I am finally ready to share my Napa recap. Napa is a stunning region right in Northern California’s backyard. It is roughly an hour and a half north of San Francisco and spans a rather small area of land between two mountain ranges. Everything about Napa is lush and rich and beautiful, from the wines all the way to the drive leading you from the city up to it. We’ve been lucky enough to visit Napa on a previous occasion years ago during which we hopped around from winery to winery doing any open tastings that piqued our fancy. And while that was fun + we tried many, many different wines, this time around we wanted to do something a little different. We wanted to really slow down + relax + savor. We even wanted to learn. Ha. This was our first trip away from our son and we knew we needed it to unwind + reconnect + this was the perfect place for it. Napa is somewhere you could spend 2 weeks (if you have the liver for it) or just visit for a long weekend and still find plenty to do.
We were in Napa for 3 days and then spent our final day back in San Francisco before heading home. We scheduled 3 private winery tours and then sort of called + made appointments on the go or walked in to others we wanted to visit. Our 3 picks for the weekend were:
Nickel & Nickel Winery: Nickel & Nickel’s drive opens up to a view of a gorgeous white Queen Anne-style house with beautiful huge palm trees flanking it and horses frolicking in their front yard. The property looks like it’s out of a storybook with gorgeous roses + flowers surrounding it. Out the back there are 2 restored barns that are equally as magnificent as the main house + antique cars as an ode to the original owners love for racing cars. Our tasting was down in the cool cellar at a beautifully set table + very intimate atmosphere. Every wine we sampled was a delicious red (many of them Cabernet Sauvignons as the Napa region is most known for this wine) and they were so delicious. This is coming from a girl who usually steers clear of cabs + their full bodied nature! https://nickelandnickel.com/
Darioush: Darioush is a palace all its own (literally) from the impressive pillars + giant amphitheater to the Persian inspired interiors + immaculate tasting room + private cellars this place is grand + fit for an emperor from the minute you walk up those stone steps. Everything here is grand, over the top and luxe. But always so tasteful + relaxing. The wines here may have been my favorite of the bunch. Our guide Michelle was incredible + really shared her passion + love for wine, the Darioush brand + people with us. This place should be at the top of the list as a must see! https://www.darioush.com/
Clos Du Val: Last but not least we made an appointment for Clos Du Val. This property features a huge ivy covered building reminiscent of the properties + architecture of a French chateau. Everywhere you set foot here is covered in lush greens + beautiful flowers. As you’re sipping (and maybe becoming a bit tipsy) you can almost close your eyes and mistake that you aren’t even in California but somewhere across the ocean entirely. Their wines were great and featured a nice selection of both whites + reds. https://www.closduval.com/
Mumm Napa: Because sparkling is always a good idea 😉 https://www.mummnapa.com/
Alpha Omega: Their patio features fountains + views of the mountain side http://www.aowinery.com/
St. Supery: Yet another familiar name with incredible wines + gorgeous ivy covered buildings https://www.stsupery.com/
Villagio Inn + Spa: We stayed at the stunning Villagio Inn + Spa in Younteville. It was walking distance from all the best restaurants in Napa. (Like Thomas Keller’s famous Bouchon Bakery only a few blocks away) + had one of the most gorgeous hotel properties I’ve ever set foot on! Each room was housed in a 2 floor multi room villa with little sidewalks leading up to it from the lobby + pool area. Fountains lined the walk ways with gorgeous gardens + flowers. You could feel the relaxation settle over you as soon as you arrived. Each morning the hotel put out a “little” spread (aka huge selection) for breakfast featuring made to order omelette stations, fruits, mimosas, coffee, oatmeal + every assortment of pastry. We would sit and dine on the back patio by the pool + fountains. It was so dreamy. The pool is enclosed and surrounded by, you guessed it, stunning gardens + roses + was the prefect place to unwind from a day of wineries + touring. http://www.villagio.com/
Bouchon Bakery: Thomas Keller. Baked good that melt in your mouth. Enough said. https://www.thomaskeller.com/bouchonbakeryyountville
Brix: One of the days we had lunch at Brix before heading out to do our sippin’ + they have a great menu for lunch – delicious fresh salad over crisp greens + great appetizers for sharing like their yummy tempura green beans. http://www.brix.com/menu/lunch/
Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch: Farmstead is such a fun lunch spot. They have huge patios surrounding the restaurant + a great little general store right next door to stock up on any local goodies you’ve been enjoying. Their menu is fantastic + offers all your favorite lunch go-to’s like burgers + pulled pork sandwiches + colorful salads. http://www.longmeadowranch.com/images/pdf-downloads/LUNCH_May.pdf
Mustard’s Grill: Mustard’s is a name that is synonymous with Napa. A classic + a must eat for any Napa newbie (or returning winery veteran) http://mustardsgrill.com/
Lucy’s: Set in the modern + gorgeous Bordessono Hotel we sat outside on their quiet + pretty patio + enjoyed a great meal of salmon + lamb chops. http://bardessono.com/lucy-restaurant-bar-yountville-california/menu/
Bistro Jeanty: This was a random, last minute suggestion from one of the sommeliers at Clos Du Val. And boy, are we glad we went. Everything there felt like it was right out of the french countryside. Their menu is very classic + executed perfectly. We shared french onion soup, dover sole, and an incredible Coq au vin that rivals any we’ve had before. Though their website does not look like much – this place is worth a visit + will be a favorite we hope to return to. http://www.bistrojeanty.com/
There you have it. All of our highlights from an amazing getaway weekend. I wish I could somehow translate the sights + tastes of Napa to you via blog post but since I can’t – you’ll just have to plan a trip out there to experience it firsthand. 😉 xo, Jules.