Prior to this, the only wine tasting I had really done was in Northern Michigan where there are a lot of small (but very charming) wineries, and a lot of them will let you do complimentary tastings. This is not the case in Napa/Sonoma. Pretty much all the wineries charge between $10-$20 per person per tasting…so the day can get pretty pricey fast. I know there are different tours that you can go on that will take you to multiple wineries, and then I also heard there is this Napa Card that you can buy that will give you discounts on tastings (has anyone used this before?) Anyway, I digress…here is a recap of our first (but not our last) trip to Napa Valley!
|We had breakfast at a place in Napa called Gillwoods Cafe, which turned out to be delicious!|
|Check out this cinnamon roll! Yum yum yum.|
Silverado Vineyards: This was the first place we went, and they had a gorgeous building/setting. The guy who served us our wine was very nice and informative; he told us that this winery was started by Walt Disney’s daughter which I thought was really neat! This winery was more small and laid-back, which I liked.
Chandon: If you like bubbly, this is definitely a winery that needs to be on your list! Chandon grows primarily Pinot, Chardonnay and Champagne grapes (but it can only be called champagne if it comes from the Champagne region in France so here it’s called sparkling wine!) and today the winery is actually part of the Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton family of luxury brands, so the winery has a little bit bigger feel to it. Many of the wineries offer tours that you can pay to go on (most of which you have to make reservations for ahead of time) and so we signed up to go on their Pinot tour. It was pretty informative and we even got to try wine right out of the barrel!
Peju: This was a winery that Cam’s friends went to on their last trip to Napa and really liked. It was a little smaller, but overall I thought it had a nice atmosphere and I liked most of the wines we tasted. The guy who served us for our tasting was super helpful and seemed like he genuinely enjoyed his job. The tasting here was $15/person, but they waived your tasting fee for each bottle of wine you bought…hence why we bought two bottles of wine! (One of which broke when we got home, ughhhh)
V. Sattui Winery & Deli: This was our fourth stop of the day, and we were all starving at this point. This place is a winery/tasting room/gourmet deli; it’s pretty touristy and the wines aren’t distributed in stores. The wine was just alright, but they had a wide variety of
styles to choose from and the tasting was only $10 per person (and it was a very generous
tasting too!). My favorite part about this place? The food! The deli was fantastic and had lots of delicious lunch options (including the incredibly rich chocolate dessert that I thought was a good choice to buy after 4 wine tastings!). They’ve got lots of picnic tables outside (that are pet-friendly…since you know we brought Lola with us of course!), and it’s a great place to have a quick, casual lunch.
Chateau St. Jean: This was the last place that we went, and it was actually in Sonoma, not Napa. (The two areas are about a half hour apart) Their wines are very widely distributed and Cam and I drink them quite often, so we were excited to visit the winery! The grounds were very beautiful, but the tasting itself was not that great. The people working at the winery were not helpful or talkative, and it felt very impersonal. But we did go at the very end of the day, so maybe that was part of it?
The weather started out a little bit iffy, but we ended up getting some gorgeous sunshine! We don’t get to see our friends as often as we’d like, so sharing this day together was really special. Napa Valley is a beautiful region, and I’m really looking forward to going back! Have a lovely weekend! Xoxo