There’s a reason roughly 3.5 million visitors flock to the Napa Valley annually, and it’s not solely the robust, legendary wines everyone knows and loves. In addition to the sought-after wine and esteemed restaurants, Napa is one of the most stunning and photo-worthy destinations in the United States. Delicately nestled between two magnificent mountain ranges, Napa Valley is home to countless not-to-miss photo ops.
With that in mind, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to work with master photographers Janna Waldinger and Lowell Downey to launch our new experience: The Art of Seeing: Peju Style. Owners of Art & Clarity located in downtown Napa and partners for three decades, Janna and Lowell deliver the highest standards in technical excellence infused with dramatic light and emotional impact - the best way to capture your time in a valley.
Our five-hour experience allows you to indulge your passion for photography, wine, and food. Your adventure begins with three hours in the beautiful landscapes, vineyards, and forests where Janna or Lowell will guide you through exclusive terrain the general public is rarely exposed to. You will learn to see differently with tips and tools to broaden your personal photography style, learn to create with a poetic vision, and deepen your knowledge of the art of photography. You will then return to Rutherford for an extraordinary two-hour Peju culinary experience, including a four-course menu and several historic Peju Reserve Wines from the Rutherford Dust.
While Janna and Lowell will introduce you to exclusive locations a bit more off the beaten path we, too, have some favorite places in Napa to capture memorable photos that are well worth the visit! Below are three of our top spots we recommend visiting either before or after your Art of Seeing experience to round out your time with us.
1. LE Wines
First on our list is the highly underrated Carneros region of Napa Valley - more specifically, our sister winery, LE Wines. The Carneros region, which sits on the cusp of the Sonoma/Napa border, has some of the best vineyard landscapes in the Valley.
Off the beaten path, LE Wines opened their doors in October 2016. Owners Lisa and Ariana Peju are the daughters of Tony and Herta Peju, the founders of our Peju Provence Winery. While growing up among the vineyards, Lisa and Ariana have officially been working for Peju since 2001 and 2007, respectively. The two sisters have since purchased the old Acacia Winery and nearly 100 acres of vineyards on the Napa side of Carneros to create LE Wines.
The location of the winery is the sweet spot for both budding and seasoned photographers seeking exceptional landscape shots. LE Wines is elevated on the side of a gentle, rolling slope that is not only a beautiful sight to behold but, when visited on a clear morning, it has a spectacular view of the nearby San Pablo Bay and San Francisco.
2. Bothe-Napa Valley State Park
For the second stop on our list, we were inspired to take a page out of Janna and Lowell’s book and venture out of the vineyards, away from the crowds and into Bothe-Napa Valley State Park – about 15 minutes north from us. The park not only offers year-round camping, picnicking, hiking and seasonal swimming, but over 10 miles of hiking trails among redwoods, maples, oaks, and madrones are also available to appreciate in this 1,900-acre park. Lush fields, rocky yet serene creek beds amongst delicate ferns, and forests of coastal redwoods are just a few of the sights to snap a photo of. Whether you take on a more rigorous several hour hike or opt for a stroll along the creek, you’ll enjoy a detailed look at the abundant natural beauty that the park has to offer. Potentially a nice option for another day after your Art of Seeing experience with us, Bothe is an idyllic location for landscape shots that Janna and Lowell will teach you how to perfect.
3. Moore Creek Park
Moving over to the southeast side of the Valley, our third stop is Moore Creek Park. This ultra-scenic park is home to 673 acres of open canyon space, perennial Moore Creek, and 900 acres of oak woodland on the northeastern side of Lake Hennessey. Hikers, mountain bikers, equestrians and nature lovers alike will find trails through the grassy hillsides of eastern Napa Valley following the Moore Creek Canyon and along the Lake Hennessey shore.
The trails showcase oak, douglas fir, and madrones woodlands, grasslands, and chaparral. The park is also home to ample wildlife including the black bear, mountain lion, bobcat, gray fox, and coyote. Bald eagles have also been sighted at Lake Hennessey, along with golden eagles, hawks, osprey, great blue heron, white egrets, woodpeckers, and loons. Needless to say, there is truly no shortage of potential snapshots to test your newfound creativity and photography proficiency in this charming, bountiful park.
The Art Of Seeing - Peju Style is a one-of-a-kind offering that blends photography, our mouth-watering reserve wines, and a fine culinary dining experience in an exciting, educational, and highly exclusive package. While many visitors often try and piece together a way to experience each of these offerings in one visit to the Valley, we’ve taken the guesswork out of the process for you and created a unique offer that can be enjoyed in half-a-day, and you’ll walk away with both memories and keepsakes you won’t soon forget!
This experience is available Monday - Thursday, 9:00 am - 2:00 pm. The rate is $500 per person, and reservations are required. Groups of 2 - 10 are welcome. Click the button below to book your one-of-a-kind Napa Valley experience!