some of these resources today to plan the perfect itinerary for my clients. 

A starting point for planning a trip to Napa Valley is Visit Napa Valley (visitnapavalley.com). The site is a one-stop shop for researching hotels, wineries, restaurants, events and other activities. The “Things To Do” section has an inclusive list of activities and recommended vendors. This is an excellent resource for answering the question: What can we do in Napa Valley besides drink wine?  

Also, Visit Napa Valley has an interactive, tech-forward and engaging Welcome Center in the heart of downtown Napa. Their friendly and knowledgeable staff can also assist with planning the perfect trip while offering complimentary maps, guides and insider tips. 

Another resource I use for researching and planning is the Napa Valley Vintners (napavintners.com) site. This site is my go-to for in-depth historical, educational and fun facts about the region. They also have an inclusive list of wine tastings, events and activities throughout the area. In addition, they have an interactive winery map that can be used to research and build a customized itinerary or to select one of their one-day itineraries. 

We can’t talk about Napa Valley without mentioning the immersive culinary scene. Napa Valley has Michelin-rated restaurants featuring renowned chefs showcasing the region’s rich agriculture. It is also the mecca for farm-to-table dining, where many ingredients are locally sourced.

People love to indulge in the food, but some want to dive deeper and learn how to cook the fantastic meals they are eating. CIA for Enthusiasts (ciafoodies.com) and Playte Kitchen (playtekitchen.com) are two resources I use when looking for culinary classes for my clients. They both offer great options for hands-on cooking classes that cater to all levels of cooking skills, from newbies to seasoned cooks. 

In my opinion, Playte Kitchen’s Napa Farmers Market Tour and Cooking Class is one of the most immersive cooking experiences offered in Napa Valley. The experience starts with a guided tour of the Napa Farmers Market. Attendees tour, shop for fresh ingredients and meet local farmers and artisan food producers. The class continues in the kitchen with hands-on instructions on preparing and cooking dishes showcasing the local ingredients from the market. Participants leave with additional culinary knowledge and skills and an appreciation for using local ingredients.  

There are many other resources, but I wanted to name a few of my go-to sites that are informative, interactive and user-friendly. You can find a more inclusive list of resources and recommendations on my website, tisharoundtown.com. 

Latest