One of my best friend’s married in Yountville a few weeks ago, so I happily planned a long weekend to hit some of my favorite wineries with great company. I will let you know which wineries we hit this trip, as well as some additional recommendations from the other trips to this gorgeous area. This is the first time I’ve added a few additional days to see Point Reyes , which I will talk about in the next post. I hope you enjoy!
We fly into the Oakland or San Francisco airport to enjoy the 1 hr 15 minutes drive to the Napa area. I usual rent a car to enjoy at my own pace. If you prefer you can organize transportation with a car, bus or limo service. Coming from San Francisco drive on the beautiful Highway 1… it is a vacation in itself!
On the flight I booked a last minute reservation to Domaine Carneros -we drove straight from the airport to this winery and I was giddy the entire time. This is my favorite winery and it specializes in still and sparking wine, with a French-inspired chateau and formal gardens. It is absolutely breathtaking and castle-like. I also can never turn down a glass of sparkling wine, as you all know! 🙂 Pair a tasting with their cheese and charcuterie board and you will not be disappointed! They also offer smoked salmon and caviar. We headed to Yountville after to go to a cocktail reception. Yountville has some of the best food in the area. I recommend Ciccio, Backstreet Kitchen, R + D Kitchen, or for something fancy try the famous French Laundry. Domaine Carneros also has a great sister winery in Yountville, Domaine Chandon.
The next morning we casually woke up, as we needed to catch up on some sleep. If you want an active morning then I recommend a hike in the Napa area, a hot air balloon ride, or a nice run outside. Our first winery reservation was at 11:30 at The Hess Winery The drive to this winery was very scenic on winding roads. The winery itself was unique with a free contemporary Art Museum inside. They had many great wines in rare batches and our expert even offered me chocolate to eat with some reds….. I require a lot of daily chocolate! Overall, very fun experience and I recommend this winery if you don’t mind driving an additional 10-15 minutes.. promise it will be worth it!
After several glasses of wine the famous Gott’s Roadside started kicking in our head. Burgers, ahi tacos, fries, a cold beer to break up the wine…. it’s hard for me not to stop at Gott’s when I am in wine country. It is a must!
Next we stopped in Darioush Winery. It was suggested from a blog follower and they did not let us down.. thank you!! I always really appreciate the recommendations. This winery has incredible architecture and everything is built in a Persian Style. The grounds are manicured and lush while the inside seems like a fancy museum. You can sit at the bar for a tasting or have a more in-depth sit-down tasting by appointment. Plus who doesn’t like chasing wine down with some Persian pistachios?! First time for everything!
On this trip we stayed at the River Terrace Inn, which was nice and very affordable due to hotel construction. I also recommend Vintage Inn or Carneros Inn for a bit pricier and worth it experience.
Other winery tips:
- Bring your own blanket. It gets chilly and it is always nice to cuddle up in something from home!
- Pack snacks. I recommend having some protein or granola bars in your bag at all times.. you never know when that wine is going to hit you! Carrots and apples are also a go-to winery snack for me.
- Have a designated driver or hire a company for the day. No need to risk your life and others after a glass or two. Always better to be safe.
Here are a few other wineries that I love:
- Hall Winery
- Artesa Winery
- Redmon Wines
- Silver Oak
- Frog Leap
Thank you for adventuring, Wine Country and congratulations to one of my best friends on tying the knot to her prince charming! Isn’t she drop-dead gorgeous?!! ah!