Jamey and I recently went on a trip to Napa. It was our very first wine country experience and also our first true getaway without little Rosie. Jamey was playing a country radio golf tournament in Sacramento, called Golf and Guitars, which was hilarious watching a bunch of musicians play golf. It was a pretty neat event with artists like Josh Kelly from Lady Antebellum, Love & Theft, Aaron Lewis and more.
I wanted to share some of our favorite spots that we got to go to, even though we are total Napa newbies. We immediately decided the moment we got there that we would most definitely go back so we could explore all the other vineyards we didn't get to try our first time around.
We flew into Sacramento because that's where we were flying out of, but I would recommend flying into San Francisco due to the beautiful drive you would get to see on your way in.
We rented a car, which was helpful because we stayed in downtown Napa. However, for the actual wine tours we used Uber and it was great! (It's apparently very new to that region and has only been there since February). Our drivers were awesome and well versed in the area, familiar with the vineyards and even gave us some lessons on harvesting and other cool things we didn't know about.
We opted to stay in downtown Napa this time because we did not know much about the area. We were within walking distance of lots of cool shops and restaurants. After a long day of travel and picking up our rental car we only had time for dinner, which I would highly recommend to anyone in the downtown area. Ristorante Allegria had an amazing Italian menu with made-to-order pasta and a beautiful patio with strung lights. They also do not have a corkage fee, which is nice because you can find a great bottle of wine and bring it with you!
The next morning we headed out to the Rutherford region of Napa Valley for our first tasting at Round Pond Estate. This was by far my favorite tour that we did. Round Pond is a family-owned and operated estate designed around vineyards, gardens and orchards. It has a breath-taking view of the Maycamas Mountains from their terrace and it is so beautiful and serene. The people are kind and treat you like family. If you ask nicely they might even let you try one of their amazing white strawberries from their garden! Also their olive oils are next level good and very reasonably priced, they make great gifts for family or friends!
If you are feeling swanky and want to try a vineyard that is the complete opposite of Round Pond then visit Raymond Vineyards. Jamey called it the "Hotel Zaza of Wineries." We got to do a tasting in their famous Red Room, which I would suggest because you feel like royalty. And if you're anything like me you start to devise and plan to have a "red room" in your home because the red velvet couches and plush decor makes you feel like a million bucks! (I mean who needs a home office if instead you can devote a room where you can drink wine with extravagant chandeliers and fabric walls and ceilings!) If I could go back I would bring my close friends and book their blending room! It allows guests to be "winemaker for a day" and learn the winemaker's art, all while blending your own wine complete with your own labels as well.
For lunch: I would highly reccomend V Sattui Winery. It is an artisan deli with the most decadent oils and breads and sandwiches and cheeses, and of course wine! If Central Market and Eatzi's had a european love child, that is what Sattui is! It feels like you're in another country. It is very family friendly with all their outdoor seating and picnic tables, not to mention the landscaping and amazing view! It is a great place to stop and snack or lunch between tours, and if you're needing a little pick-me-up there is a Dean and Deluca across the street with an espresso bar.
Dinner: We went to a place called Redd and thoroughly enjoyed their cocktails and food! They have a nice patio and a more modern clean vibe. There are so many great restaurants in the area, but this is where we landed and it was excellent!
Other things to try:
- Castello di Amorosa has a tuscan castle! It's in quaint town of Calistoga near Napa. A general admission ticket allows you to visit two levels of the Calistoga castle and enjoy a 5-wine tasting.
- St Helena, in addition to their vineyards, has a cute little town with shopping, boutiques, a chocolate shop and a great mexican restaurant called La Condesa!
Sadly our trip to Napa was cut short because we had an event in Sacramento and did not want to be gone long due to leaving behind our sweet baby girl. So this post barely scratches the surface of all the things to do in Napa, but we just wanted to post about some of our favorite spots from this last trip. We cannot wait to go back and are already planning a potential trip in the fall