Wednesday, July 26, 2017

A Long Weekend in Napa

Oh hey there! In case you somehow didn't hear, Jeff and I just spent a long weekend in Napa!! We went for the first time last fall when I had to go for work and told Jeff he would be meeting me out there, not realizing I was going to be making him get on a plane the day after the Cubs won the World Series - I think it was a bit of a rough flight for him ;) But while we were out there, I told him in no uncertain terms that we would be making many trips back. It's so beautiful, the weather is gorgeous, and you get all of the relaxation of a trip to the country but with lots and lots of wine!

This trip was somehow even better than the last time for a couple of reasons, the first being that we decided to stay in Yountville, a little town just north of Napa. Last time we stayed at Carneros Resort and Spa, which is absolutely gorgeous and has the cutest little individual cabins for each room. But, BUT, there's nothing around there because it's in the middle of the countryside. There are a couple of restaurants on site, but you have to drive to get to everything else.

The main thoroughfare through Villagio

As city kids, Jeff and I really love being able to walk to stuff, so this time we decided to stay at Villagio Inn and Spa instead. Between the unlimited complimentary mimosas with breakfast and the poolside bar, this was a bit more of a party atmosphere than I expected (although it was really quiet Sunday night and Monday) but also really fun. Plus, every good restaurant in Yountville (which is basically made up of all good restaurants) is easily walkable, as well as a couple of tasting rooms and even Domaine Chandon!

Our view from dinner at Brix - definitely order the burrata salad, which is a clever way to pretend to be eating vegetables when you're really just eating cheese ;)

We ended up doing another tour with Platypus Wine Tour, which sets you up with a group of a dozen people and a driver to take you around to a bunch of different small, family-owned wineries. This time our favorite stop was Benessere, where the owners decided to rip out all of the old vines (gasp!) and plant clippings from Italy, so they have a bit of a different selection than other places in Napa. The tour is always really fun, and we'll probably do it when we go back again!

We also loved checking out Ma(i)sonry, a tasting room in Yountville that specializes in unique bottles from small wineries across Napa Valley. Our server was really knowledgeable and let us taste more wines and fancier wines than we were supposed to, the patio is absolutely beautiful, and they even had one of the wine makers for a wine I was tasting on site to come over and say hello! We wanted to bring home a bunch of bottles from here but had to hold ourselves back - everything was so good!

The view at Bennett Lane

One of my favorite things that we did though was decide to go to Bennett Lane, where we're members, and bring a bunch of food to lounge out on their patio for a few hours. Since we're members they kept pouring tastes for us long after our tasting was supposed to have ended, and even brought us some fresh berries from their garden to sample. It was so relaxing and beautiful - I wish we could have stayed all day! Oh, and Jeff set me to the task of finding him a great Italian sandwich to bring with us, and the Google box sent us to W F Giugni & Sons, and omg you guys - so, so good. I don't know when else I've had such a good sandwich, besides, of course, in Florence!

Oh, and I'd be remiss if I didn't mention our stop to Gott's Roadside! We were absolutely starving considering we'd eaten breakfast at about three in the morning Pacific time, and didn't get to the Napa area until noon, so a big burger (and a glass of wine of course) were in order! I don't know if it's because I was so hungry I was actually shaking, but this was one of the best burgers I've ever had. We actually stopped at Gott's last time we were in Napa but were trying to be healthy so we just sampled the salads. The salads are good, but definitely, definitely try the burger!

We managed not to get back until about one in the morning on Tuesday thanks to a super delayed flight, but this time our wine actually made it back with us (last time the airlines lost our box for 24 hours!!) so I can't really complain. We're sort of back in the groove, but it's a short week for me so I'm already looking forward to the weekend, and maybe an opportunity to drink some of that fancy wine we brought back ;)

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