Expert Style Tips

Your Guide to the New Napa: Local Favorites from Cole Drake Events

  1. Whole Spice: A lovely local company that produces freshly ground herbs, spices and blends.

  2. Oxbow Public Market: A boutique-style market with everything from artisan spices to kiosks where you can sip bubbles and nosh on raw oysters, gelatos, wines and more.

  3. Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch: A delicious local restaurant with a farm-to-table concept and an organic garden on-site that the chef uses daily. Long Meadow Ranch Winery is right next door and boasts a variety of bold reds and complex whites that pair perfectly with the Farmstead menu.

  4. Napa Smith Brewery: A cool location with great local craft beers.

  5. Harms Lavender: Great for hand-crafted lavender products made locally in Napa Valley.

  6. Woodhouse Chocolate: The place for any and all chocolates. You won't be sorry!

  7. Round Pond Estate Olive Oil: Absolutely gorgeous olive oils!

  8. Tra Vigne: The BEST freshly made mozzarella served over crostini by Chef Nash. The entire menu is chock-full of awesome Italian offerings that are fresh and plated beautifully.

New Napa Favorites - Our insider's guide to eating, drinking and gift-giving

Tips for Planning a Wedding in Napa from Cole Drake Events

  1. Mocktails: If your heart is set on a winery wedding, you'll need to be creative when it comes to "cocktail hour." Wineries, due to their licensing, cannot legally serve hard liquor. "Mocktails" made with local still wine, sparkling wine and sometimes cognac can be refreshing, match your color palette and satisfy even the most discerning mixologist.

  2. Climate: Most of the venues in Napa are outdoor-driven sites – ceremony, cocktail hour, dining and dancing all take place under the stars and among the vines. While the daytime hours are warm and sunny, nighttime can turn brisk very quickly (as much as a 30-40 degree shift). Ensure guests’ comfort by providing heaters and pashminas (that double as favors) for the ladies to use at their discretion. To give your guests an idea of what to expect, we strongly recommend including this kind of information in an insert in your wedding invitation as well as on your wedding website.

  3. Menu: The Napa Wine Country is known for breathtaking views, award-winning wines and flavorful food. Biodynamic, sustainable farming practices aren’t just words bandied around because they’re trendy – they are a celebrated way of life and define our culinary arts. Recently named by Conde Nast Traveler as the second best “city” for food in the United States (behind New York, of course), Napa and its local culture emphasize flavor profiles that play with the palate by complementing and contrasting the wines. When in Rome…be Roman! Embrace your surroundings locally by incorporating the foods, products and experiences available to you.

Cole Drake Events

Cole Drake Events Cole Drake Events is a full-service wedding & event planning firm in Napa & Sonoma Wine Country specializing in delivering jaw-dropping events that appeal to your senses! Owners/Principal Planners Stephanie Cole & Sarah Drake built the company on a collective twenty years of wedding and event experience and on the foundation of honesty, authenticity, sensory, humor and creativity. With that foundation, they are pleased to offer wedding planning, coordination, corporate and social event services. See more at