I am incredibly excited that I had the chance to visit Napa over Labor Day weekend. It has been on my list for the longest time and am so blessed that Ryan’s parents invited us to such a beautiful place! I can’t take any credit for any of the planning – Ryan’s mom did it all – but I wanted to share some of the highlights of our trip!
We stayed in Sonoma at the Fairmont Sonoma Inn. It was such a beautiful hotel and really helped make me trip extra relaxing. Since we were there for just a few days I wanted to be able to completely relax as soon as we arrived, and the Fairmont Sonoma Inn certainly helped to make that happen. When we first arrived on Thursday evening it felt like we were the only people staying at the hotel, but as soon as Saturday morning came around, it was a full house!
The hotel has beautiful landscaping and tons of outdoor seating areas that you can hang at in the evening. They do have a spa but make sure you book your services in advance – we tried to book massages on Sunday morning and they were completely full! Thankfully they also have a nice pool which is where we ended up spending our free day which was Sunday! The other two days we spent visiting vineyards. Here is the rundown of where we went and what I thought of each.
Caymus Vineyards: If you’re not familiar, Caymus has amazing wines – especially reds. They did a really great tasting but that was about it. There wasn’t too much more to the experience. We really loved the guy who did our tasting and he shared a lot of interesting information about the family that owns the winery so at the end of the day while it wasn’t the most exciting stop on our trip, I’m glad we checked it especially since it is a wine I’m familiar with and drink every so often on special occasions.
Amizetta: This was my second favorite winery that we visited. It’s way high up in the hills overlooking Napa Valley so as you can probably imagine the views are amazing! Everything about the experience had a very mom and pop family owned feel, maybe because the family’s home is right there on the property! We got to experience everything you’d want to experience from seeing where they make and bottle the wine to walking through the fields and trying the grapes right off the vine. It was such an authentic experience. After the tour, we ate a delicious lunch and did a tasting overlooking the gorgeous view – it was perfect! If you make a trip here I definitely recommend doing it the way we did with the picnic lunch.
Opus One: This was a huge disappointment. Again, if you have not heard of Opus One they do have fantastic wine, but the experience was such a let down especially coming from Amizetta! I really don’t want to be too negative but there was really nothing to this. They poured you a glass of wine and that was pretty much it. It was a really great glass of wine but I couldn’t appreciate it like the others.
Chateau Montelena: This was another top stop on our trip! Chateau Montelena is absolutely gorgeous in a completely different way than Amizetta. They have so much history that was fascinating to hear as we tasted the different wines. I felt that their tasting was done the best and I definitely think I learned the most here – not just about the vineyard but about wine in general! Did you know that putting red wine in the fridge helps it stay better longer? That was a game changer for Ryan and I! I also really loved their white wines which I was surprised by because I’m usually more for a red wine girl!
Del Dotto: Ok this was my favorite stop on our trip was a 10/10 in every category. We tried SO many wines here and I loved them all. We started in the wine cellar with tastings straight from the barrel which was very unique. Their wine cellars were still under construction, but they were incredibly gorgeous and had a very Italian influence which I loved! From there we sat down for lunch overlooking their stunning gardens. The food was incredible – I still dream about the mini lobster rolls we had. The lunch was accompanied by a wine pairing…yes more wine! Afterwards we just walked around the gardens and relaxed! I’m pretty sure Ryan ordered a lot of wine from Del Dotto and I’m SO excited for it to come in the mail!
Porter Family Winery: We had so much fun at Del Dotto that we didn’t make it to Porter Family Winery but our guide who was driving us around said he thinks we would have loved it so I guess we’ll just have to go back again soon and check this out!!
For Dinner the on Friday night we went to Morrimoto which was very delicious. I was a little burnt out during that dinner so I wish I had ordered something different. I got a simple sushi roll but it was very yummy.
On Saturday night we went to Glen Ellen Star which I loved. It was super casual and cozy. I had salmon which was delicious and for dessert they have really good Ice Cream!
Our last night we went to Girl and the Fig which was AMAZING. It’s one of the more popular restaurants in Napa so make sure you book a reservation well in advance. We sat outside in their beautiful courtyard and everything we ate was super yummy!
As a side note, we did have a driver for the first two days which I highly recommend not only so that someone in your group doesn’t have to worry about not drinking but also because the roads seem pretty tough to navigate.