Groups coming to The Meritage Resort and Spa can enjoy Napa Valley’s venerable vineyards and world-class wines a number of different ways. The Tuscan-inspired resort in the heart of wine country can host groups on its private hillside Vineyard Deck that overlooks nine acres of vine-striped hills, organize Pilates classes in its subterranean Estate Cave or arrange private tastings.

But in addition to the bespoke year-round wine programming, for meeting planners considering booking a meeting or incentive trip to Napa Valley, there are two exclusive events at The Meritage Resort that are worth syncing your visit up with and that celebrate wine. Both the late-spring Chardonnay Pinot Classic (June 8-11, 2023) and the fall Cabernet Classic (Nov. 3-5, 2023) are hosted at The Meritage Resort and Spa and planners can either book full weekend passports or individual event tickets for their groups.

The Grand Tasting at both classics provides an extreme value, with admission starting at $150 per participant. Each of these exclusive events includes more than 30 vintners plus hundreds of wines sourced from Napa and other notable regions around the world.

Both classics provide a nice introduction to this part of California by highlighting the wine industry, which put Napa on the map nearly 50 years ago when its Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay emerged victorious in blind tastings against the best wines of Bordeaux and Burgundy. Today, Napa Valley is home to more than 400 wineries and tasting rooms, many of which are family-owned.

During these special wine weekends at The Meritage Resort, highlights include tastings led by Master Sommeliers, which is the highest distinction a professional can receive in fine wine service. The designation is rare; with just 172 in the Court of Master Sommeliers, Americas.

The tasting panels are perfect for both wine aficionados and novices alike, said Monica Smiley, director of marketing at The Meritage Resort and Spa.

“The Chardonnay Pinot Classic offers all the highlights of Napa Valley, in one singular and exceptional destination, which makes planning and coordination so much easier for planners,” Smiley said.

Here’s what else to know about the Classics and meetings at The Meritage Resort and Spa:

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Wine Events to Plan Meetings and Events Around

The Meritage Resort’s third annual Chardonnay Pinot Classic is a weekend-long indulgence of luxury experiences alongside Master Sommeliers and winemakers.

“Be ready for an amazing range of styles and flavor profiles, both of these grape varieties are extremely versatile, and truly reflect the winemakers’ touch and the terroirs that they were grown in,” said Thomas M. Price, Chairman of the SommFoundation, master sommelier in residence at 1856 and guest panelist at the Chardonnay Pinot Classic. “It will be a fun adventure.”

Oenophiles and novices alike enjoy the concise, yet informative presentations set at the beautiful Meritage resort, said Price, as well as the wide varieties of wines that are sourced and procured for the event. He’s looking forward to trying the breadth and styles of both Chardonnay and Pinot Noirs from around the world and is always excited to drink Puligny-Montrachet.

The Chardonnay Pinot Classic includes everything from an offsite vineyard tour and tasting at Etude Vineyard to an “Around the World” panel-led tasting featuring Chardonnay & Pinot Noirs, a vineyard yoga hike.

Later in the year, from Nov. 3-5, 2023, Meritage Resort hosts the Cabernet Classic, where guests can enjoy more than 20 expert-led tastings featuring hundreds of wines, including rare vintages, plus chef-curated dining experiences. Guests can enjoy panel-led tastings, try Cabernet Sauvignons from around the world and enjoy winemaker lunches and dinners.

The events are truly unique, Price said, as they combine exemplary hospitality with a wonderful mix of education and fun.

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More Ways to Enjoy Napa

Meetings and incentive groups coming to Meritage Resort and Spa for the Classics can tailor stays to include additional Napa experiences.

In addition to wine tasting, groups can enjoy other signature Napa like hot air ballooning above the lush vineyards or riding the iconic Napa Wine Train, a memorable ride that rolls through wine country in luxe vintage railcars.

Groups coming to Meritage Resort and Spa can also learn about the cooperage (the art of making wine barrels) and how oak affects flavor profiles.

Other exclusive programming could include reserve access to Master Sommelier-led wine tastings, wine-paired lunches, dinners, or brunches, off-site wine lunches and vineyard tours and more.

Meritage Resort and Spa Exclusive Wine Events

Coordinate your group event with one of the Meritage Resort and Spa’s exclusive wine events.

The Chardonnay Pinot Classic is June 8-11, 2023, and the Cabernet Classic is Nov. 3-5, 2023.