Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Travelin' Tuesday: Napa & Sonoma

I don't know if I can speak for everyone on our trip, but I have to say that our time in Napa and Sonoma was the best part of our Cali visit!

After our short, packed 2 days in San Francisco it was really nice to relax in wine country.  We drove in Sunday afternoon and checked into our B&B - Old World Inn.

Old World was a great find of Corinne's!  Chris and I have stayed at B&Bs before, and this one was very similar to the others in that we had a great room and delicious breakfasts.  Old World was walking distance from Downtown Napa which had some fabulous eateries for dinner.  After checking in, we checked out our surroundings and then actually ordered pizza and grabbed a couple of bottles of wine from the Safeway across the street for dinner. 

Monday morning we were up bright and early for breakfast before being picked up for our Sonoma Platypus tour.  Our tour guide, Sam, was so informative as we headed from Napa to Sonoma to pick up the rest of the tour guests.  Sam let us know that our 4 stops would be some of the smaller more charming wineries with owners that Sam knew personally.  Our first stop was at Ravenswood which you may have seen in your local grocery store.  

 Our tour was led by the owner, who took us through the various fields of grapes, telling us about the history of winemaking, letting us taste the grapes from the vines and explaining the upcoming harvest.

 I think there were 8-11 different tastings along the way including one right out of the barrel.

After wrapping up here (and buying a Moscato for my brother), we boarded the bus and headed to our next stop Nicholson Ranch.  This place was gorgeous with spectacular views!!


After a tasting inside, we headed out to walk around the property learning more about wine before heading down into the caves.

not really getting anything from the barrel

I'm amazed by the amount of barrels down in the caves!  Once our tour concluded, we headed back upstairs to enjoy our tour included lunch.

It was a little downhill from here, not because our stops at Homewood and Anaba were bad (they were just fine), I just think it was the amount of wine already consumed along with the tasty lunch and being out in the sun for so long that just made the group a little bit more tired.

Once the tour was over, and we were dropped back off at the Old World Inn, I gladly took the option to nap before we walked into downtown for dinner.

Tuesday, we were on our own and made plans as we went starting off with morning sparkling wine at Domaine Carneros Winery.  

Gotta make use of the beautiful backdrop

Chris learned a lot about Champagne and Taittinger through his elective class, so this was a place of interest for him.  From there we headed to my favorite Castello di Amorosa.

We opted for the full tour which included a walk and tasting down in the caves!

After picking up a couple of bottles of their famous La Fantasia we headed back toward Napa with a picnic lunch stop at V Sattui Winery.

Dinner Tuesday night was back in downtown Napa, before packing up and heading back to San Fran Wednesday morning.  We hit up one last winery stop on the way out of town (Viansa), and couldn't complete our California trip without lunch at In-N-Out - more so for Corinne and Dave who have never eaten there (we now have them in Texas).

We spent Wednesday night in San Francisco before flying out Thursday afternoon.  Overall, I think this was one of my favorite trips and I really think it was because we got to spend the time with such great friends! 


  1. Looks great! They are both on our list of places to go.

  2. I was born in Napa, but moved when I was 15, so odd to read recaps of Napa trips and not recognize any names/places LOL

  3. I want to go to all if these things, it looks amazing! And the views are incredible!