In case ya hadn’t heard (thanks to Snapchat), #FashionablyBae and I had an absolutely UHmazing trip to Napa a few weeks ago. Like seriously, best trip ever. Napa has always been on my list and I could not wait to visit wine country for the first time. I kid you not, I started planning our itinerary in January when we booked our flights. Yes, we had an itinerary full of color coded days, confirmed wineries, confirmation numbers, social media info, etc. I’m a loser and I love it.
I’m super excited to kick off my three-part Napa Travel Guide today! Over the next few days, I’ll be sharing some of my favorite moments from our trip along with a ton of recommendations for everything form wineries + vineyards to restaurants to car services and everything in between. There’s also a really good chance that when I’m done reliving #FashionablyNapa,I’ll be booking another flight ASAP. And next time, I need at least three weeks!
First up, a look at the wineries we visited…and all of the wine we enjoyed Cheers!
Ever since we visited San Fran back in August, Sterling has been on the top of our must-try list. B’s dad raved about it – the views, the gondolas, the wine. It was just too good to pass up and I am so happy it was our first stop. When we arrived, we took a gondola to the top of the hill and were immediately greeted with a delish Sauvignon Blanc (which we bought two bottles of!). I loved that we were able to do a self guided tour of the winery with small tastings along the way. The architecture was beautiful and the views were seriously golden. After the tour and initial tasting, we got to check out the terrace level as part of the VIP tasting experience. Basically, more wine with even more views. And did I mention the Sauvignon Blanc…SO good you guys. This was definitely one of my favorites on the trip!
I think Round Pond might have been on every single “Wineries to visit in Napa” list. We heard from friends, fellow bloggers, Napa articles online…seriously everywhere. To say I was way more than pleased would be a huge understatement. The driveway alone was enough to take your breath away (did you catch yesterday’s #ootd). The property was so beautiful and enjoying a wine tasting on the patio with a view overlooking the estate’s vineyards wasn’t too shabby. The wine was delicious (dude seriously, I’m now a Sauvignon Blanc convert), the service was fantastic and the paired appetizers were so. freakin. good. Can you say fried mushroom risotto ball with cheese? Hello! Round Pond also has a olive mill up the street from the winery. We didn’t get to check it out on this trip but we got a few samples of the olive to take home and I can’t wait to try them out!
Rutherford Hill was the second winery of our second day and, by that point, we were revved up and ready for #allthewine. Greeted with a glass of rose (which definitely came home with us), I knew this would be a top contender. We toured the beautiful grounds, explored the caves, learned a little history about the estate and the wine making process and tasted a few yummy vinos along the way. Our tour guide was seriously amazing and was an awesome photographer…always a plus. I think my favorite part about Rutherford Hill was definitely the cave. It was so dark and cozy and super intimate. Oh, and the barrels of Cab were pretty cool too.
Y’all know I love a good glass of champagne or sparkling wine so a visit to Mumm was an absolute must. I love love love their Brut Rose and could not wait to experience it on the estate along with a few other picks from the Mumm team. We sat on the patio, sipped on a ton of champs and learned that smaller the bubbles the smaller the hangover (serious life lessons right there. Thanks, Melissa!). They also have an awesome Carlos Santana gallery onsite which we got to explore – so cool! If you are on the hunt for a good sparkling, make sure you guys visit Mumm. This was definitely a highlight (you know what I mean if you saw my snaps ha)
I have a new favorite town and that is Yountville, California. The cutest place you will ever visit. Not only are there a ton of cute restaurants, hotels, etc. but it’s also the home of Jessup Celllars. What they don’t have in vineyard views they have in amazing wine and even more amazing brand equity (that’s the marketing person talking). We were able to sit down with Judd and explore a ton of the winery’s selection. Not only is Judd the President of The Good Life Wine Collective (Jessup Cellars, Humanitas and Handwritten wines) and super smart when it comes to all things wine, he’s also our new bestie. No seriously, Brandon wants to send him a thank you gift for being so amazing. He walked us through the company’s philosophies, shared a few of the fun things they have going on (Dressed to the Wines..love it!) and gave us a good look at just how unique and innovative the company is. They approach wine totally different than some of the other more ‘formal’ vineyards we visited. We loved their fresh approach and also loved the several bottles of vino that made it home with us after.
Humanitas was by far the most unique experience we had in Napa. Nestled in the warehouse district of Napa, it didn’t look like any other tasting we went to. But I am so happy we got to experience this one. Humanitas is under the same umbrella company as Jessup which means we got to hang out with our new best friend for a second day in a row. He greeted us with the cutest sign and the coolest tasting setup. One of the many cool things about Humanitas is that instead of your typical wine pairing with cheese or crackers, they do Molecular Gastronomy pairings. Basically a full entree or dessert in the form or tiny “caviar”. They somehow managed to fit the taste profile of tomato bisque and a cherry tart dessert into tony bites that paired so perfectly with the wine. In addition to getting a tour of what goes on behind the scenes, they also have a huge record collection. We played a little Whitney of course and something else Brandon really liked – I couldn’t focus on anything once I got the yummiest rose in my system. Overall, I can’t say enough how cool this experience was and the wine was just as fantastic!
Make sure you check back tomorrow for a peek at some of my favorite things to do in Napa! And if you’re planning a trip anytime soon, let me know. I can totally share my color coded itinerary with ya!