Friday, July 29, 2011

Wine Tasting in Napa

Sweet, fresh air, delicious food made with fresh ingredients, breathtaking views that remind you of how good life is and vineyard after vineyard full of wine and history...this is Napa.
Six of my best girlfriends from high school, my sister, and our husband/fiance/boyfriends all headed out bright and early one sunny Saturday in pursuit of beautiful views, tons of catching up conversations and, of course, some good wine. After a lot of researching and asking around, these are the 4 wineries that we decided to visit: V. Sattui, Rubicon Estate, Darioush and Domain Carneros. Though we only made it to the first three, we did end up eating at Gott's Roadside in the end.
We arrived at V. Sattui at about 9.30a. As they say in Napa, it's never too early for a glass of wine. I can't say enough good things about V. Sattui. If you're going to be wine tasting all day, you need to put some food in your stomach. V. Sattui has a little Italian style market where you can buy fresh breads, cheeses, charcuterie, etc. and starting at 11.30a, they have an amazing BBQ, wood fire pizza and mozzarella bar. Outside of the wine tasting rooms and market is a beautiful picnic grounds where you can sit outside and enjoy you fresh faire along with a bottle of vino. Try the BBQ oysters, you will not be disappointed.

From V. Sattui, it was about a 10 minute drive to Rubicon Estate, the home of Francis Ford Coppola. $25 will get you a wine tasting with 5 tastes and a 30 minute walking tour around the outside of the winery. The tour is great for learning about the history of these beautiful grounds, but it doesn't actually cover the inside of the estate which is just as astounding. The wine was outstanding and the staff was very friendly and talkative.

Next stop was Darioush, the winery which came best recommended by a majority of my friends. Darioush is a newer, more modern winery with epic architecture. Perhaps I missed something, but this was my least favorite winery. The service was cold and inattentive and I didn't feel the history or warmth that I did at the previous wineries. Tasting will run you from around $35 for 5 tastes to $18 for 2.

Most wineries in Napa close at 5.00p. So by the time we were done at Darioush, there was no way we were going to make it to Domain Carneros. Instead, we ended up at Gott's Roadside where they serve THE BEST Niman ranch hamburgers. The chili cheese fries are a must and the milkshakes were heavenly.

The day was quite the success and with our tummies full, we piled into cars and drove home. If you are planning a trip to Napa I highly suggest this itinerary. It was easy, fun, and a great way to enjoy a sunny day with friends.
We weren't the only ones that had a great time. I must include that for about 10 miles of the drive home on the freeway, we were behind a limo which had a man in a suit standing out of the moon roof, fighting the wind, gripping both sides of the roof. Keep in mind the limo was probably going a good 70mph. Grown man in his 40's. Still clinging on to the roof of the limo as we peeled off the freeway exit. Napa.
Special thanks to Miss Olivia Speranza, aka Olivia Tech, my beautifully talented sister for taking most of the pictures seen above.

love you O Town

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