Join us for this “insider’s” tour to Napa Valley’s elite small wineries, great kitchens and homes, limited to just 14 attendees. Highlighting the program are five participation cooking classes taught by well-known Napa chefs including Hugh. In addition, Hugh and his wife, photographer Teri Sandison, are the hosts for every event throughout the week. The programs are created for travelers wanting to combine a learning vacation with free time to pursue their own interests while in Napa Valley. More than 1,800 food and wine lovers have attended “camps” during the last 25 years, and many are returning “graduates.” Between our scheduled events, you’ll have time to take the “cure” at a luxurious spa, visit artists’ studios, explore the historic towns of Yountville and St. Helena, and dine at Napa Valley’s great restaurants. Join us for an opening night party at one of Napa Valley's best restaurants, and then treat yourself to five more days in one of the world’s great wine and food regions.

How to get to Napa: Napa Valley is approximately 50 miles northeast of San Francisco. If you fly into San Francisco (or Oakland or Sacramento, the closest airports), we recommend you rent a car at the airport. We will provide you with hotel information and directions.

Hugh Carpenter’s Camp Napa classes are created for the independent traveler wanting to combine a cooking vacation with plenty of free time to pursue their own interests while in Napa Valley or in San Miguel, Mexico. Features include lunches, receptions and dinners, as listed in the class itineraries. Airfare, hotel accommodations, car rental, and other items not described are not included.

Contact us today to find out more about enjoying a fabulous week of hands-on cooking and wine tasting and all the other exciting activities that you can get only at a cooking school hosted by cookbook author and chef extraordinaire Hugh Carpenter.

Camp Napa tour price per tour member: $2,970 ($500 deposit required with balance due 90 days before class begins). Payments may be made through PayPal or by personal check [enroll and pay].

Class Itinerary

Sunday: Reception and Dinner at Torc Restaurant
This evening we meet at one of Napa Valley’s great restaurants, Torc. Located in the historic town of Napa, the restaurant features the innovative California cuisine of Chef/Owner Sean O'Tool. His wife, Cynthia, oversees the restaurant operation. This is Hugh and Teri’s favorite Napa restaurant. We’ll meet in a private dining environment located on the second floor overlooking the main restaurant. With us seated around a long dining table, Chef Sean will prepare a four-course tasting menu matched with great Napa wines from the restaurant cellar. During dinner Hugh and Teri will preview the weeks’ exciting day-to-day events, tell stories about their arrival in Napa Valley 30 years ago, and introduce new cooking friends to returning “grads.”

Monday: Morning Cooking Class and Lunch at a Napa Valley Estate, Late Afternoon Wine Tasting and Tour of COPIA
This morning we meet at a newly constructed winery estate built by long-time students of Hugh’s. We tour the estate, hear about realizing their Napa dream, and enjoy an informal appetizer party and lunch matched with great Napa Valley wines. Conducting the participation cooking class is one of Napa Valley’s most talented chefs and cooking teachers, Morgan Robinson. Part of our program for the last four years, he brings a sense of excitment into the kitchen that makes cooking so much fun. His all-new recipes are easy, yet packed with complex flavors. Afternoon is free. In the early evening, we meet at the newly reopened wine and food center, the Culinary Institute of America at Copia, conceived as a center for food, wine and the arts by Robert Mondavi and located next to the Oxbow Market in the town of Napa. We gather for appetizers and wine, and tour the facility. The evening is free to dine at the Copia restaurant or to choose from many of the nearby great restaurants.

Tuesday: Cooking Class and Lunch at Hall Winery, Late Afternoon Visit to Ovid Winery

This morning we meet at Kathryn and Craig Hall’s spectacular winery just south of the town of St. Helena. A historic Napa Valley winery originally founded in 1885, today Hall Winery has a striking contemporary design and wine-making facility that produces some of Napa Valley’s most highly acclaimed Cabernets. Our participation cooking class is taught by Chef Sarah Scott, formerly the long-time Executive Chef at the Robert Mondavi Winery. This is the fourth year that Sarah has been part of the Camp Napa program. Sarah is an enthusiastic teacher, and her all-new recipes are innovative and delicious. Afternoon is free. Late this afternoon we visit a winery never open to the public, Ovid Napa Valley. Under inspiration from owners Dana Johnson and Mark Nelson, the winery produces a Bordeaux style red wine of extraordinary quality. The rocky 15-acre vineyard perched 1,400 feet above the Napa Valley floor overlooking Oakville was planted in 2000, followed soon after by the completion of the winery. This was designed by renowned architect Howard Backen, and it is here in the Great Room that we will taste the wines. Your evening is free to dine at Napa Valley’s great restaurants.

Wednesday: Morning Cooking Class and Lunch at Cakebread Cellars Dancing Bear Ranch
This morning we are invited by the Cakebread family for a morning cooking class at their amazing Howell Mountain property, Dancing Bear Vineyard. This property is never open to the public, and here we have the opportunity to do a full-participation cooking class taught by their long-time winery chef, Brian Streeter. He is a gifted teacher and co-author of the two Cakebread Cellars cookbooks. After preparing the food under his guidance, we are seated at a long table overlooking all of Napa Valley, savor the food and drink Cakebread Dancing Bear Ranch Reserve Cabernet. Late afternoon and evening are free to explore Napa Valley.

Thursday: Cooking Class and Lunch at an Alexander Valley Estate
This morning we meet at Andrea Mugnaini’s country estate near the charming town of Healdsburg. Andrea is the nation’s leading importer of Italian wood-burning brick pizza ovens. We spend the morning creating an entire menu from appetizer pizzas to desserts that are cooked in wood-burning ovens (all recipes can be made in your standard kitchen ovens, too). Utterly charming and an outstanding cook and teacher, Andrea leads us in a cooking adventure and hosts a wonderful lunch. Late afternoon and evening are free to explore Healdsburg or return to Napa Valley.

Friday: Cooking Class and Lunch at Cakebread Cellars, Graduation Dinner at the Ackerman Mansion
This morning Hugh teaches a participation cooking class at Cakebread Cellars. Jack and Dolores, and son, Bruce Cakebread, and their families, are much loved in Napa Valley, and we are fortunate to be their guests at the winery. Every top chef in America has cooked in their wonderful kitchen and now you will, too! Our participation cooking class features all California-Mexican appetizers from Hugh’s cookbook, Mexican Flavors. The afternoon is free for last-minute shopping and wine tasting! This evening we gather for our Graduation Dinner at the Ackerman Mansion, a historic 1880’s Victorian mansion located in the town of Napa. Beautifully restored over a five-year period by Lauren Ackerman, the mansion is where we enjoy appetizers and dinner prepared by one of Napa Valley’s top chefs. We watch the finishing touches for each dish, receive recipes and taste great wines from Lauren’s vineyard estate. With wine in hand, we reminisce about the week and plan reunions.

Saturday: Napa to Home
After last-minute morning adventures, those with flights depart for the airport, or you may stay on to enjoy the many other activities available in the Bay Area. Each year we do a new program, and we hope you’ll come back to see us again.