Grapes galore. As far as the eye can see…. vineyards, wine-tastings, a soothing landscape in a perfect climate. Napa Valley is the destination for a relaxing getaway, yet, it’s also an informative and interactive trip experience!
Napa and Sonoma, with their vineyards, resorts and cosmopolitan restaurants are close to the exciting San Francisco. When we went there ten years ago, our itinerary included San Francisco which is always worth revisiting again and again.We stayed in a vineyard bed and breakfast, built in the gorgeous Spanish style architecture perfectly fitting for California. The pool and grounds made it a quiet retreat for us as this was our first trip leaving our three young sons back home with relatives.
All in all, I think we toured three wineries and tried to remember the words of others who advised us not to actually drink each swig of wine during a tasting….just sip, taste and spit. This was challenging to do so we were a bit drowsy on our first tasting.
It’s a good idea to visit a range of wineries—from simple to luxurious. Our wine tasting finale was at a luxurious winery up a winding road to the fabulous estate where our names were listed on a welcome sign at the entrance gate. The private car collection in the garage was like a museum experience with its vintage cars, sports cars and minibus! When you look out onto the rolling hills, you can see why people have their weddings at wineries and vineyards of Napa Valley! It’s all the decor one would need for an elegant event.
We learned so much information about winemaking but also cheese tastings and pairings! We also toured the wine cellars and learned how some wineries blew out their spaces with dynamite to create thousands of square feet for their oak barrels.Oakville Grocery was recommended to us by friends so we went looking for it and happily found it in both Napa but also again in San Francisco! HEAVENLY! A deli, a grocery, a bakery….rolled into one. We bought lunch and ate outside on the back patio of this other-worldly grocery store.
A drive to the neighboring Sonoma was utterly delightful because of the scenic landscape and the change in architecture and ambience. What Santa Fe is to Taos, Napa is to Sonoma (in my opinion). My husband preferred Sonoma. I may just have to go back to decide. The historic significance of this region is conveyed in its Mexican colonial style. We saw a building in the town square which used to be military barracks. Sonoma is charming and quaint and it’s popular to do bike tours of this fetching area.
Since we crave mass humanity and can only relax so much, we ventured onto San Francisco, a favorite of ours. We flew in and out of Oakland and it was a perfect, short amount of days away on our first trip sans children. For the expense of flying all that way, you might as well include another big city destination. The rental car we took between cities was a convertible. Driving through the mountains while singing oldies on the radio was a great way to start our first couples vacation. Napa and Sonoma are highly recommended American treasures!