Vacation Chronicles: Napa, California

I’m finally sharing a few snaps from my trip to Napa a few weeks ago {Better late than never, right??}  This part of the country is just breathtakingly beautiful. Napa always welcomes me with pristine weather, the nicest people and each time I’ve gone it has been  one of the most relaxing vacations ever. I’ve been fortunate enough to have visited Napa a few times in recent years and each time I manage to find a new winery or restaurant that I just fall in love with. If you have not been I could not recommend a US destination more, it’s a mere 45 minute drive north of San Francisco {another personal favorite}, the weather is perfect year around, the accommodations are delightful and the most important “sell in” here is that you taste wine from sun up to sun down. This happened to be a very last minute vacation with my family and one that wound up being in one word perfect.

Russian River Valley copy

{A little bubbly at Ironhorse}

After finding insanely affordable flights, we booked our room at the Napa Valley Lodge through Priceline {for a freaking steal too!} This gem of a place was beyond splendid from the second we checked in we were met by the friendliest staff, a wonderful room with a patio that faced the outdoor gardens and pool and so much more. There were bikes to borrow for the day, which we absolutely took advantage of, and outdoor fire pits where we sat at night, star gazed, swam and drank a little more wine.

Napa, California, Travels

{Poolside at Napa Valley Lodge}

The wineries:

  • Rutherford Winery A friend told me about Rutherford winery solely for the fact that it had such an incredible view of Napa’s lush, green rolling hills that you could view from their picnic area. And that it did. We snagged a bottle of wine, some chocolate covered blueberries and parked it outside with the most beautiful view imaginable.
  • Raymond Winery I won’t lie, we stopped here for three reasons: a) there was a Frenchie Winery {their winery for dogs!} b) the winery is quite picturesque and they know it hence why they stocked it full with cool oversized chairs and chic frames! c) a very enjoyable garden that we found more insightful than some of the tours people had told us about. The wine was fantastic as well!
  • Mumm Napa We ended one of our days here and mainly due to the fact that while they had bubbly, this spot had a large outdoor patio where we were able to sit, take in the views and relax a little more. {Can you see a trend here?!} We did a little sparkling wine tasting which was just delightful.
  • Silver Oak I visit to Napa is not complete without a stop by this spectacular winery. I was here back in September and had to come back again this trip. Their Cabernet Sauvignon is excellent, the property beautiful and the staff is absolutely phenomenal.
  • On our way down to Half Moon Bay we decided to take the scenic route and headed north just a bit to the Russian River Valley. We stopped for jams at the local Kozlowski Farms and took in the absolutely breathtaking views at Iron Horse Vineyard while sampling some delightful wines in their outdoor “tasting room” that overlooks rolling hills of grape vines. This may have been the highlight of our trip.

Other favorites that I have visited in the past but not on this trip include: Sullivan Estate, Domaine Chandon, Swanson Vineyards, Newton, Sinskey, Markham Winery and Grgich, where you can show off your best Lucy and Ethel grape stomping skills during the fall season!

Please note, that while yes I consume my fair share of wine, I love to go to wineries and I regularly do tastings, that does not mean I am an “expert”!

Rutherford Winery, Picnic, Napa, California

 {The picnic view at Rutherford}

Raymond Winery, Napa, California, Wine, Vineyards

{Picturesque backdrops at Raymond Winery}

Raymond Winery, Vineyards, Napa, California

{The frenchie winery at Raymond Winery}

Russian River Valley, Iron Horse, Napa, California

{The menu at IRussian River Valley, Iron Horse, Napa, California,2 Russian River Valley

The food:

While the primary focus in Napa is on their wine, there is quite the food scene there!

  • Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch served up a delightful brunch, kick ass bacon and killer bloody marys, perfect for when you need a break from all the vino!
  • Gott’s Roadside is a Napa staple. An establishment that prides itself on serving up stellar American classics {i.e. cheeseburgers and chocolate shakes, yes please!}
  • Tra Vigne was outstanding. The garden patio was so reminiscent of our trip to Tuscany a few years back, the food was wonderful and the wine list was obviously fantastic.Tra Vigne, Napa, CaliforniaGotts, Napa, California, Burger Joint, Burgers
  • Tra Vigne, Napa, CaliforniaTra Vigne, Napa, CaliforniaTra Vigne, Napa, California

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