9.12.2012

What Happens In Napa Valley

{top and skirt: MJR, shoes: BCBG}


....stays in Napa Valley.

Just kidding!

It gets written about here on the bloggy, le duh. Let's get real honest here, there is no way I would ever not talk about the place that I feel the most at home in (at a winery-if you're wondering.) To all the others winos-let's raise a glass during this post, or if you're at work, treat yourself to one tonight.

Since returning from Napa, something odd has taken place in the K household. I came home one night to find Billy drinking.my.wine. ::Screeeeeech:: When I first saw him doing this, my jaw dropped and the beginning stages of a heart attack had begun. Billy never drinks wine, he is a beer man, unless we are out to dinner somewhere and I want to split a bottle or something. Ever since we have lived together, I've had to justify my nightly  every now and again glass of wine explaining to him that wine isn't beer or vodka, and therefore doesn't count. I knew how much wine I had stashed at all times, but now? I have to SHARE. This could ugly. Anyways, to get to the point and come off my ledge..it's shocking, but I'm happy Napa treated Billy so well and gave him a new found appeciation for wine. Now he can start stocking up on some bottles.. ;)

We arrived in Napa after coming straight from Tahoe (read the recap:here) and since we loved Tahoe so much, it had a lot to live up to. We had such high expectations from hearing great things (and the fact that it's wine country!), but luckily it lived up them. The drive into Napa Valley is scenic with the mountains, big green trees lining the roads, and is just gorgeous. There are vineyards all to your right and left just begging to be stopped at, and some cute restaurants here and there.



*Planning a trip here? I would definitely recommend doing your research on different vineyards, so when you get there you aren't just pulling up to a random vineyard hoping to do a tasting and love it. Also, many vineyards require reservations so make sure you plan ahead of time. 

We did wine tastings and tours at V.Sattui (in St. Helena-which is an awesome little area) and Sterling Vineyards because of all the great recommendations we got from some of you, and just exploring and researching the websites. We also explored Castlello di Amorosa, but didn't do a wine tasting there. I would recommend it though, it is so neat inside and outside and perfect for photo op's. If I would've done another tasting, the chances of me passing out in a vineyard would be pretty high I assume (or did I? Keep reading).

Let's take a look into our time at the vineyards!


V. Sattui
 









V. Sattui was our favorite by far and is a must see!! This winery is absolutely adorable. We took a bit of a walk around the vineyard before we went in, and it was so cool to see the grapes on the vine. The vineyard here is beautiful and I knew that I never wanted to leave (this is a recurring theme on this trip if you didn't notice yet). 

Everyone there with us visiting was having a great time, and for good reason. V.Sattui has the most AMAZING deli that is perfect for a casual lunch. They have multiple areas with picnic tables set up that you can outside at, which is what we did, and it was perfection. The food is delicious and then you can go back inside for your tastings. Billy got the spicy italian sandwich and says it was "the best sandwich he's ever had". I went with the tomato basil mozzarella sandwich and it was so fresh and so good. The sandwiches are huge! They also have some great desserts at V. Sattui, so naturally we had to get one and Billy's pick was the Creme Brulee. Yumm-o. 

this door? Swoooooooon.
















I checked in on the app "Yelp" on my iPhone before we got there and actually got our tasting half off! Looking back, I should've done a couple of tastings here! The staff was extremely friendly and it is just an adorable place to visit. The tasting that I did included 6 different wine flights, but I made friends with the lady who was serving me and she gave me much more than that. Probably at least 9 flights. When doing the tasting, they give you a brief history on the wine and where it came from. I found this to be really interesting..I mean, normally I just chug my wine back here in Ohio and could care less about anything else (this has changed). I couldn't stop smiling...I was in wine heaven.






After buying some gifts for our house and a lot bit tipsy and high on life,
 we were on our way to the next.


Sterling Vineyard



Sterling is located towards the back of Napa Valley, so you get to see a lot of the other vineyards and the area on your way to it. Sterling is the only vineyard in Napa that has a gondola ride that you can take to see more of the property. We chose to tour this vineyard because we thought that was a fun option. Sterlings grounds are also breathtaking, but we didn't enjoy the wine selections as much as we did at V. Sattui. We loved Sterling though because it gives you a great tour inside where you can actually see the process of wine making and the big barrels they use. In addition, Sterling has an outdoor terrace that you can sit out on towards the end of your tour that looks over the vineyard and yep, you guessed it, it's beautiful.

Billy and I did love a wine from here (it was a dessert wine and our last one we tasted) and we've even looked it up so that we can order it or buy it here. 











Located across the street from Sterling is Castle di Amorosa, which is actually a castle owned by the same owners of V. Sattui. When we found that out, we immediately wanted to go because we enjoyed V.Sattui so much and it looked really pretty. We toured the grounds, but didn't do a tasting here. The prices were reasonable though ($30.00 per person), so keep it in mind if you go here. 


I found some of the coolest doors on this trip!



When we planned this trip, our intentions were to just spend a day in Napa so that we could see it and experience it, but not spend a lot of time here. One day was plenty! In fact, Billy and I said we were glad we didn't stay any longer. Not because we didn't love it and I wouldn't be perfectly OK with tasting wine every single day from 10am to 6pm, but because there really isn't anything else to do. 

Want to know what else I did while there?

 I laid down IN the vineyard
and flashed it, all at the same time.  


Pretty sure people thought I was absolutely nuts,
 but I just wanted to make it clear that my love for the vineyards was strong
Billy almost had to drag me out by my arms, literally.

So, tell me, have you been to Napa/Sonoma?
(We just drove through Sonoma)

Did you love it? What vineyards did you go to?

