Wine Time in Napa
If you have followed us for even a week on Instagram, we’ve mostly likely had a post involving wine. Now imagine that there is a place in the country that we live in that is known for wine, wine, and nothing but wine. And now, imagine that we’ve never been there. Crazy right? So on our trip to California, we knew that Napa was an absolute MUST! Let us tell you, it didn’t disappoint – it was even more incredible than we thought it would be!
We landed in San Francisco from LA and picked up our rental car to drive to Napa. The weather in San Francisco was perfect, so we dropped the top and headed on our way. Our first night in Napa was pretty much unplanned, which is very unlike us. We really wanted to settle in, unwind, and not be our usual on-the-go selves. We stayed at the most perfect Air BnB. It was within 15 minutes of every place we had planned to go and it was on the most beautiful grounds. We stayed at the Silverado Resort and Spa at a private residence. We were welcomed by a local bottle of wine from the Robert Mondavi Vineyard and the perfect compliment, chocolate, of course! Our first night, we had dinner at Oenotri, recommended to us by friends who had visited recently. This downtown area was so cute…we loved it! We ordered almost everything off the specials menu, so if you go, make sure you listen closely as your server goes over what they’re serving that night. Our waiter helped us pair the perfect local red wine with everything we ordered, from pizza to pasta to a nice steak for Lou. We were happy customers to say the least!
We woke up in the morning to foggy skies, but that didn’t rain on our excitement parade! Our first stop on our wine-filled day was Shafer Vineyards. Let’s start by saying that Shafer was AMAZING! The views, the rolling hills, and just the vast acreage that this operation sits on – incredible!! We started our small group private tasting, and we kept saying one wine was better than the next. The guide was so knowledgeable, very nice, and even introduced us to the award-winning head winemaker. Even though they produce their wine on a large scale, you get that family vibe there, which was really nice. From Shafer, we drove into another small town called Yountville. We shopped at V Marketplace – a bi-level indoor shopping mall with a bunch of little local shops. After getting our shopping fix, we walked to our lunch reservation at Bouchon. Walking into this restaurant makes you almost forget you’re in California, transporting you to the city of Paris. This classic spot got great reviews from the same friends that sent us to Oenotri, so we’re certainly happy to pass on this recommendation. The chef made Britt a special vegan pasta with garden vegetables, and for Lou, another steak! What did we drink? Shame on you for thinking we drank anything but wine!
After lunch, we hit two more wineries – Domaine Chandon for some champagne tasting, and Robert Mondavi for some amazing red wine. Both of these vineyards boasted amazing views of the vast land surrounding them. We sipped on a variety of wines, enjoyed each other’s company, and really focused on being present and taking it all in! We would definitely tell anyone going to Napa to add these vineyards to their wine tour itineraries! And just like that, we’re back to the hotel to get ready for dinner, have a drink at the bar, and make our way back to Yountville to dine at Redd Wood. Lou could not stop raving about how good the Cacio é Pepe was; Britt was beyond happy with her marinara pizza, one of the best cheese-less pizzas she has ever had. This place is the perfect amount of casual and makes some killer food, so come hungry!
As we reached our final day in Napa, we knew we had to get in our last few sips of wine before we headed back to San Francisco. This vineyard might win our favorite award – we had a breakfast tasting at Ehlers Estate. This was a true private tasting; only the two of us and our guide, who helped us learn about the wines we tasted as we got a backstage pass into the barrel room and through the vines. We absolutely loved learning that the vineyard is entirely organic! They made us feel at home and threw in some special surprises in honor of Britt’s birthday (with the help of some planning from Lou of course!).
Here’s our final note – IT’S A GOOD ONE!! Don’t leave Napa without sending yourself a box of wine. We got a few bottles from each of the vineyards that we loved and packed up a case for the go! Most of the hotels in Napa coordinate shipping services for all the wine-lovers like us. It was SO easy, and we got our wine so quickly, without having to carry them around with us for the rest of our trip, or buy an extra suitcase to check them under the plane. You’re welcome!
Sadly, our time in Napa came to an end…