Happy New Year! I promised myself 2016 would be another year of traveling as much as I can. If exploring new places is on your radar for this year, wine country may be just the place to start. With breathtaking views, endless amounts of wine, and a great food scene, Napa was the perfect weekend getaway.
If you’re flying into California, Napa is just under two hours from the San Francisco airport. After we picked up our rental car, we made sure to see the Full House houses and made a pit stop at the Ferry Building to grab lunch and explore. My boyfriend is a huge fan of whiskey, so we had to check out Hard Water for a drink and Gott’s Roadside for their Texas Avocado Burger.
11:00 AM – Fly into San Francisco International Airport
12:00 PM – Check out the Ferry Building where you can explore little shops and grab a delicious lunch (I recommend Gott’s or Hog Island Oyster Co.)
2:00 PM – Snap a quick photo of the Full House houses in Alamo Square and you’re off!
3:30 PM – Stop at Lagunitas Brewing Company for a tour of their brewing facility and make sure to get a Little Sumpin or two while you’re there! #vacation
6:00 PM – Time to check into what was once my Pinterest-dream hotel, The Carneros Inn, I’m officially in wine country!
With so many hotel options to choose from, The Carneros Inn, had everything we wanted in a hotel and more. With an award-winning spa reserved exclusively for guests of the hotel, three full-service restaurants, two pools with amazing views of the countryside – I never wanted to leave our cozy cottage or Napa in general.
7:00 PM – Definitely worked up an appetite at Lagunitas, it’s time to head to Oxbow Market! Quick plug: if you find yourself in Napa, you have to stop at Oxbow! It’s the perfect gathering place and public market where you can eat and drink from tons of different vendors. After exploring the market, we decided on Hog Island Oyster Co. for delicious oysters, clam chowder soup and their amazing oyster po’ boy.
10:00 AM – Back to Oxbow we went (this place literally has it all)! We decided on C Casa for breakfast tacos to fuel up before a day of drinking lots of wine. I highly recommend the potato scrambled egg and over medium egg chorizo tacos!
11:00 AM – Finally, a winery! We started off with the Jarvis Estate Winery tour and words cannot describe how wonderful our experience was. Jarvis Estate was the first winery in the country to tunnel a cave so big that it could hold the entire winemaking operation. I highly recommend this tour not only for the tasting itself but for the overall history and appreciation you’ll have for wine after leaving. Oh and not to mention, there’s a beautiful waterfall inside! #instagramworthy
1:30 PM – Pit stop at Gott’s Roadside in Saint Helena before our next tasting! This location is one of four and one of my favorites because of the large outdoor eating area. Think Big Star but even bigger!
2:30 PM – Second winery of the day, Duckhorn Vineyards! Although we visited Napa after harvest was over, nothing can compare to how beautiful wine country is in the fall. All of the leaves changing colors made for a beautiful view while tasting delicious wines! Before Napa, I wasn’t a big red wine drinker, that quickly changed and Duckhorn introduced me to one of my favorite red blends, 2011 Duckhorn Vineyards The Discussion (Riesling, who?).
7:30 PM – We decided two wineries was just the right amount for us and headed to dinner after taking a tour around our hotel. Dinner at Redd Wood in Yountville was a great way to end our night. There’s nothing better than carbs, wine and more carbs!
10:30 AM – We started off day three on a sweet note at Bouchon Bakery in Yountville. Although we stood in line for at least 25 minutes before ordering, it was well worth the wait. If you should ever find yourself at Bouchon Bakery, order the bacon cheddar scone (one of the best scones I’ve ever had) and the chocolate almond croissant!
12:00 PM – Our first winery of the day was the Round Pound Estate. How pretty is that view below of the entrance? The service, wine and views here were absolutely stunning!
1:30 PM – Full disclosure – our trip probably consisted of more eating than drinking, or at least that’s what this itinerary is portraying. Our next stop was the highly recommended Mustards Grill. What we loved most about our itinerary was how close most wineries and restaurants are to one another. If you go to Mustards, you must get the pork chop. I made the mistake of not ordering it and that’s my only regrets from the trip.
3:00 PM – Our last winery and tour of the trip was Robert Mondavi. This was another wonderful tour of the entire winery that ended with a great tasting. I even indulged in my first Moscato of the trip and took a bottle home with me.
5:00 PM – We decided to take in the views of Auberge du Soleil (another Pinterest dream hotel from back in the day) over a cocktail or two before our highly anticipated dinner (yes, another restaurant).
8:30 PM – We ended the trip with an amazing dinner at Another Thomas Keller restaurant, Ad Hoc. The daily-changing four-course menu, features classic American dishes like fried chicken, pot roast and BBQ. All courses are served family style and are ABSOLUTELY delicious.
9:00 AM – We survived! With three full days of drinking and eating under our belt, our trip had to come to an end. We got to the famous Fremont Diner bright and early on our way out of Napa. Make sure to get there early if you’re pressed for time, there was definitely quite the wait as we were leaving. Oh and you have to order the fried chicken and waffles!
Thank you for following along an amazing trip filled with lots of food, wine and memories that will last forever (especially now that I have this post to reference back to).
Have you been to Napa before? I’d love to hear about what trips you’re planning for 2016! Make sure to share in the comments section!