This past weekend we took a trip up the coast to an area we love so much, Napa Valley. We’re pretty familiar with wine country since we visit our family there a few times every year. It’s always a treat to spend a few days in Napa, trying new wineries, restaurants and of course hitting up a few of our faves. There are SO many incredible wineries it’s impossible to even make a dent visiting them within a short weekend. So this time I picked a few that I’ve been wanting to try. We also did a lot of eating, cocktail drinking (not that weird in wine country!) and some shopping… there is a Dean & Deluca in St. Helena!! Below is a mini-guide to our weekend in Napa, St. Helena and a little bit of Sonoma.
Frog’s Leap is a MUST!! I really can’t rave enough about this place. It’s incredibly charming, the decor is stunning, the gardens are perfect, the service is excellent and the wine is amazing, organic and they don’t even use water to irrigate it! The entire atmosphere is really just perfection. Just go if you’re in Napa…
I had read about Whetstone in Food & Wine and wanted to visit this beautiful tasting room that resembles a French chateau. It’s really beautiful and the pinot is great! Michelle is also very sweet and made our visit special. We played on the lawn, had a fabulous wine tasting and enjoyed every second of the relaxation… even with a toddler!
St. Supery was a great experience because we were able to go behind the scenes and see how everything is made! We did tastings right out of the barrel and out of giant vats! It was pretty cool! We loved the gardens and grounds of St. Supery. Romeo had a blast running around.
Of course we went to Mumm to see my brother who is a winemaker there. He took us on a private tour through the vineyards, testing grapes and we left with a whole lot of sparkling wine. Mumm has beautiful views and a great patio. We always enjoy our time there and the wine is incredibly delicious! Good job, little bro!
Long Meadow Ranch is right next to one of my favorite restaurants, Farmstead. It’s all part of the same family. The tasting room is in the amazing white house you see in the pictures and then just right across the pathway is Farmstead! They are both a must to visit. You can have a tasting, then walk over to dinner. The cocktails at Farmstead are perfection too… I liked the margarita and Zan was all about his LMR Agua Fresca!
We had dinner at Bistro Don Giovanni’s and like most places in Napa, they had a beautiful garden and grounds! The pasta, pizza and hamburger were all fantastic. Also, try the heirloom yellow tomato Bloody Mary on the menu! Hello!
Downtown St. Helena is a charming place to visit too. We had the best sandwich and coffee at Model Bakery. There’s a great tasting room called Orin Swift and some fun shops… I enjoyed a store called Acres!
Gott’s Roadside is like a luxury roadside burger joint. It’s a perfect stop for lunch or even dinner. You can eat outside on one of their many picnic tables and the ambiance is charming with market lights strung above. They also have a pretty awesome wine list, delicious chocolate milkshakes and of course burgers! They hand out red balloons and all the kids play with (aka pop) them.
Also, Dean & DeLuca is off the main highway and next to it is PRESS. We didn’t make it there for dinner this time, but it’s on my list for our next trip!
In Sonoma, right off the square is another favorite place called El Dorado Kitchen (EDK). It’s a boutique hotel and restaurant with an outdoor courtyard, chic decor and yummy food. I get the amazing Ahi tacos and the Clear Conscience every time! It’s also where these were inspired from many years ago! Oh and if you’re visiting Sonoma and need your hair done (I mean you never know!) my cousin and very best friend, Jenna, is amazing! She’s been doing my hair for years and works at Kristin Maze Salon close to the square.
We stayed two nights with family in Sonoma and then two nights at Ascend Hotel Collections’ Napa Winery Inn, which is a smaller, hotel off the main highway where the staff were very friendly!
Photos by Zan Passante for Sugar and Charm