It has been several months since I traveled through the beautiful Napa Valley—from Napa City, where to we stayed at the historic Napa River Inn, up to the culinary gem that is Yountville, on to artistic St. Helena, and then Calistoga ... which I'd soon discover is as much about the purity of its mud as its water. I had already indulged in many of the fine products I brought home with me: smooth, multidimensional wines from the valley's scenic vineyards; decadent, tangy mustards harvested during mustard season; classic Domaine Chandon bubbly; extra virgin olive oil from the Certified Organic Long Meadow Ranch Winery & Farmstead. Each product is exceptional in purity and quality, but my latest discovery is that yes, even the valley's mud lives up to high Napa standards. Just the other day, I opened my Calistoga Mud Soap, a piece of forgotten loot from my travels. The subtle scent and surprisingly rich lather were refreshing and reminiscent of the long, windy pathways that took us through damp grass and gravel to reach such lovely destinations as the Calistoga Inn for lunch, the Galleria Ca'Toga de Arte, and Calistoga Pottery. The simple, natural ingredients left my skin feeling purified and instantly soft. The star ingredient is Calistoga mud, which like clay helps to cleanse, exfoliate, detoxify, and moisturize—why it's featured in spa treatments, particularly mud baths, throughout the city. And the soap's other ingredients, including olive, coconut, and lemongrass oils provided a perfectly smooth finish, just like a glass of pristine Napa wine.
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