The excitement of another harvest season reminds us how fortunate we are to live and work here in the world’s premier wine region. In the wake of an extremely challenging year, Napa Valley is once again showing its trademark grit and grace, weathering a global pandemic on top of another devastating fire season. While both have had dramatic effects on Napa Valley’s tourism industry — which typically provides $85 million in annual tax revenue to the county and towns’ general funds — in true Napa Valley form, we have banded together to prove to the world that our tiny valley is big on spirit. And along with that, our team here at Visit Napa Valley has been hard at work behind the scenes developing a new vision to lead the Napa Valley brand into the future.
“Cheers, The Good Life” is a campaign that embodies the notion that the best things in life are the experiences we share, savor, and discover. And nowhere is that more apparent than here in Napa Valley, where an abundance of riches surrounds us, and the ultimate luxury is downtime shared with family, friends, and loved ones.
For me personally, the “Napa Valley good life” means getting out of the office and into the great outdoors with my family. Our scenic beauty, open space, and plenty of kid-friendly parks and trails mean my children (ages 7 and 9) have endless opportunities to discover their own version of the good life, which currently includes biking on the Napa Valley Vine Trail and playing lots of baseball, softball, and soccer.
Because Visit Napa Valley’s marketing and advertising efforts are directed towards visitors from outside Napa County and throughout the U.S., our residents don’t necessarily get a window into the Napa Valley brand as it’s perceived on the world stage. We want to take this opportunity to shine a light on these programs and to celebrate the good life we enjoy here with our members of the community. Cheers to Napa Valley!
Toast to VISIT NAPA VALLEY
For more than ten years, the phrase ‘Legendary Napa Valley’ has well served as the official tagline for Napa County’s destination management organization, Visit Napa Valley. Concisely capturing the essence of this region over which visitors rhapsodize, the phrase became a brand, and that brand evoked fine wine, gourmet cuisine, and gracious hospitality – the cornerstones on which Visit Napa Valley markets the region. And while Napa Valley, its pioneers, and its commerce will always and forever be legendary, a new notion of what matters most – to both those who are lucky to live in Napa and those who visit – gives rise to a new Visit Napa Valley motto: Cheers, The Good Life.
The notion of the good life has evolved; no longer do material items hold sway over happiness. Today, time and meaningful connections are most valued, as is an environ in which to enjoy both. With its innumerable vinous, culinary, hotel, and recreation options, the Napa Valley is the ideal spot where anyone and everyone can experience this good life.
“Our world-class destination typically attracts more than 3.8 million people annually from all over the world who inject billions of dollars into Napa Valley’s community, supporting hotels, wineries, restaurants, and attractions,” said Linsey Gallagher, President & CEO of Visit Napa Valley. “As our brand promise states, Napa Valley is truly legendary. Our new campaign – Cheers, The Good Life – serves as an inspiration to the community to celebrate this good life on a daily basis.”
Visit Napa Valley was established in 2010 with the mission to promote, protect, and enhance the Napa Valley destination as the world’s premier wine country experience. Primary funding for activities and programs comes from a Tourism Improvement District (TID) special assessment on overnight hotel stays. A 2% tax on each hotel room stay goes to Visit Napa Valley, while 12% is injected into the Napa County and town general funds for essential municipal services like road maintenance, police and firefighters, and parks and recreation.
Kelly Carter never takes for granted the good life afforded Napa Valley dwellers. The Yountville resident and Director of Communications for Alpha Omega winery welcomed a change of pace when she moved from San Francisco several years ago. “My good life, Napa Valley-style, revolves around food and wine,” said the former sports and travel journalist who credits Visit Napa Valley as a valued public relations partner not only to her employer but to the many tasting rooms and restaurants she frequents. “Nothing beats Yountville for a foodie like me who can walk to an array of fine dining restaurants.”
Carter added that her support of local restaurants has led to an inspiring fitness routine. “After dinner, I power walk from one end of Yountville to the other and back,” said Carter. “When Yountville is bustling on the weekends, walking past restaurants reminds me of when I lived in Positano with the nightly sounds of dinner conversation, forks clinking on plates, and music. The charm of Washington Street, with its art and calmness, make me incredibly grateful to live here.”
For Jay Heidenreich, Area Director of Sales and Marketing at Auberge Resorts Collection, the Napa good life means being outdoors, either in nature or at an outdoor dining table. “We have the best weather,” said Heidenreich, who oversees Calistoga’s Solage Resort & Spa and the Carneros region’s Stanly Ranch, two popular hotel options promoted within Visit Napa Valley’s ‘Where to Stay’ web directory, the menu of which also features an extensive list of wineries, restaurants, things to do, and events. “The good life is enjoying the best flavors in the world and drinking the best wine in the world with close friends, family, and even new acquaintances.”
While many might assume that Visit Napa Valley and its services are primarily for, yes, visitors, the organization is an amazing resource for locals as well. Its new Napa Valley Welcome Center, located within the vibrant, mixed-use First Street Napa corridor, has witnessed record success. “We’ve seen more than three times the number of walk-in visitors in this new location,” said Brice Gosnell, Director of Marketing for Visit Napa Valley. “And many are locals looking for new recreation ideas for themselves or their out-of-town visitors. Our staff are experts at providing guidance and recommendations based on interest and budget, and visitors and locals alike are wowed by the 16×9 foot digital screen that displays a rotating sizzle reel of Napa Valley inspiration. Our website is a wealth of information too. You’ll find not only up-to-date information on everything to plan the perfect outing, but also maps, events, descriptions of our distinct towns, and wedding material.”
Janette Maack, who manages content marketing and public relations for Visit Napa Valley, never gets tired of discovering the many hidden gems throughout the valley. “As someone who documents happenings and attractions in the valley every day to inspire fans around the world on our social media channels, you might think that I’ve seen all there is to see,” said Maack. “But I am always discovering a new story, a new spot to eat, a hidden gem winery or hike I’ve never heard about – and I love hearing from locals that our social media accounts lead them to new discoveries as well. It truly amazes me that there are so many spectacular experiences packed into one small valley.”
“As a one-stop-shop for visitors to the Napa Valley, Visit Napa Valley highlights small businesses like mine that don’t always have the opportunity or budget to advertise,” said Chuck Meyer, proprietor of Napa Palisades Saloon and Beer Company and First & Franklin Marketplace. “Guests can plan their entire trip itinerary with the information on visitnapavalley.com, which is very convenient.”
Meyer’s idea of the Napa Valley good life is sitting on his back porch during the golden hour in the middle of harvest, listening to the wind blow gently through the trees, and catching a glimpse of the vineyards on Mount Veeder as he sips a glass of cabernet made by a friend. “It never ceases to amaze me that we live in a place that people want to visit every day,” added Meyer. “I always say to my wife that it feels like we retired early….even if we still have to go to work.”
“When my husband and I decided to move out of San Francisco nine years ago to raise our family, it was the notion of the good life that drew us to Napa Valley, and we couldn’t be prouder to call this world-class wine region home,” said Gallagher. “Whether we are riding our bikes up the Napa Valley Vine Trail to family movie nights in Yountville, cheering on our kids from the sidelines at little league, or enjoying a backyard barbeque with friends, we find something to share, savor, and discover each day here in Napa Valley.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Story By: Fran Miller