Friday, May 6, 2016

Napa Valley 2016

Brian and I went to Napa for the first time four years ago and I have been wanting to go back ever since.  I love the beauty of the area, the weather is perfect, and everyone is so nice.  The delicious wine and food aren't too shabby either :) We got to get away for a long weekend this April with our dear friends the Baynhams and the Papes and we had a BLAST!  We are all so incredibly blessed with parents who will graciously take care of our crazy crews while we are gone.  GaGa and PaPa took care of the kids, and we think they all had so much fun.  We were so grateful to them for taking such good care of the kids and letting us get away alone for a few nights.  Here are some pics of this years amazing Napa trip:

This visit we stayed at Napa Valley Lodge which is in a terrific location in the heart of Yountville.  We were walking distance from lots of tasting rooms and great restaurants.  After getting checked in to our hotel we walked over to Redd Wood and had some delicious pizza and super spicy moscow mules.

Our next stop was Round Pond Estate Winery.  The views are the best, the patio is the perfect spot to enjoy a wine tasting or lunch.  We were only able to have a wine tasting and appetizers but all of their food is farm to table and next time we are definitely going to be there for lunch.  Such a beautiful place!

Last time we came to Napa we had a really good dinner at Bottega so we wanted to make sure and go back this trip.  We had a delicious and fun meal there our first night.  The food and ambiance again did not disappoint with the exception of the deserts that gave us a pretty good laugh! 

The next day was our official "wine tour day" and we hired a driver to take us to our destinations.  Our first stop was a new state of the art winemaker with some great wine and delicious cheese pairings called Materra.  The wine maker himself was there to give us a tour of their awesome facility.  They have very few people working for them because so much of it is run and monitored by computers now.  It was really interesting and we got a lot of good wine education!

Last time we came we loved Frogs Leap so it was a must for this trip too.  We loved sitting on the patio last time but this time it was a bit CHILLY!  Luckily they had these big cozy warm blankets for us to cover up with and after a few tastings we were feeling just fine.  The grounds are just beautiful here and the house itself is gorgeous too.  We were looking forward to being able to play corn hole in the field but it was just too cold and rainy.  

We stopped at Tamber Bey in Calistoga for a tasting and had our picnic lunch (and I am seriously still dreaming of my delicious caprese sandwich from Dean and Deluca).  This was another beautiful property and we loved our "guide" for the tasting.  I guess we were so distracted with trying to eat our lunch before heading to the next winery that we didn't take any pictures here, darn!
Our last winery from the day was our absolute favorite last time and ended up being our favorite again.  The winery is called Trespass and it is a little boutique winery literally located on five acres in a neighborhood.   The winemaker Donnie is pretty much a one man business and you can tell from talking to him how much he loves what he does.  Last time we came we sat at a picnic table in the vineyard while we tasted his wine but his "man cave" barn is done now so we were able to sit inside where it was a little warmer.  We tasted some seriously good wine, had lots of laughs, and just really enjoyed our time here.  We definitely ordered lots of wine to take home from Trespass this year!

Oh we laughed and laughed!!!

We got to get out into the vineyard for some photo ops at least!

What a FUN day!

 I have no pictures from dinner but we had probably my favorite meal of the trip at Rutherford Grill, the food was delicious!

All of us had wanted to but had never been on a hot air balloon ride and honestly Brian and I were a little hesitant to go (we wanted our children to have parents after this trip) but I am SO so glad we decided to go!  It was a sunrise hot air balloon ride so we had to be there super early but boy was it worth it, the views were amazing!  It was such a neat experience and I can't wait to take the kids one day.
Slightly nervous before take off!

Beautiful scenery!

The landing made us all a bit nervous but we got off in one piece and were all happy to have our two feet on land!

After our hot air balloon ride the guys went and had some fun on the golf course.  Us girls had planned on walking the main street in Yountville, shopping, having lunch etc.  Except once we got going there was NO shopping!  But there WERE lots of tasting rooms so when in Rome...

We originally went into hope and grace because we liked the name but it quickly became our favorite place of the day.  A hilarious English chef named "Jonesy" poured us their delicious wines and entertained us while we were there.  We had lots of good laughs and lots of good wine and can't wait to go back someday.

We stopped at a cheese shop, bought a little bit of food, and a great bottle of wine and had a little picnic lunch along the main road in Yountville.  Such a fun and relaxing afternoon with some great friends.  

We were obsessed with these white roses, they are seriously beautiful!!!

Everyone we talked to along the road that day said we had to have dinner at Farmstead.  Although we did not have reservations we went ahead and took a chance, waited for about an hour but were able to scoop up a table on their great patio.  They are all farm to table as well and the food and drinks were delicious!
We had such an amazing trip, got some good alone time and time with great friends we don't get to see enough of.  Can't wait to go back again in a couple of years!  For now we will be trying to make a dent in all of this wine we ordered!!! 

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