Well.. wine not?
For wine lovers and enthusiasts, Napa Valley is the ultimate wine country destination that is home to some of the best wines in the world. Hundreds of wineries with their rolling hills of vineyards encompass the entire stretch of Napa Valley, making it a true paradise to swirl and sip the day away.
I am not a wine enthusiast. My wine tasting palette goes as far as differentiating a red wine and a white wine by taste and not by color (impressive, right?). However, I am a drink enthusiast. I may not get hints of cherry and oak tones, but I do get hints of drunk. If you are like me, Napa will definitely give you a buzzing good time. After all, wine makes you lean...on chairs, walls, tables, and even other people (drink responsibly!).
Thankfully, I was accompanied by both wine enthusiasts (Vivian & Michael) to guide us through the wineries, and drink enthusiasts (All of us: Vivian, Michael, Kim, and me) to keep the buzz going strong. On our visit in San Francisco, we decided to take the hour drive out to enjoy two beautiful days in Napa because well... wine not?
CASTELLO DI AMOROSA
Calistoga, Napa Valley
Castello Di Amorosa was our first of three wineries we visited. This is the infamous castle winery that was made for those looking for the ideal instagram worthy picture. Every corner and corridor of the castle was stunning, which is perfect to make up for those blurry pictures shot by the drunken hand (am i right?). We opted for the castle tour, which took us to all the secret and underground ins and outs of the castle, ultimately leading us to an exclusive wine tasting room for our tour group. We were especially fans of La Fantasia, which is a sweeter and refreshing wine with hints of berries. My personal favorites were the Dolcino and Ferrington white wines, which are both made of Gewurztraminer grapes and had light hints of lychee. Overall, this was a fantastic and truly picturesque winery that I would personally visit again!
LOUIS M. MARTINI
St. Helena, Napa Valley
This winery is known for their bold and rich red wines, which was a perfect transition to add more variety from all the white wines I was drinking at Castello Di Amorosa. The tasting room was much quieter and felt more intimate, making a great setting to catch up with the group and unwind. There was absolutely no rush to go through our tastings. Our tasting set included the following mix of red wines, with a moscato and port as the cherry on top:
Monte Rosso Vineyard Malbec
Cellar No. 254 Napa Valley Meritage
Lot No. 1 Cabernet Savignon
Monte Rosso Vineyard Gnarley Vine Zinfandel
V. SATTUI WINERY
St. Helena, Napa Valley
Conveniently a few steps away from Louis Martini was our last winery for the day, V Sattui. This winery is a must, as their wines can only be purchased here. They offer many different types of wines, so it is guaranteed that there is something on the list for everyone's tastes. We opted for the 5 tastings, which is a perfect package to try all sorts of varietals. For the wine scholars, you can definitely get your case studies here (pun intended). I highly recommend trying their Pinot Noir!
NAPA GENERAL STORE
Following an entire day of wine tasting, we wanted one last boozy stop before starting the long drive back to LA. After all, if you don't come back from Napa feeling full-bodied with alcohol, then did you really go to Napa?
We searched on Yelp for mimosa brunches around the town of Napa and found Napa General Store. Free mimosa with a brunch entree when you check in on Yelp? Yes please! Overall, with nice outdoor patio seating, good food, and heavy pours of complementary mimosas, this was the perfect treat to end our trip in Napa Valley.