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Sustainable Destination: Napa

Last October, 2011 Sustainable Destination Sweepstakes winner Keith Wagner, FASLA traveled to OLIN’s Carneros Inn, a vineyard oasis located between the Napa and Sonoma Valleys in California. Keith and his wife, Sara, shared this report from their trip:

sara-keithKeith and Sara enjoy Napa Valley wines and local fare at PRESS Restaurant.

“The Carneros Inn was a quintessential California experience — it had a down-to-earth and luxurious feeling all at once that perfectly suited our aesthetic. The buildings and public spaces take advantage of the view corridors in every direction, and in October, the fall colors under blue skies enhanced every well-designed moment with nature’s surrounding texture.”

“Our 18-month-old son, Hudson, enjoyed the vacation every bit as much as we did, watching cows roaming around the outskirts, smelling the flowers around the vegetable garden, and delighting in the occasional hot air balloon sighting over the hills. Hudson was at the perfect age for inspecting the water collection system, which presented a great strategy for reusing rain water throughout the campus.”

hudson-irrigationHudson inspects the Carneros Inn irrigation.

“We were lucky to be able to schedule our visit in tandem with Keith’s business partner, Jeff Hodgson and his partner Paul. The group of us took day trips to nearby wineries. In the evenings we had a babysitting service recommended by the Inn and took advantage of the famed Napa Valley restaurants, including the Inn’s Boon Fly Café, PRESS, and Farmstead. We also made sure to spend some time relaxing poolside (sited beautifully by OLIN) and spent a morning getting spa treatments.” 

“The Carneros Inn was an amazing place to vacation with both our 18-month-old and with friends — we couldn’t have asked for a better time in a majestic setting. It has continued to inspire us. Our deepest gratitude to OLIN and the Landscape Architecture Foundation!”


Keith is a partner at Burlington, Vermont-based H. Keith Wagner Partnership Landscape Architects. Sara Katz is an artist, who captured the wonderful fall colors of the Napa region in a painting (shown at left). Ketih’s name was drawn from nearly 200 sweepstakes entries, which raised over $12,000 to support LAF’s research and scholarship programs. Special thanks to OLIN for generously providing this prize package.

Details on LAF’s 2013 Sustainable Destination Sweepstakes are coming soon. A clue: The destination city is home to is the longest continuously operating farmer’s market in the U.S. and has been ranked as the nation’s most literate.

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