La Bonne Vie with Alexis Swanson

Creative Director of Swanson Vineyards

Napa Native

I was on a pay phone when my parents told me we were moving to the Napa Valley, and I immediately started to envision myself in Lorenzo Lamas's Falcon Crest world. I was thrilled. If you're visiting Napa, I would highly recommend a stay at Auberge du Soleil. My earliest travel memory is of a trip to Guayaquil, Ecuador - my babysitter’s hometown - when I was 6 years old. My travel cravings now are for a room with a view of the beach and an outdoor patio protected by banana trees and bougainvillea.

The place I'm most excited to go next is Lake Garda, Italy.

My favorite places to eat

1. C Casa Mexican at the Oxbow Market - I am currently obsessed with their salmon tacos.
2. Gott's Roadside - I have been forever obsessed with their burgers + shakes.
3. Rutherford Grill - I am shamelessly obsessed with BBQ ribs.

La Bonne Vie with Alexis Swanson
La Bonne Vie with Alexis Swanson

The places you should definitely see

1. Castello di Amorosa is a winery inside the 17th century Italian hilltop village that was painstakingly deconstructed + reconstructed in Napa Valley - it boasts 2 town squares and a dungeon.
2. Swanson Salon or Sip Shoppe for the most charming + memorable wine tasting experience.

The activities that can't be missed

1. Passeggiata (walk) along Washington Street in Yountville.
2. Calistoga County Fair over the 4th of July weekend, a nostalgic jolt.
3. St. Helena Farmer's Market - a reminder of why everyone should live in northern California.
4. For the romantics, rent a Harley Davidson at Neiman’s and cruise the back roads.

La Bonne Vie with Alexis Swanson