Exploring California: Napa Valley Edition

Our first time in Napa turned out to be a great introduction. We started at Domain Carneros, which was the perfect spot to begin. The winery is home to a massive, French-inspired chateau, which instantly impressed us. With gorgeous views of the grounds all around, we sat for a wine tasting and opted for a mix of white and red. The server poured the wine and explained a bit about each one which I found so interesting and fun. With every sip I was trying to really taste the flavors and learn. Being so engaged made the experience much more memorable. How could you not be happy with these views and a drink in your hand?

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After the first wine tasting (which we paired with a delicious cheese plate), we strolled around and admired the property. Those grapes are going to become some fantastic wine down the track 😉 Then we were off to lunch at R+D Kitchen, a sister restaurant to Rutherford Grill. We grabbed a few drinks while waiting for our table inside. The outdoor area was a relaxing oasis with lots of greenery. The restaurant actually uses the herbs they grow out here as well which I loved.

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We then did a little driving tour, which allowed us to see a few more wineries since we were there for such a short visit. Opus One was very unique and impressive. I’ve never seen a building like it.

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On our way to one last winery, we stopped for a photo at the Napa Valley sign! What a beautiful region of California to explore.

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We ended up at Menage a Trois Winery for one last glass. They have a cute bar and gift shop inside and serve wine from 3 different labels. I loved how quaint the outdoor area was, mountain view included. My wine was so white it was practically clear-not a bad drop.

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After all the wine on Saturday, we decided to go for the craft beer on Sunday and spent a few hours at Berryessa Brewery Company. The beer was great (and very affordable)! They have a food truck on site and have live music most of the time.

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Visiting Napa for the first time can be overwhelming, since there are so many great options. I would recommend making reservations at a nice, fancy place that you for sure don’t want to miss out on to begin. From there, finding somewhere for lunch is a good idea, so you can experience at least one restaurant and get some food in you to prepare for more drinking. After lunch, stop into 2-3 other wineries to make the most of your day and to make sure you taste a variety of wines (we sampled more expensive wines as well as brands you can get for $10 at the store). With a stomach full of good food and good wine, you’ll sleep like a baby when night rolls around! The thing about Napa is all the wineries are beautiful-it’s hard to go wrong.

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