Napa is never a bad idea! This was not my first trip to the California wine mecca for sure, and this weekend I was able to repeat some places I loved and tried new ones as well. On this trip we got 2 decent days of sun, one day of rain and cold, but you know what helps weather stress melt away? Wine
Where I stayed: Vista Collina - part of the Meritage Resort.
Amazing suites- I stayed with a girlfriend and we were able to have our own space (and that space included a separate living room with pull-out couch, full kitchen, huge bathroom, and separate master bedroom with a balcony).
Plenty to do- you had access to both resorts which had plenty of tasting rooms, restaurants, bars, a really nice gym, spa, etc
Gave us early check in
Customer service was terrible
In-room dining took forever
Location- in the middle of nowhere
About a mile from the Napa River trail- which is my go-to running route for the area
So depending on what you are looking for, this may be a good spot for you.
Our goals for the weekend: eat well and drink well. Mission accomplished. Here is our itinerary:
Ubered in from SFO airport ($88).
Checked into hotel
Lunch at Oxbow Public Market- Live Fire Pizza. Delicious burrata and brussel sprouts! I love Oxbow, lots of little food stands, a few restaurants and coffee shops, fresh produce/local honey/stuff like that
Onto the wine! Ubered out to Yountville where we started with Duckhorn Winery (my fave probably). The wine was so good and loved the patio sitting options
Next stop: Rutherford Hill Winery (up on the hill, great view of the Napa valley, and their restaurant Aubergene is highly recommended- next time!) Big bar feel- areas outside to relax but it was cold at this point so we stayed inside
Final winery: Mumm Napa (love this sparkling, great place to relax and watch the sunset)
From Mumm we ubered back to our area and had dinner in Downtown Napa at Tarla Mediterranean. I loved their branzino and baklava dessert- both so good!
Breakfast at Boon Fly- we actually went to this spot last Napa trip, loved it so much so had to come back! Adorable small little restaurant- go early because you will have to wait for a table! Start with the mini-donuts :)
Another repeat- Domaine Carneros! Their sparkling tasting is amazing, plus the house itself is just beautiful and since it was on/off raining all day we were looking for nice indoor winery options.
Winery 2 was a recommendation from our waiter at Domaine Carneros- Etude Winery right down the road. This also had a really nice indoor tasting area and some great wines
We stopped back on Oxbow to satisfy my friend's cheese plate craving, it was way more packed on a Saturday than the previous afternoon.
From there we headed again into Downtown Napa- did a little shopping and a quick wine tasting at the John Anthony tasting room. I was not a fan of this place- their Sauvignon Blanc was super oaky and heavy, I would not recommend this place.
Dinner was across the street at Oenotri- which had rave reviews but I just thought was ok. The halibut didn't have much flavor and my friend's pasta was a pretty small portion, no complimentary bread, the dessert was eh, you can do better for dinner around here.
Started by checking out main street Yountville- about a 20 min uber ride away from our resort. Did a little browsing in some shops and had brunch reservations at Ad Hoc. The chef Thomas Keller is pretty well known, and has a few restaurants in this area. Ad hoc was cool- it was a pre-fix menu that doesn't go up on the site until the day of. They do a 3 course brunch, and you can add family style sides for extra $ if you'd like. For our brunch spinich salad, chorizo hash and almond cake was featured. We added eggs and waffles. This was an amazing brunch, extremely expensive, but worth it.
From brunch we hit up one last winery- Luna- which was super cute and had some really nice wines.
Some tips on your trip to Napa:
Make restaurant and winery reservations in advance- especially on the weekends
Napa is great, but be sure to check out Sonoma, St Helena and Yountville. Sonoma is especially nice for walkability and restaurant options on the square. Downtown Napa is growing, it has some ok restaurants and nice hotels. St Helena and Yountville are the areas where you start getting into the really nice wineries.
Don't rent a car- be safe and just take Ubers.
All the wineries shut down around 4-5pm