We were excited to leave San Francisco behind and focus on the next few days in the place the hubby and I love so much that we constantly talk of retiring there — Napa. With our must-have Mustang convertible rental in tow, we made our way through the San Fran traffic to wine tasting heaven. Soon enough, we were there.
We stayed at the River Terrace Inn, though it had changed quite a bit since our last visit. In any event, we thoroughly enjoyed all of our tastings and restaurants, so I’m just going to list them below with small notes.
Darioush – first stop, based on a recommendation from a friend; beautiful tasting room
Peju – we needed to kill time before our reserved tasting at Cakebread, so I put out a message to friends on Facebook asking for recommendations, so glad someone recommended Peju; fun tasting!
Cakebread – as we all know, I think Cakebread is the most amazing wine on Earth, and this special tasting was no exception; we were able to sample so many different wines from different harvests, all pretty incredible
HdV – also visited on recommendation from a friend, but make an appointment; great tasting and they were able to help us get a reservation at Ad Hoc for the next night — serious customer service!
Oentri – food was good, place was nice, but was clearly going to come in third for Napa dinners based on the meals we were having over the next two days; would definitely recommend it
Hagafen – any winery with a resident pet gets my vote
Silverado – go to their patio for the beautiful view; also where we discovered Napa’s love/hate relationship with bachelorette parties
Rutherford Grill - great lunch, go there to get some cornbread, ribs and sober up!
Beaulieu – probably our least favorite tasting, but hard to pass up since it’s right next door to the Rutherford Grill
Ad Hoc – insanely good; should have taken pictures; much easier to get a reservation there than French Laundry
Chandon – our first of two random stops for the day…and fabulous; fun tasting and some lovely bubbly
Frog’s Leap – where has this place been all our lives? The tasting comes with cheese, fruit and crackers on the porch overlooking the beautiful gardens — and then they give you a “pink” blend to walk through the gardens with. LOVED this tasting experience!
French Laundry – unassuming building (we drove by it three times!), yet the most incredible meal I’ve ever had in my life. The meal was paired beautifully with the wine, the service was just incredible and they even had a menu made up especially for our anniversary. This meal was everything I hoped it could be and so, so much more.
Sadly, we had to wake up early the next morning to head back to the airport in San Francisco. Even though we left insanely early with plenty of time to spare, we hit bad weather and a ton of traffic, nearly missing our flight. Luckily, we did the Home Alone run through the airport and made it with a wee bit of time to spare. Thus ended our amazing first anniversary vacation, although we now have plenty of photos, memories and bottles of wine to remember it by.