Taste your way through premium wine country on a bread-and-water budget

Napa is the valley of indulgence. Here, north of SanFrancisco in the land of grapevines and mansions, is where you’llfind the country’s finest wines and fanciest meals.
It’s so lovely here ― and so predictably posh ―you could easily drop a paycheck or two on a single luxuriousweekend of soaking it in. But my friend Kate and I recently took ona challenge: we wanted a three-day trip savoring the valley’sriches, but we wanted to do it for less than $400.

Tricky? Yes. But after three days we departed, sated and justunder budget. Our strategies: We went midweek during the winter,when savings on lodging were substantial. We indulged in one finelunch, but had simpler fare for dinner. And we sought out wineriesoffering free tastings.

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