A few weekends ago, we went WINE TASTING in Napa Valley! OK technically it wasn’t exactlyyyyy all Napa Valley. It also included Sonoma County (but the areas are all basically the same thing).
Turns out a lot of people from San Francisco, and the surrounding areas, are members to different wineries (which offer discounted tastings). Tastings usually range between $15-40 and include a private host and about 4 tastings. Some wineries also offer tours of the property and at one spot, we even got a free wine glass! Most of the wineries are dog friendly, so you can make your trip unique depending on what you want!
We rented an Airbnb (one of my fave ways to stay somewhere) in Santa Rosa, which is pretty close to the wineries and has a cute little town that you can go out to dinner at. Fun Fact: my mom used to live in Santa Rosa and I’ve visited her there before!
We flew into the San Francisco airport, hopped right into a 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, and started our drive two hours up to wine country. The flight to California from New York is about 6 hours (I even published a post) and we left our house at about 5AM (NY time) to catch our flight. Needless to say, it was a long trip and I wore my fave cashmere set (JOGGERS + HOODIE) and had zero makeup on. After about an hour of driving, we made a pit stop for tacos at Taco Bell in San Francisco before continuing our drive.
All of our friends were already in California so they had been out at wineries all day. Since we were going to meet them at a winery, and I looked like I had been traveling for about 10 hours, once we got around to the Napa Valley area we pulled over and changed in the car.
THE WINE TOUR – Friday
1) Landmark Vineyards – Since we came right from the plane, we brought Nala! As soon as we pulled up, we were greeted by another dog and felt right at ease bringing Nala in. The sun was shining and it was a very warm mid-70 degrees. Our friends were already mid-way through a tasting, so we ordered a glass of Chardonnay, which was completely needed after traveling all day. The setting was beautiful, with lounge areas and a quiet waterfall in the center. While Nala was wandering around the surrounding area, in that moment I was happy.
2) St. Francis Winery – Since it was the end of the day when we got to this winery, we ordered a few bottles of different kinds of wine and I was drinking the rosé. There were tables and a large field in the back area, so Nala was able to run free and say ‘hi’ to everyone who was hanging out. With unobstructed views of the mountains in the back, it was really such a serene area.
DRESS: LOVESHACKFANCY – size Small (similar) (similar)
I love LOVESHACKFANCY so much. Literally I am obsessed with everything they sell. The prices are a little higher than I normally like to spend, but I was able to borrow this dress from Rent the Runway Unlimited – an experience I will be sharing at a later date.
SHOES: SOLUDOS (similar) (similar) (similar)
SUNNIES: CRAP EYEWEAR
THE WINE TOUR – Saturday
On Saturday, we rented a limo and prepared to spend the day wine tasting at a few different spots. We packed waters and some snacks for the limo – something I very much recommend. Since we would be out all day, we left Nala at the Airbnb and ordered a Wag! walker to let her out in the middle of the day. We left around 9:30AM and it was about a half hour ride to the first winery.
3) Frank Family Vineyards – This was our first stop so we listened carefully to everything about the wines and the history of the vineyard. We were seated in a private room inside and had some of the best red wines I have ever tasted. I’m usually a strict white wine type of girl, but this made me have a new appreciation for reds. Peter ordered a few bottles (that aren’t sold anywhere else) to be sent back to our apartment in NYC. They also make great gifts when going over someone’s home!
4) Cakebread – This was a full-on red shop. We tasted many different kinds of reds, toured the property, and even ate wine grapes! By this time we were starting to feel a bit of a buzz and personally, I was starting to get hungry. All of the vineyards had plenty of breadsticks, but it was not cutting it for me. Also, I think the breadsticks had butter and/or cheese- if you are dairy free.
Before heading to the next winery, Peter and I stopped at the Oakville Grocery where they had coffee, snacks (hummus and chips), and very good sandwiches (including vegan options).
5) Silver Oak Winery – Plenty of Cabernet all around. They gave us a tour of the facilities, detailing all the history. However, the vineyards across from the property is not technically theirs- so there isn’t much to tour of that. This is also where we got a free wine glass from! We were all very tired at this point and by the end of it (about 5PM), we were ready to go home.