Napa Valley. Sunshine. Wine Country. Friendship & Celebration. Every part of our glorious weekend in California seemed to be picture perfect. From sipping bubbly on the patio of Domaine Carneros with scenes of rolling hills & budding vines to exploring the gardens of Frog’s Leap, our weekend was filled with glamorous views. My friend Liz and I had been talking about a couples trip to Napa for quite some time before finally booking flights last October and deciding to make it happen. With our friends getting married and now starting to have babies, we weren’t sure when we’d get another opportunity. So we took advantage the moment. Now or never.
I could barely contain my excitement as I woke to my alarm at 3:45 am on Friday after only a few hours of sleep. Our weekend was HERE. We rolled out of bed and quickly scrambled to the airport to make our 5:55am departure. After a connection in LAX and an hour drive from the Oakland airport, we made it to the Andaz Hotel where we were each greeted with a glass of complimentary wine. ALLELUIA BABY! Our first wine tasting was scheduled for 3 and while we waited for L & R to arrive, I took a quick cat nap while E caught up on some work.
Liz and I spearheaded planning but I must say that Liz did most of the work. She’s a go getter and when there is an event to plan, she gets it done in advance. After a little research, she made one of the best discoveries of our trip– a gluten free bakeshop called Cate & Co! Cate & Co is located in the Oxbow Market and we ate breakfast there each morning. Even with all the gorgeous scenery and delicious wine, Cate & Co will definitely always sit in my mind as one of the highlights of our weekend. We spent some quality time there reminiscing about the previous day’s activities and enjoying bacon & egg paninis with avocado on GF sourdough toast. UN-REAL.
But let’s start with Friday after Liz & Ryan arrived… First stop: Cosentino!
Cosentino– With a gorgeous front patio and 15 minute proximity from our hotel, Cosentino was the first winery we ventured to on our vacay weekend. Ryan and Eric tried the Reserve flight (limited production wines) and Liz and I went for the Premier flight (vintage wines). My favorite wine was the second in our tasting, but of course I forgot to document! Just remember the Premier Flight! We sat outside in the warm sunshine as we enjoyed our first tasting and discussed our excitement for the weekend. Cosentino was a great first spot to kickstart our weekend of wine!
The Wine Thief– After Cosentino and before heading to dinner at the Oxbow market, we stopped into the Wine Thief, a tasting room located in downtown Napa. A “Wine Thief” refers to a glass or plastic tool used to extract a portion of developing wine from a barrel. Several small wine vintners sell their products at this tasting room and focus on quality over quantity. Most wineries close between 5 and 6pm in the Valley, so this was the perfect stop in between winery visitations and dinner.
Korbel– Liz’s brother Ryan works at Brown Forman and hooked the four of us up with a really neat VIP tour of Korbel Champagne Cellars. We got to explore the original cellar and get insight into the Korbel brother’s mission. They originally started their business with selling cigar boxes but quickly tried a few other projects after their facility was ruined in a fire. They settled on wine making and we got to tour the area and see how their original bottles of champagne were created. We also experienced our own private tasting after the tour was over! Liz is a champagne fanatic and I’ve recently developed my own love for it through her excitement. So I got myself a case of various Korbel Champagnes. I can’t wait for it to arrive! :)
Hall Wines– I have to say, Hall Winery had the coolest tour I have experienced in Napa. We arrived for a 3pm tasting after a fabulous morning at Korbel and I was impressed by the aesthetics & decor of Hall Wines. We were given a glass of vino immediately upon arrival and told to hang out and stroll the grounds before heading out for the tasting. The best part was tasting the Kathryn Hall wine out of the barrel! It will be their next 100 point wine and is currently rated at a 98. It was AMAZING. And we got to see a Wine Thief in action! The rest of the tour included walking out to the vineyard to see the newly budding vines and then getting an inside look at their production tanks. It finished with a private tasting in a room with the most gorgeous view of the vineyard. Guys- if you visit Napa, Hall Winery is a must.
Domaine Carneros– Liz has turned me into a bubbly lover. I’ve never met someone who enjoys her champagne more than she does so I was ecstatic to visit Domaine Carneros and see her in her element. Domaine Carneros reminds me of Palace Versailles in a way. It’s grand and beautiful and sits on a gorgeous property. We took a million pictures and enjoyed the beginning of Easter Sunday. In lieu of a tasting, we decided to order glasses of bubbles. If truth be told, we all know what our favorite kind of champs is, and its on the dry side. Although I do love me some rosé!
Sign from Lizzy Loves Letters
Frog’s Leap– Goodness, Frog’s Leap! My pictures do no justice to the glorious scenery and picture perfect gardens that are this winery. From budding vines to rocking chairs and large red barns, we felt like we were walking into a movie production as we took in the beauty of the winery. I could have spent the rest of the afternoon there but we had a couple more wineries to squeeze in! We sat on the porch of the winery as we enjoyed our tasting. One of my favorite types of wine is a syrah and I very much enjoyed their sample. Our host was generous and gave us a few more glasses with our tasting. I loved the vibe of this winery. It was totally laid back. Meant for relaxation. Because what is wine tasting in a gorgeous valley? Right? I can’t say enough good things about this winery. I just wish my pictures were better for you!
Caymus– Eric was dying to try Caymus Vineyards. Caymus is located down the street from Frog’s Leap, so we walked over after our tasting. We drink Caymus at home on special occasions like birthdays and the holidays. It’s my Dad’s favorite wine and one of Eric’s too. I must say, it was even more delicious than ever when we sampled their tasting. There is nothing quite like wine right from the vineyard. We also snapped some gorgeous pics out front!
Mumm– We finished our epic weekend at Mumm Napa, a winery known for their sparkling wine. We sat and sipped bubbly while enjoying the views of the vineyard. Our host let us sneak back behind the barn to get a better glimpse of the vines. Liz and I had too much fun goofing around and recording videos in Irish accents. If you’re lucky, maybe one day you’ll see one. NOT! #whathappenesatMummstaysatMumm
I can’t wait to get back to Mumm and do a proper tasting. It was our fourth winery that day and we were spent. The gorgeous views need to be documented more thoroughly, but I did snap this picture of champs in front of their adorable table bouquets! Cheers Mumm! See you again.
Of all the fun spots we visited, Hall Wines & Frog’s Leap were my favorite. Although starting the day with bubbles at Domain Carneros was pretty spectacular too. What a weekend! What a trip! Hope you have enjoyed reading about some of these wineries. I’ll finish this post with some other fun pics :) Cheers!