I started the month of June off right by taking a holiday in Napa Valley, California with my husband. We flew into SFO and took a shuttle to Napa Valley where we stayed at the Bel Abri Inn, about a mile from downtown Napa so everything was within walking distance.
We visited the City Winery downtown the night we got in, where the Opera House is co-located and had banana pudding and white wine for dessert. I had to come back before we left Napa because their Sauvignon Blanc 2013 Lake County is so wonderful, it’s crisp, refreshing and just slightly sweet, it’s now my favorite white wine! Plus the banana pudding was divine and paired well with the wine.
If you want to save money in Napa I recommend downloading a mobile app called Winery Finder Tasting Passes. The app has a list of wineries and some have two for one deals so you get two tastings, usually about $20-$25 dollars per tasting, for the price of one. Some will also have deals where if you purchase a bottle of wine you get the tasting fees waived. We arranged one day for the Napa Valley Shuttle to come pick us up and take us to various wineries, they are locals and will take you to 5-7 different wineries over 6-7 hours. We visited excellent wineries that all had art or photography galleries, Jessup, Castello di Amorosa, and Mumm Winery (excellent sparkling wines) were my favorites. The best though was the 13th century inspired Tuscan castle, the architecture and decor were amazing, they had animals, sustainable growing practices, a church and torture chambers! They also had my favorite wine I tasted all week, La Fantasia, a soft sparkling rose Italian wine that has a slightly berry tart and sweet refreshing taste, I could have had 10 glasses! This is a must place to visit and Calistoga is gorgeous, the city, about 40 minutes from downtown Napa, has hot springs and more of a mountain town feel.
We also went to some excellent restaurants including Bounty Hunter, a BBQ joint where I ate very yummy beer can chicken paired with a cabernet sauvignon, Atlas for excellent crab cakes, and top notch ramen noodles with pork at Eight Noodle Shop. We also went to the Oxbow farmer’s market, a little district near downtown across the river. The farmer’s market is indoor and everything is just quality! They have cheese, oyster, juice bars, I had an excellent egg and prosciutto panini and we also had really fresh sushi, a rainbow roll and seaweed salad. On our last night we went to a little Jazz club called Silos where we saw a jazz, classical Brazilian band called Choro Bastardo, the kind of music that is nostalgic, fine, beautiful and takes you to nice places while you sip on quality Napa Valley wine (moscato and zinfandel that night).