Summer Vacation Series — Napa Valley
The good summer weather typically leads to me working through the duration of the season. The skies are “friendier” and I can get around the US taking meeting with less chances of being delayed. I typically push through the season waiting for the holiday to take a proper vacation. This year I decided to try something new. Instead of a week-long vacay, I’ve been tacking a few days onto work trips and having mini-vacations. Last week I had to work in Memphis (had an amazing time at The Sisterhood Showcase) and met up with my SO in San Francisco at the tail end of his work trip.
I’ve been talking about going to Napa for YEARS but it always seemed so daunting. I believe there are over 400 wineries. I’m one of those people that needs the options limited. Too much of ANYTHING tends to stress me out. So I reached out to a few friends that were area experts and this is how my ONE NIGHT (SUNDAY) in Napa panned out.
WHERE TO STAY — There are tons of fabulous hotels and resorts in the area (it was so hard to choose). Because I knew we were only staying for one night and likely wouldn’t spend much time in the room, I went with nicest + most value and landed at The Carneros Inn.
We stayed in an awesome cottage with an outdoor bathtub, shower and fireplace. After a FULL DAY of wine tasting plopping in the outdoor tub was the best thing ever.
HOW TO GET AROUND — I rented a car after landing in San Francisco (ended up driving up from Oakland though) and drove to the hotel. Once at the hotel, we arranged for black car service to take us around. Trust me when I tell you that this is the BEST idea. One. You shouldn’t drink and drive. Two. The roads are SO windy and it’s not like they’re storefronts — they are wineries tucked away in the lushness of trees and whatnot. Three. The drivers serve as tour guides giving you lots of rich history and tea about the area. It’s always nice to have the real. There are various by the hour services.
WHERE TO TASTE IN A DAY — Knowing that we only had a DAY I wanted to make the most of it. I did some research online and found a few lists and also reached out to the hotel concierge to help us plan the best day possible. This is what we came up with:
11:30: Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars — Super gorgeous location, decent wine, could have taken or left it. We didn’t need an appoinment so it was nice to just pop in to get the trip started.
12:30P Quintessa — Easily my favorite stop! If we only had once place to visit it would be here. The tour was $75 and worth every penny. Our guide was amazing and incredibly interesting. I bought a case of wine at the end of the tasting. I plan on opening one this time next year.
2:30P Chappellet — This was also a great winery. A different experience and wine price point but still a good story. I think that’s what I enjoyed most about these tours were the actual stories.
4:30 Brown Estate — We actually learned about this Black Owned winery while at Chappellet. Our driver dialed them up and I pretty much begged them to open up for us since they had already closed for the day. This was the highlight of my trip. I had the best time meeting with Sean and the winemaker and the wine was SO. DAMN. GOOD.
WHERE TO EAT — This was the hardest part because there are so many good restaurants in the area. I decided to make reservations at La Toque. Everything was SO GOOD. It was the best way to end the night. Every course was special and amazing.
WHAT I WORE — The weather was really warm (high 80s) so I went casual in a Mara Hoffman sleeveless shirt dress that I tried during my UNLIMITED Rent the Runway subscription and loved so much I bought it! I opted for my Kinky Curly Yaki clip-ins (took me about 10 mins to install) and my favorite little Gucci cross body bag. It’s like having on a long necklace and a great purse at the same time!
What are you doing this summer?!