Thursday, November 10, 2011

Napa Valley

We got to Napa fairly late last Friday as we were driving up in rush hour traffic.  We got to drive in style though!  Originally Hertz assigned Ryan a minivan but he asked nicely if there was another option.  The Hertz representative said that he was so nice about it that she gave him this!

Once we got there we found out the hotel was hosting a happy hour so we enjoyed our first glass of wine there.
Then we  headed to a wonderful Italian restaurant, Oenotri, in the quaint little downtown of Napa.  It prints a new menu everyday and has a large selection of wines.  Of course we enjoyed some wine and shared a few of the dishes on the menu.  It was so delicious!
On Saturday, we went on a winery bus tour.  The bus took six couples and the tour guide pretty much chose the four wineries we visited.  She specialized in boutique wineries so the four we visited were smaller and not as widely distributed as others.  The first stop was Grgich Hills.  The tasting host was Adam Lambert's uncle!  He was so much fun and really helped start the day off right.

Next we went to Paoletti Vineyards.  First we tasted several wines in the tasting room and then we headed to the caves for lunch (and more wine). 

The caves were crazy.  The walls were stained in red wine and the owner had marble busts made of friends and people he admired.  You can see Ronald Reagan above.  He was alongside the likes of the Pope, DaVinci, and the vineyard owner's attorney.

The next stop was Dominari.  The tasting host was the CEO and winemaker of the vineyard.  Her story is so cute.  Her husband moved her out to the "country" after she'd always been a city girl.  She eventually started making wine out of the grapes they were growing and started winning awards!  
The last stop was Laird Family Estate.  I'd had enough wine by that point that I don't know whether the wine I tasted was good or not.  HA!  But we still brought a couple bottles home! 

After having 5-7 tastes/glasses at each stop, we probably should have gone straight back to the hotel to drink some water and rest.  Instead, we had the tour guide drop our whole bus off at a bar so we could all have a few more drinks together and watch football.  Then Ryan and I headed to Celadon for dinner.  It was really delicious but I think I was a bit too tipsy to fully appreciate it.
Sunday...I realized what a bad idea it was to go out for drinks after an entire day of wine tasting.  Even so, we got up and headed to Oakville Grocery, which is a super cute little store in Napa.  I could just envision picking up some deli items and a bottle of wine there and having a picnic.  There were a lot of people that were doing that but we were headed to Sonoma so we didn't get anything.  Sonoma was such a cute little town but we didn't feel like tasting any wine so we didn't bring any Sonoma wines home.  I do know from prior experience that I LOVE the Schug pinot noir that is from Sonoma.  While we were in town Ryan drove me by the 2009 HGTV Dream Home that I had tried to win by entering the sweepstakes every day until they closed.  It was just my luck that the home is on the market right now!  So if I can just come up with a cool $2 million I could probably still own it!  Ryan suggested we could put a leg lamp (a la The Christmas Story) in the front window if we had a nice house like that.

We enjoyed a late lunch at Cafe 522 and then headed back toward San Francisco to catch our late evening flight.  We took a different way back than we took up so we got to go over the Golden Gate Bridge.
Napa and Sonoma were both so lovely and I'm sure there are so many other things to do in both places!  It is beautiful country and I'm so glad we got to go!


  1. Love all the pictures! It looks like you guys had a great time. Have a great weekend!

  2. What? More wine than food. Looks like you had a wonderful trip. You mentioned football. Did you watch the KU game?