Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Guide to California Wine Country

We loved our trip to California last summer.  It is the perfect place to enjoy sunshine and wine.  Napa and Sonoma are truly breathtaking.  The quality of wine is hard to beat.  Check out what we did and let me know if you have any questions when planning your trip.  Cheers!

How to Get There:  

Hop on a direct flight on Virgin America from DCA to SFO.  From there, rent a car and drive to Napa/Sonoma.

Where to Stay:  

We opted to use hotel points and stayed at the Westin in Napa.  There are tons of hotel options in the region.  They have beautiful suites that are perfect for traveling with a little one.  We set up the crib in the living room and everyone slept soundly.  I'd highly recommend the hotel for the location, amenities and comfortable rooms.

Where to Eat:  

La Toque inside of the Westin:  La Toque offers fine dining prix fixe menus.  I especially loved how you can mix and match the dishes.  Everything was artfully plated and the service was excellent.  The prices are a little steep ($80 for 3 courses and dessert, excluding wine), but it is worth the splurge for a special occasion.
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Rustic:  Rustic, at Francis Ford Coppola Winery, was one of my favorite meals in wine country.  The portions were large and the food was delicious.  The views are phenomenal.  Make time for Sonoma and grab lunch at this beautiful spot.
1313 Main:  This restaurant has a great wine selection and fancy food.  They offer a nice patio to drink and eat the night away.  I went there after a day full of drinking wine so I couldn't fully appreciate all that they had to offer, but I'd love to go back to try again.
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Model Bakery:  I was told they had the best English Muffins and it was no lie.  Also, great coffee and other healthy options as well.  I had breakfast there everyday.
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Oxbow Market:  Lots of fresh produce and other baked goodies.  Open your wallet because the prices are high, but you'll get good quality.
Bouchon:  Don't miss the French classics.  We had a blast dining all day and hanging with friends.
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Where to Drink:


Mumm Napa:  Mumm's the Word!  It is all about the bubbly.  Delicious wine and a fun atmosphere.
Robert Mondavi:  The Exclusive Cellar Tasting was phenomenal.  
Hall Winery:  Super modern and beautiful artwork.  Great cabs!
Sterling:  Breathtaking views and a gondola ride!
Cadet:  Local hang out with records and wine and beer.


Gary Farrell Vineyards and Winery:  Picturesque views and pinots... can't think of a better way to spend an afternoon.
Mayo Family Winery:  Pairing wine with food.
Francis Ford Coppola Winery:  Such a fun winery!  They even have a swimming pool.  Great day to spend time sipping and then have lunch at Rustic.

What to Do:

Napa Wine Train:  Might be worth checking out, but I'd skip it if you have a baby.  It ran long and we felt stuck.  Not the best idea after a day of wine tasting.  They have a 3-course menu and a glass of wine for $110/person.  You'll find an older crowd.


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