While my hard working hubby was busy second away rotation, I took a little trip over to Napa Valley for the funnest college reunion! I had heard Napa Valley was beautiful but I was not prepared for just how enchanting it was. From the small local grocery stores to the picturesque views, Napa has my heart.
Before I describe how intoxicatingly beautiful Napa is and all of places we visited, I have to thank my friend, Kate, and her incredibly generous family for hosting a rowdy group of UD-ers!
Kate seriously planned everything for us. Winery tours, transportation, food, everything. She was the most gracious hostess and we could not be more grateful!
Veni, Vidi, Vino
Castello Di Amorosa
We went to quite a few wineries in Napa. I felt like I was walking back to my semester abroad in Rome. There is something so Italian about Napa. Perhaps it's their rolling landscape or their remarkably warm people. Or, maybe it's the fact that they have Tuscan castles casually operating as wineries. I thought this was a joke when I heard about Castello Di Amorosa but no. It is a genuine 13th century castle which was transported from Tuscany to Napa and turned into a winery. The wine was amazing and the castle itself was breathtaking (those frescos. I die!).
Sattui Winery and Deli
We are suckers for good advertising. 2 miles south of Castello Di Amorosa, we went to Sattui Winery and Deli. This little winery is a dream. It houses a scrumptious little deli with fine cheeses, cured meats, and (of course) wine! There are plenty of picnic tables scattered about or you could bring your own blanket to enjoy a little sunny picnic. Though beware, California isn't known for gorgeous weather.
We took the tour and tasting at Mumms. Our guild walked us through the process of making sparking wine as we sipped five different bubbly concoctions (my personal favorite was the Rosé). We walked through a little mini-vineyard to taste their grapes, through the warehouse, ending overlooking the vineyard.
We had an awesome and very intimate tour of the Macauley Vineyard. Our guild was so engaging and an incredible story teller. She told stories about the original winery founder, Ann Macauley Watson, and her son, Mac, who revived the Macauley label in the early 2000s.
This burger joint was so delicious. I got the Western Bacon Blue Ring Burger and a watermelon beer (which I didn’t need but was just delightful). There are rows of shaded picnic tables and plenty of grass for kiddies to play. Call ahead to order if you’re with a large group they’ll have your food out super quick.
It wasn’t all about wine this trip. Northern California is home to a number of award winning breweries. During our time in Napa, we took a trip down to Russian River Brewery. Where, I kid you not, every beer was delicious. I literally did not have one I didn’t like. They also offer an impressive 15 beer flight. I was a huge fan of their Russian River Porter and O.V.L. stout, which probably isn’t very seasonally appropriate of me but northern California is a little chilly for my southern soul. I also brought about 4 beers home with me in my suitcase for my sweet, hardworking husband, who couldn’t let me leave California without a Pliny the Elder for him to try.