Author and influencer Christina Najjar — known for her more than two million social media followers as Tinx — spent eight years building in the Bay Area of Northern California, attending Stanford University, where he majored in English, and working in San Francisco for Gap, Poshmark and other companies. During his time in the region, he often went to wine country looking for fun and relaxation.
“I’m a super fan of Napa,” he said in a recent phone interview. Mrs. Najjar, who lives in Los Angeles, is fresh from BottleRock, an annual music festival held at the Napa Valley Expo. “I have my old favorites, but I’m always looking for the next big thing. Right now, for me, that’s it Realm Cellars, this premier cabernet producer is renovating its tasting rooms and reopening this fall. He is excited too NOMA, a cafe, market and gathering space opening next month in downtown St. Helena. “This is Napa’s version of Erewhon,” he says, referring to the high-end organic supermarket, “and you know we love Erewhon.”
For Ms. Najjar, Napa Valley’s well-heeled haunts exude “rich mom” energy — Ms. Najjar, 32, is famous on the internet for mocking rich mothers in different parts of the world; him Rich Mom sweatshirts are usually on sale. But you don’t have to empty your bank account to get the most out of a spin on the Silverado Trail, the 29-mile route that runs along the valley’s eastern rim. “You can keep it casual, ride a bike, or pile into a party bus with a bunch of your friends and split the cost,” he says. “You want to think about transportation if you’re going to have more than a few glasses.”
The first book of Ms. Najjar, “The Shift,” a dating and self-empowerment guide, was published in May and made its debut at No. 3 on The New York Times best-seller list. (“BottleRock is my way of celebrating,” he says.)
Here are five of his favorite places to visit in Napa.
The tasting room of this highly rated cabernet sauvignon producer occupies a Victorian house built in 1878 — as the locals call it. Faust Haus — and each room features a unique style of art and decor. “It’s one of the coolest places to taste in wine country, period,” Ms. Najjar. “The setting is reason enough to go, but more than that, there’s their cab,” hailing from Coombsville, an area of Napa Valley known for producing cabernet sauvignon with rich fruit flavors and refreshing acidity. “This is the best,” he said.
2. Carneros Resort and Spa
“This place looks like a Nancy Meyers dream come true,” said Ms. Najjar. In fact, the Carneros Resort and Spa fits right in with the aesthetic pioneered by the film’s director and “quiet luxury” auteur known for films like “Something’s Gotta Give.” Surrounded by rolling vineyards, the resort sits on 28 hectares. Rooms are in stand-alone cottages (some with outdoor bathtubs), and there’s a farm, a spa that uses local lavender and sage, and a hillside swimming pool that’s “perfect for Instagramming ,” said Ms. Najjar.
Off Highway 29, on a stone estate in the Oakville district, Cardinal produces and delivers some of Napa Valley’s most prized cabernet sauvignon and sauvignon blanc: They only produce one version of each varietal each year. “Their wine has serious rich mom vibes,” said Ms. Najjar. Cardinale’s tasting room, lined with picture windows, overlooks Atlas Peak, one of Napa Valley’s preeminent viticultural areas; on a nice day, you can enjoy your wine tasting on the outdoor patio.
Owned by two women, this downtown Napa wine bar sips at night, when most wineries close their doors. “This is the perfect place to go if you’ve done a few tastings around the valley and want to keep the party going,” Ms. Najjar. In addition to a wide range of wines from around the world, Cadet serving a variety of beers, teas and snacks like potato chips with trout roe, whose crunch and saltiness pair well with a glass of Champagne. This summer, Cadet’s owners plan to open Chispa, a tequila bar, across the street.
When hunger (alcohol-fueled or otherwise) inevitably strikes, few places kill the appetite like Torque, a downtown Napa farm-to-table mainstay where chef Sean O’Toole reinterprets American classics with European techniques, Ms. Najjar. Housemade pastas and a rotating cast of seasonal specialties like tempura squash blossoms dominate the menu, but the transition, according to Ms. Najjar, is the grilled cheese topped with unctuous curls of black truffle. “Pair it with a glass of Realm’s the Bard,” a red blend inspired by Shakespeare, “and you’re doing Napa like a pro,” he says.