you had me at merlot
napa valley, California
Favorite part about Napa culture: Wine on wine on wine. Joking aside, these wineries and vineyards hold tons of history and hard work for wine makers and their families. For most, it is a family business – – current winery owners grew up watching their parents perfect the craft, and they then trained their children, and pass on family traditions and teachings. It is an art that comes with lots of labor and love.
I went to Napa for my bachelorette party and I tell people it was the classiest way to have way too much fun 🙂 I will keep my bachelorette party shenanigans a secret but will shed light on my other insights. I went back with my husband over a year later and we both THOROUGHLY enjoyed it, yet again!
Disclaimer: I am not a wino, but when in Napa and Sonoma you have to bask in what they are known for. It would be rude not to…remember that labor of love I was just telling you about? You have to support their dreams and help them provide for their family! Too much, OK, just have fun! Drink responsibly.
Tastings, Vineyards, Tours, and did I say Tastings!?
Here’s Some of our Favorites:
Home of so many of my family’s favorite vino! Caymus, Belle Glos, Conundrum, Meiomi and so many others! Caymus Vineyards is home to the Wagner Family and you will most likely see a member of the family when you are enjoying a wine tasting.
Pride prides themselves (no pun intended) on being the White House wine during its holiday party every year. I was unfamiliar with their wine until I went for a wine tasting and now it’s our special go-to if we see it on a restaurant’s wine list. If you’re visiting Napa this is a must-do tour! You will go into their caves and taste wine straight from the barrels. What else is really unique about Pride is that it straddles both Napa and Sonoma counties. (It’s rare for a vineyard to grow grapes in both counties).
Want to taste bubbly?! Celebrate with Champagne at Chandon!
We love Papillon and Prisoner (which Orin Swift gained popularity from and recently sold) so we wanted to check this place out. If you don’t think you’re familiar with this brand, it’s the one with the funky and modern labels. It is a storefront on the strip in St. Helena. The wine is deliciously different, but don’t expect to be going to an actual vineyard.
Where to sleep off those grapes?
I’ve stayed at all of these and highly recommend them.
Calistoga Ranch is the “ultimate luxury spot, tucked away in a private canyon in the Upper Napa Valley.” It’s like sleeping in your own private elegant tree house. And you will be driven from treehouse to treehouse via golf carts. I can’t say enough amazing things about this hideaway resort.
This is a boutique hotel in downtown St. Helena and walking distance to tons of adorable spots and wine destinations! We loved this location and the adorably chic hotel.
An adorable B&B in the quaint town of Yountville. We had a lovely stay here. Walking distance to many cute and well-known restaurants, including The French Laundry and Bouchon.
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
An awesome “burger joint” (that serves so much more than burgers) that you will not want to miss. There will be a very long line and you will wait and you will be very glad you did!
Transportation to Napa
You will fly into San Francisco (SFO) and drive an hour and a half to Napa. Rent a party bus, hire a driver, take a shuttle, or rent a red Mustang convertible. For my bach we did the first option…and with my sweet hubby we did the latter. (Make sure you stay a couple nights in San Fran before of after Napa – – but that’s a whole other blog post.)
leaving thoughts… make sure you visit Downtown St. Helena and Downtown Yountville. Also, snag a drink at Auberge du Soleil’s back porch in Rutherford for a view you won’t soon forget. Last but not least, you will dance better in Napa if you wear a floral dress.
Where we stayed:
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