If you’re following me on Instagram, you’ll have seen that I recently spent 8 days in Napa. The first 5 were for work and then Mike came down to spend the weekend with me. It was seriously one of the best weekends of our marriage/lives so I wanted to share our itinerary with you all in case you have a trip coming up. With 500+ wineries in the Valley, it can be overwhelming to figure out where to go and what to do. We stayed in this Air BNB which was really cute and not too far of a drive from everything! We did still have to Uber around a bunch, but it wasn’t bad.
In my workwear post, I shared we got to eat at Celadon and I couldn’t help but share some pics from that. The space was so gorgeous and the food was AMAZING. The lamb shank was one of the best I’ve ever had! If you want to venture downtown Napa, I definitely recommend checking it out.
We started the trip with a visit to the Girard Tasting Room. I had been to the actual Girard winery earlier in the week, so visiting the tasting room was even special after having seeing the actual vines. Dan + Sarah were there and gave us a spectacular experience that ended up with us ordering a case of wine to be shipped home! Their Zin Rose and Mixed Whites were our favorite on the light end and all their Cabaret Sauvs are amazing, too. This was truly a high-point of the trip.
Next up was lunch at Restoration Hardware. It was a few doors down from Girard and that Washington Ave strip in Yountville is SO fun and there is so much to eat, drink, and see there. I opted for the lobster roll and Mike ordered the bacon as an appetizer for us and then the dip sandwich, both of which were amazing. This honestly blew our expectations away. I know there is one of these in Chicago so if you ever find yourself near one, check it out. It is really special.
For the evening, we went to Bottega for happy hour, which was a super swanky and fun vibe. After that, we moseyed over to Bouchon for dinner. This is a Thomas Keller restaurant [of the infamous French Laundry], so we were excited to try the Michelin fare there. I got a few oysters followed by the Croque Madam and Mike got Steak and Green Beans, both of which we were really good! Honestly, we were expected to be mind-blown, and the food was good, but not spectacular. I’m still glad we went, but now knowing what we know, I’d have other ideas for dinner. If you love French fare, check out the menu and see if anything piques your interest.
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After getting a good night of sleep after full bellies from Bouchon, we woke up ready to tackle the day!
We started the day with an 11AM Cave Experience + Tasting at Piazza Del Dotto. This was a super special experience and definitely one of the highlights of the trip. The property was stunning and being in the caves felt like you were in Italy! We easily tried 10 wines and also got treated to pizza and meat+cheese boards, which was a welcome affair after all that wine! It was honestly a great value for all we got to do. Glen was our guide and he was super knowledgeable and made it fun. We left there with a bottle of the 2014 Cab, which is now one of Mike’s all-time favorites.
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After Del Dotto, we were feeling good so we jaunted over to Stags Leap for a tasting. Wow, this was a stunning property! We sat outside and enjoyed the amazing view and tasted some of their best wines. The best part was comparing all their Cabs and learning about the history of Stags Leap [they actually put Napa] on the map!
After Stags Leap, we funnily enough went back to Girard for another round of tasting. We had had such a good time there on Friday and we knew we wanted to go back to that area for the nighttime. After that, we wandered over to the Market and did some shopping. We had one final tasting at JCB which was a super unique and eclectic space. It almost feels like Vegas in there!
Finally, we headed to R+D for dinner, which was casual but super yummy! I got the Thai Beef salad and Mike had the fried chicken sandwich, was was surprisingly a welcome change from what we had been eating. After that, we grabbed a bottle of wine to go and went back to our Air BNB to relax. It was a long day but seriously so magical and we saw and did so much.
We started the day with a little Mother’s Day brunch at Buttercream which was just what the doctor ordered. While it’s a bit off the beaten path, it was so worth it! We shared a bunch of hearty dishes that set us up for another day of tasting and bopping around the Valley.
After Buttercream, we had to check out of our Air BNB but we knew exactly where we were going next. Dan [from Girard] had told us if there was one place we had to go, it was Auberge du Soleil, and boy was he right. This was probably one of the best parts of the trip. It was true magic around every corner. We both had wine [I opted for the house Rose and Mike tried 2 different cabs] and we also had the prosciutto pizza and the halibut ceviche, both of which were out of this world. Truly, photos don’t do this place justice.
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After lounging at Auberge, we wanted to make one last stop in the Valley. Mike had been wanting to go to The Prisoner, and it was close to Auberge so it worked out great. There, we had a great tasting with Annalisa where we got to try a ton of their wines. I loved the Charbono while Mike loved the Red Blend. The space is super cool and different and has a definite Game of Thrones vibe!
Finally, it was time to head back down to San Francisco so we could catch our red-eye flight. Because we had some time, we decided to make a stop in Chinatown to check out what all the fuss was about! It was a great experience and we had fun shopping and popping in for some pre-flight gyoza. I also fell in love with a boutique called Kim + Ono that I definitely recommend checking out if you’re in the area!
So, there you have it! As you can see, we crammed a ton in but we wanted to make the most of the experience. It was honestly such a special weekend and everything was so amazing. We will definitely be back with a longer list of places we want to see next and even a few we’d be happy to re-visit! Let me know if you ever visit any of these places and what you think. Cheers, Napa, and thanks for the memories! We’ll surely never forget this weekend.