Luck is a funny thing. Most of the time, you don’t even realize how much luck you possess until after the fact. For instance, we planned a big group trip to Napa with several of our friends. We rented a house to share, we planned a wine tour complete with limo, and we were all really looking forward to escaping Texas for a nice long weekend in California. But less than a month after our planned trip, as many of you have probably heard in the news, a magnitude 6.0 earthquake hit our vacation spot.
I can’t even imagine the losses and damage that the residents of the California wine region must have suffered in the last week. I sincerely hope that the businesses, homes, and families recover from such a tragedy. For Napa is a beautiful place and we’re so lucky to have enjoyed it before the catastrophe. And I hope we will be able to visit it and enjoy all that Napa has to offer again in the future! Well, how about some photos of pre-earthquake Napa in all her splendor?
We rented an interesting farmhouse on Silverado Road, just down the street from downtown Napa. Plenty of comfy rooms and places to hang out in the evening. Just watch out for the historical bees in their historical beehive that has incorporated itself into the historical farmhouse. The bees didn’t really bother us since we didn’t bother them. But there are a good number of bees on the property. It’s a good thing to note if anybody has a bee allergy…
On the other hand, did I mention, there’s a huge porch in the backyard with a beautiful view of the sunset? We all give it a thumbs up!
But our trip to Napa wasn’t just about our cool house, we had plenty of activities planned too! First up, a trip to Russian River Brewing Company in Santa Rosa for some beer tastings!
Once Andy discovered how close this elusive brewery was to Napa, it quickly became part of the “must do” itinerary.
Everybody enjoying a nice beer in the gorgeous California sunshine. Look! We’re sitting outside without sweating ourselves into dehydration and heat exhaustion! Be jealous Texas, be very jealous.
Russian River Brewery is famous for their Pliny the Elder and Pliny the Younger beers. But they only distribute in a few states outside of California. So, taking a case home was too much temptation for us to bear!
Then after a little bit of wandering and window shopping around downtown Napa (Oxbow Public Market is amazing!), we stopped at UnCorked for a nice laid back wine tasting on the porch. That’s right, I sat outdoors and ENJOYED it! Seriously loving California summers.
The next morning, our limo driver picked us up for our Napa wine tour. And before you think that we got too fancy, there are a ton of companies that specialize in wine tours for every price range. Besides, drinking and driving should always be avoided, that’s just common sense! And since we were in America’s wine country, of course everybody wanted to sample the famous vineyards of Napa, nobody wanted to be designated driver!
We used Beau Wine Tours for our excursion around Napa. They provided a driver with a lot of Napa knowledge, helped us select the wineries, coordinated the tasting room reservations, set up a lunch spot complete with a picnic table cloth and plates/silverware/water bottles, and really made our afternoon special.
Getting ready to hit the road in our wine tour limo!
First winery on the list? Clos Pegase
Cheers to the first wine tasting of the day, and certainly not the last!
This is supposed to be us looking snobby while we sample our fancy wines. Snobby? Special? Mentally Challenged? Constipated? It works in so many ways. ;)
Wine barreling room at Clos Pegase.
Beautifully straight rows of grapevines getting ripe in the California sunshine.
And of course, I can’t help posing with such a beautiful vineyard in the background. I’m a sucker for posing, like mother like daughter I suppose?
Feeling pretty good about ourselves at this point, time for wine tasting #2 at Frank Family Vineyards. Our limo driver recommended this one and though all of our choices were fantastic, this was probably my favorite stop.
Start with our whites and end with the darkest red. It was here at Frank Family Vineyards that I discovered I do not hate a nice buttery chardonnay! In fact, I like it quite a bit!
And cheers again!
With all that wine, how about a lovely picnic lunch on the Frank Family Vineyard property? The wine tour company will certainly supply a boxed lunch, but we picked up a bunch of picnic foods when we were out shopping the day before. Perfect! (again, watch out for the bees! They have a peculiar affinity for meat/cold cuts.)
Getting ready for the final wine tasting of the day at Tefethen and we’re starting to get a little sleepy from all that wine and food. Time for an Ethan nap pile!
Last wine tasting cheers of the day!! So much tasty wine, it was hard to decide what to take home! But we decided on a bottle from Frank Family and a bottle from Trefethen. Call it a splurge, but it will be a nice anniversary treat come October! :)
After a nice nap and some much needed lounging time, we headed to a nice dinner at Kitchen Door in Napa. It was a delicious and unique restaurant, but Napa seems to have more than its fair share of fabulous dining options! If you do go to Kitchen Door, make sure to save room for the bread pudding. It was definitely worth the stomach space!
It was an extremely memorable trip and I’m so glad we got to share it with our friends! But there’s still so much more to explore! I hope the damage from the earthquake is quickly repaired and that Napa gets back on its feet soon! We will most definitely be back for more wine, food, and good times! Check out more Napa pictures by clicking here. Next blog post? Our 24 hours in San Francisco after leaving Napa.