A personal connection to the community of the Napa Valley has motivated a group of Napa innkeepers to continue their annual charity event, the Napa Bed and Breakfast Holiday Taste and Tour on Saturday, Dec. 2 from 3-7 p.m.
According to Historic Inns of Napa spokesman Jim Beazley, the owner of Beazley House, this year the tour includes seven B&B’s and one downtown Napa winery tasting room: Arbor Guest House, Beazley House, Churchill Manor, Hennessey House, La Belle Epoch, McClelland-Priest, Napa Inn and the Capp Heritage Deco Lounge Tasting Room.
A complete map, as well as tickets, are available online at NapaHolidayTour.com.
The long tradition of opening these private inns to kick off the holiday season on the first weekend of December also created the opportunity for the innkeepers to select local charitable organizations and nonprofits as beneficiaries of the event.
The six local beneficiaries for this year’s event include: Pink Heals Napa Valley; Community Resources for Children; NEWS; Napa Food Bank; ParentsCAN and the Napa Valley Youth Symphony. A seventh has been added due to the recent wildfires: Napa Valley Community Foundation Disaster Relief Fund, which organizers said will receive 33 percent of the proceeds from the event this year.
“These are local charities that give service throughout the year to our friends and neighbors in the Napa Valley,” Beazley said. “During this time following the wildfires, they are really kind of hurting, as so much attention is naturally going to the fire relief fund. Our thought was that we just can’t forget our local charities who also rendered service during the fires, and are continuing to render service, and yet are in the shadow of what’s occurred.”
The innkeepers, who have supported the core group of charities for a number of years, are concerned and realize that it really is more important this year, perhaps even more than ever, to continue to support Napa nonprofits. “We have a very special relationship with them and are really concerned that they need the support,” said Beazley.
Although the Holiday Tour typically sells out, and even though ticket sales are brisk, Beazley said that “after all that we have gone through this year as a community, for the sales to be running ahead at any time, much less at this late date, is fantastic luck.”
“We have guests that come on this tour, that come back year after year,” Beazley said, “We have some guests in San Francisco that are going to be buying a group of like 44 people, they are arranging their own transportation, they are coming up, as they have been on the tour year after year, and absolutely love it.”
Each site will be decorated for the holidays with lights, and will have live entertainment, food, wine, hospitality and history. The ticket price includes entry to each inn and the tasting room, food and wine pairings from several Napa Valley vintners and chefs, and complimentary shuttle service between locations.
The inns on the tour are located throughout many of Napa’s most historic neighborhoods. Beazley added that properties in the Napa do not get to be designated B&B Inns unless they are located in certain parts of the city and unless they are an historic property.
“One of the ordinances was to provide a way of saving these wonderful old properties from being torn down or turned into offices or boarding houses,” Beazley said, “That’s how these properties have survived. We really strongly feel the importance of opening up the Beazley House, and my fellow innkeepers feel the same way. We feel strongly that our property and other innkeepers’ properties, are an asset to this community. For locals, we not only provide that extra guestroom as it were, we offer a view of old Napa that would otherwise not be open to them.”
In the fully-restored and painstakingly cared for Beazley house, for example, visitors today can see a six-foot high redwood wainscoting in the living room; other details can be viewed in all of the inns that were formerly homes.
“We are real clear that even though we were the first B&B in Napa, Carol and I have been at it for 36 years, at some level we are just stewards of that property. We’ve always treated it in a way that when our stewardship is over, people will look back on it and be grateful that we have done what we could to preserve it and share it with the community. That is always how we have felt about the property, and that’s what the historic inns tour is about.”
Jim and Carol Beazley say inns are historic treasures that belong to the community, and this tour is one way the innkeepers can give back. “It is how we feel about it,” Jim Beazley said. “I absolutely know it is how our fellow innkeepers feel about it, I know that our guests feel that way and the holiday tour guests will feel that way too.”
Tickets for the tour and tasting are $75 per person. For reservations and information visit napaholidaytour.com/.