Bear restaurant, at Stanly Ranch in Napa Valley, serves colorful cocktails that are absolutely refreshing. Try their recipes.

Stanly Ranch Cocktail Lineup
Thomas J. Story

Driving through Napa Valley, past rolling hills laced with vines, it’s easy for the wandering mind to fantasize about what it would be like to live in a house surrounded by trellised grape vines, with stands of eucalyptus and cypress trees in the distance. It’s a wine-country fantasy guests can indulge at Stanly Ranch, Auberge Resorts Collection, but that’s where the obvious associations end. 

Bear Bar Stanly Ranch Interior

Courtesy of Stanly Ranch, Auberge Resorts Collection

Case in point: the beverage program beyond the bottles of wine. Wine tasting may be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about a Napa Valley getaway, but pull up a stool at the bar within the restaurant Bear, at the new Stanly Ranch at the southern end of Napa Valley, and you might find your mind drifting to cocktails. Here, against a backdrop of top-shelf spirits that subdivides the neo-Nordic modern/NorCal farmhouse space, you’ll see bartenders turning out perfectly executed brambles, sours, and Negronis just as often as Napa Valley cabs

Crafting a Cocktail
Bartender Angel Hernandez

Thomas J. Story

Stanly Ranch is part of a movement in Napa and Sonoma that expands the notion of what a wine country travel experience can be: Yes there are luxurious modern farmhouse-style cabins sited among freshly planted vines, but the activities, dining, and other experiences avoid the simple clichés: There’s a gift shop stocked with California brands, books, and housewares that could easily be transplanted in a trend-aware neighborhood like Silver Lake; and you won’t see any pseudo-Tuscan flourishes that used to proliferate in the wine country. It’s luxe California-pride. And those cocktails: They’re built with techniques practiced in urban craft cocktail bars, but incorporate seasonal local produce and herbs, some of it harvested from the resort’s on-site farm. Grab a seat (ideally three-legged) and taste the new Napa. 

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