Up next?
San Francisco!!

{ps-this is seriously so fun. I hope you guys are enjoying these! 
I'd gladly recap trips every week}



33 comments :

  1. this just made me incredibly homesick! i love v. sattui. and then there's bouchon, which, don't even get me started. DON'T.

    great pictures!

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  2. I love the recaps :) just makes me want to go to wine country even more ... on that note, lets go to wine bistro soon, you in!?

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  3. your pictures are so incredible! i LOVE. looks like such an incredible time. this is def. a trip i would LOVE to do someday.

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  4. I told my fiance no less than 3 times I want to recreate this trip. I've always wanted to do a Cali road trip (well, fly, then road trip) because there are so many different places I want to see there-- why not hit them all at once?!

    Also, to put into contrast the difference between a CA winery tasting and a MN winery tasting: ours was $5. hahaha. I suppose, Cali, is Cali though!

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  5. love vacationing vicariously (say that 3x fast) through your posts! All that food (and wine of course) looks amazing, and the pic of you in front of the vineyard door is beautiful

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  6. Wine tasting sounds like the perfect vacation to me! And sharing isn't too bad, you just have to keep an eye on those husbands. Make sure they control themselves around YOUR wine :)

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  7. Our husbands might be the same person! I am alllways having to justify my wine drinking, haha. And! just this past weekend I had gone to bed before the hubs and woke up to an a wine glass in the sink and it was not mine...

    I am loving these recaps and your photos...gorge!

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  8. Yay!! So glad you made it to V.Sattui, and even more glad that you loved it as much as we did! I wish we would've known about the castle when we were there..def would have made the trip to see it!

    P.s. the girl serving Billy the cheese...the EXACT same girl who served me cheese. Too funny!!

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  9. Love this! I'm officially thirsty! HAHAHAHA I actually booked Jake and I a vineyard tour while we're in Tahoe. It'll be picking us up at our hotel, bringing us to four vineyards, giving us lunch and driving us home! SCORE! HAHA I can't wait!

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  10. This was such a great post on Napa. We are going to San Fran and Sonoma for our honeymoon next month, but am hoping to drive to Napa one day. I'll have to check out some of these vineyards.

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  11. Looks like so much fun! I love V. Sattui! And you have to tell us where you got your cute skirt and top!

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  12. PS...love that Billy is into wine now! Who knew all it took was just a quick jaunt through Napa?? ;)

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  13. Oh my gooodness, I want to book a trip there!!!!!!!!! I actually JUST went to my first vineyard ever 2 weekends ago down in Kentucky and it was AWESOME. I want to go to the REAL ones now in Napa!!

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  14. What a great trip! You and Billy sure know how to make the most out of your time there. Earlier this year we went to Sonoma with friends for Barrel Tasting Weekend. It was amazing. Three days of wine tastings=heaven. If you ever are looking for a great couples trip this is it. Rent a cabin with a hot tub close to town and you are set!

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  15. These photos are amazing. Napa looks absolutely beautiful. I can't wait to get there someday! P.S. There's a particular meatless recipe on the blog today that I think you will LOVE. :)

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  16. I've never been to V.Sattui. Looks so beautiful and fun. Now I definitely want to visit. Love your pink skirt :)

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  17. I've heard that Sonoma isn't as touristy as Napa. I work with a few friends who did V. Sattui and LOVED it! So now it's on my list of where I want to see!!

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  18. Girl, your outfit is amazingggg! I love the pink skirt. I'm dying to go to Napa. This post is drool-worthy! I love that it turned your husband into a wino.

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  19. Absolutley loving reading your trip recaps....my husband and I are looking to plan a spring trip out West and it's great to see where others have been, and liked or disliked, there are so many options to chose from...looking forward to your Carmel post!

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  20. Save water drink wine? New life motto! Even though that's kid of how I live my life already...now I have justification! I'm loving these trip recaps. It's like I get to take a mini vacation every morning. :)

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  21. Definitely enjoying the recaps from vacation since CA is on my list of places to visit and has been for quite a while now. Thanks for sharing w/ us all!

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  22. looks like such a great trip! i live in ca and need to copy this trip!

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  23. This looks like such a beautiful place! I'm not a wine person (I KNOW, cray cray) but I would totally go here! So beautiful!

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  24. How beautiful! Your wine tasting outfit is so pretty, and I love all of the pictures you took and posed in. So cute. :) I'm sure you miss it now that you're just back. It's fun to live vicariously through the pictures.

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  25. my husband and i soo need to take a trip up to napa. the views are gorgeous and of course having yummy wines and delicious lunch items, what a perfect day

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  26. Wow it looks like you guys had a great time! I have been dying to go to Sterling and need to make my way over there!

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  27. oh goodness..I am loving all of these wonderful pictures!! y'all are seriously adorable!! It looks like you had such a great time..y'all deserve it!! Uhm and can I come raid your closet..such cute outfits!!! :)

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  28. I'm loving the recap and wanting to go back to California right this minute. I now absolutely have to visit Lake Tahoe. Can't wait to see what was up in San Fran!

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  29. Beautiful pictures! :) Looks like an amazing trip!

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  30. I LOVE this last picture of you, so great!

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  31. GAH-I need to go here now. This has been on "the list" for quite some time now and you're not making it any better as I sit here behind my desk looking at all the pics. (WHo am I to bitch? I mean, I DID just get back from Kauai..ha)

    ANywho-have I told you lately how happy I am you're in my life? No. REally? Life is too short to have ugly friends and you, my friend, are the prettiest in all the land!

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