When a best friend invites you to join her and her husband on a spontaneous trip to Napa, you make it work! Last fall, one of my closest friends in the world won a stay in Napa and invited Gus and me to join the fun. Although we are both mamas of little ones with crazy schedules, we made it work and it was so worth it.
Planning a trip to Napa can be VERY overwhelming. There are countless wineries, restaurants, and hotels to choose from. I thought it would be fun (and hopefully useful for you in your planning one day!) to share how we mapped out our incredible 3-day trip.
First, we knew we wanted to build out two days of tasting with no more than two winery visits each day (any more than that feels rushed and pretty much ruins any dinner plans in my opinion). We suggested that we visit Far Niente, which is one of the few wine clubs that we belong to. The club perks include free tastings each year that we weren’t able to take advantage of it during the pandemic. We were absolutely thrilled to go back and you guys, this property is stunning, and the wines are fabulous. I highly recommend that you build in the time to enjoy the tour and walk around their property after the tasting. It’s so picturesque.
The other winery that we added to the itinerary was Jarvis. It’s an amazing experience and very different from Far Niente. It’s the country’s first winery built entirely underground! Again, I highly recommend building in the time to tour their caves, which includes an underground waterfall, and tasting in their gorgeous chamber.
The package that our friends won at a charity event included a trip to Opus One… twist my arm. This one is a bit pricey (if not won at a charity event), BUT if it works in your budget, go for it! The wines are world class, the staff was extremely knowledgeable, and the property itself is very impressive.
Where to eat is always a big question too. We like to stay casual for lunch and get fancy for dinner. I’m a huge fan of Oakville Grocery for lunch. They have delicious salads and sandwiches. Plus, you can order ahead, and they have adorable outdoor seating. For dinner, we first took a rec from our team (thanks, Valor!) and went to Press. I had never been, and it certainly did not disappoint. The ambiance was lovely, service was fantastic, and both the food and drinks were phenomenal.
The second night we strolled from Napa Valley Lodge, where we stayed, to Bouchon Bistro, one of the renowned Thomas Keller restaurants. The walk was a perfect way to explore Yountville a bit and stretch our legs before a massive (and delicious!) meal.
All of these places happen to be very close together too and for me, that’s huge! It helps create a relaxing and luxurious experience going from one incredible spot to the next.
Hope that gives a bit of guidance as you plan out your next trip to wine country. Cheers!