Hello! Happy Friday! I’ve got my days all confused over here, but I am looking forward to a relaxing weekend, catching up on sleep and recovering from some mild jet lag 🙂 We got back from our trip to Vegas/Napa late Wednesday night. Overall we had a great trip! Vegas was a lot of fun, the highlight actually being the Britney Spears show – she is an amazing performer, the show was outstanding and re-kindled a new Britney obsession I haven’t had since my tween years!
After Vegas we continued on to San Francisco where my brother and sister-in-law live. We watched the super bowl with them and had a relaxing recovery day before continuing on to Napa together Monday morning. Both Walter and I were shocked at how close the Napa/Sonoma area is to San Francisco. It only took us a little over an hour to get to our first winery!
We started off the day at Cline Cellars in Sonoma. We were pleasantly surprised that the tasting was free – you can have up to 5 complimentary wine tastes. This is something that we don’t see in Virginia wine country at all, all of vineyards have tasting fees. Of course, when this is the case, you end up feeling obligated to buy bottles of wine 😉 We left Cline with a few bottles and a bar of chocolate — they had the most amazing dark chocolate sea salt chocolate that they paired with one of their dessert wines!
After Cline, we continued on to downtown Healdsburg to the Siduri Tasting Room. Siduri only makes Pinot Noir and they source their grapes in small quantities from vineyards in cool-climates in the Western US. We ordered a flight of Pinot Noir and our server brought us 1 from each region they source from. Interestingly, these were my favorite wines! It was really neat to try 4 of the same kind of wine and really be able to taste differences between them. We also ordered the chicken basket, pictured above, which was delicious and a perfect pairing with the wines!
After Siduri, we had a reservation for a wine tasting/food pairing at Jordan Winery. Jordan is my maiden name and of course my brother’s last name, so this was a fun winery to experience as a family! Adding to the irony was that the owner’s name is John Jordan and John is my brother’s name. The Jordan Winery is a beautiful estate (we are hoping we are somehow related to us 🙂 ) and the tasting was fancy! We started in the Library with a Chardonnay paired with a delicious bowl of soba noodles with caviar and kale puree, prepared by the winery’s chef. We then were taken through secret passageway into their cellar room and what was described as John Jordan’s man cave, ha! Here, we were seated in front of a small cheese plate and served 3 vintages of Cabernet Sauvignon – 2008, 2010 and 2012. Again, it was cool to see the differences between the similar wines and they had the most amazing truffle brie 🙂
After Jordan, we made our last stop of the day at Medlock Ames where we had an artisan cheese and wine tasting. It being our 4th stop of the day I cannot say I was tasting wines well at that point, but it had a relaxing, rustic environment where we were able to sit and enjoy conversation with, of course, some more great cheese!
After Medlock Ames, we headed to our Airbnb right outside downtown Napa. It was a cute little house with an awesome outdoor living area and hot tub! Unfortunately, it rained nearly our whole visit so we did not get to take as much advantage of the outdoor space as we would have liked.
On Monday night we headed to downtown Sonoma where we had dinner reservations at The Girl and The Fig. We enjoyed grilled octupus and a heirloom radishes as appetizers and then I had the steak frites as my entree. The steak was really good, but the winner for me was the dessert – the Chocolate & Salted Caramel Fig Trifle – it was extremely chocolaty and decadent, just how I like my desserts 🙂
When we woke up on Tuesday morning, John had an email from one of the wineries we had a tasting scheduled at that afternoon that said they were closed due to flooding. It has been raining a lot in that area of California for the past few weeks and on Monday night we had really heavy rains. We didn’t think too much of it and we headed to Boon Fly Cafe in Napa to kick off day 2 of wine tasting! We shared the World Famous Boon Fly Donuts and then I had the Chilaquiles (pictured above). Everyone’s meals were huge, we sure did a lot of eating on this trip!
With our bellies full we headed up the street to Domaine Carneros for a champagne tasting. Walter and I wanted to try out a champagne place, but this was probably our least favorite stop overall. The champagne was good, but we didn’t have great service and the whole place felt pretty commercial.
Once we left Domaine Carneros, we headed up through Napa where winery after winery were closed due to flooding. Many streets were even shut down! Luckily, after driving for quite a while. we ended up coming back down a bit and finding some places that were open. We went to V. Sattui where we did a wine tasting and picked up a large spread of cheese for later in the day. The sun finally emerged for a few hours in the afternoon and we were able to enjoy a glass of wine outside on the terrace of Robert Mondavi Winery.
Our last stop was at Napa Cellars which had the perfect little picnic area for us to enjoy our cheese spread! After, we headed back to the Airbnb to relax in the hot tub before dinner. We had another delicious meal at Celadon in downtown Napa, before crashing early our bellies full of wine and great food.
Wednesday morning we headed out back to San Francisco for our afternoon flight home. We tried to stop for brunch along the way, but many places were closed again due to the flooding. We weaved our way out of Napa, detouring around many shut down road ways. All and all we had an awesome time! We did not let the rain get us down and think of it as a unique way to have experienced Napa – most of which was inches under water! Thanks to my brother and sister-in-law for being our hosts, tour guides and driver!