I took a trip to Napa Valley for the first time this past June with a friend and it was such a great time! I definitely recommend it as a fun girls’ trip or romantic getaway. I’m sharing some of the highlights of the trip below, including where we stayed, and which wineries I loved!
WHERE WE STAYED
We stayed in this cute Airbnb! It was a guest loft with beautiful high ceilings, natural light, and large skylights. We actually stayed in Sonoma instead of Napa as it was cheaper and we were renting a car anyway. There are so many wineries, but the farthest one we visited was in St. Helena, about 40 minutes from our Airbnb, so it wasn’t a bad drive at all. Plus the scenery is so beautiful, so it doesn’t feel like a long drive at all.
THE WINERIES I LOVED
We visited about 2-3 wineries per day, and were in the area for about 3 full days. I won’t mention every single one, but I will definitely call out the ones I thought were worth visiting and loved.
Ashes & Diamonds Winery was definitely one of the highlights of the trip. It was the first winery we visited, and I fell in love. I obviously have a soft spot for great decor and design, and this mid-century modern design felt so very Palm Springs (which is another place I have been wanting to go!). Apparently the designer is also known for designing many Palm Springs interiors, so it makes total sense! Also, the wine was just as great as the interior, because that’s very important too! Definitely recommend.
I mean, can I just live here? All the beautiful decor and all the wine - what could be better??
The second stop on our first day was William Hill Estate Winery. We sat outside at first, enjoying the beautiful grounds while sipping our wine, but it was so hot that we had to move inside for the second half of the tasting. Those moments of sipping wine in this beautiful outdoor space were so relaxing. The wine is of course great here too, but being able to enjoy it here made it a great experience.
V.Sattui is sort of the touristy winery that everyone goes to, but it’s really beautiful and the wines are delicious here too! We did a tasting in the tower room, which was really nice because it was semi-private, versus doing it in the marketplace where it was bustling with a lot of people. After the tasting, we picked up a few picnic foods at the marketplace (this is what they are kind of known for), and took it outside to eat where there were tons of picnic tables and many people enjoying lunch and wine.
This was a beautiful one as well. Chateau Montelena is known for putting the Napa region on the map in regards to being known for wine. Prior to one of their Chardonnays winning a prestigious award (and beating out many other quality French wines), not many people knew about Napa Valley as a famous wine growing region. If you visit here and do a grounds tour, you’ll find out more about this! It has a pretty interesting history, and the grounds are beautiful. (Clearly the environment being beautiful is a common theme throughout all these wineries!)
Gloria Ferrer was our very last stop on the way out of the area. This winery is in Sonoma, and was pretty close to our Airbnb. We ended up saving one of the bests for last, as it was so nice and refreshing to have some sparkling wine finally (many of the wines produced in Napa are reds! and while I love reds, I needed a change after days of drinking red!). They’re known for their sparkling wines here, so we got flights of different bubblies.
We sat on the large patio which overlooked the vineyards. You can see the super long driveway leading up to the main building, and the entire driveway is lined with these beautiful olive trees. They make olive oil from those at this winery too! We went early in the morning as to fit in one last winery stop before driving back to the SF airport, so it was sort of serene and peaceful, with not too many other people there yet.
WHERE WE ATE
All of the food in the area is SO GOOD. It’s probably because there are so many farms in the region that all the produce and ingredients come fresh from there, and everything is fantastic. I’ll share a few of the spots we ate at below!
Archetype was a really cute place we stopped at for brunch. This view is from the covered patio which has a greenhouse vibe, while the inside of the restaurant sort of has a California beach house vibe to it. The food is a bit pricey but good, and it was so relaxing to sit in such a beautiful and serene space.
The famous Bouchon Bakery was of course a stop we had to make! It’s a tiny little thing, but with delicious pastries. I ate a perfect chocolate eclair - so good.
Ok, so we didn’t eat here, but we found this little gem in downtown Sonoma after dinner one day. Sigh is a champagne lovers’ dream come true! This bubbly bar was so cute, everything was gold and marble, and the owner is so sweet and gave us some samples to try in addition to the bubbly we ordered. I want to go back! Or maybe they can bring one of these in Chicago?
There are no words for how delicious and fresh everything was at Farmstead. Do not miss out on this place for sure. This was definitely my favorite meal of the trip!
WINE = HAPPINESS
Look at how happy we are! That’s because we’re holding glasses of wine. Good food, good wine, and beautiful scenery await in Napa so I definitely recommend it if you’ve been thinking about going! There are so many wineries to choose from to visit, but I felt like 3 full days was a good amount of time spent there. I’m definitely looking forward to going back in the future!
Have any questions for me? Leave them in the comments!