The house we stayed in was located in Windsor about 15 minutes outside of Healdsburg. The house was spectacular so we tried to spend as much time in the home as possible. We ended up cooking dinner every night because we just didn't want to leave.
I met Joel early since he was in San Fransisco for work. He picked me up from the airport and our first stop was lunch at The Marshall Store in Point Reyes. I was starving (and cranky) by the time we made it but dang did it turn my mood around. The views and food were spectacular - and it really started the trip off on the right foot.
On our way to the house we stopped at Lagunitas Brewery which was a nice pit stop to pick up some beer and listen to some live music. I was anxious to get to the house though, so we stayed for 1 drink and then headed to the house.
My cousin Amanda and her boyfriend made it to the house at midnight so after a quick recap with them, we all headed to bed.
In hindsight, I'm really glad we had this grand photoshoot outside, because it turned out to be the only day that we could actually see the views from the house. Since we were up so high, the house sat in heavy fog for the rest of the weekend.
We ended up using a company in Napa that sent us a driver to drive our rental car. It was by far the cheapest option and it turned out to be pretty perfect for the entire weekend. We had to bring her to Avis to sign onto our contract, but it worked out because we dropped off Amanda's rental car and Brent and Dawn met us there as well. Our first stop of the day was to Christopher Creek.
Christopher Creek is a family owned winery and the six of us had a private tasting that turned out to be really fun. The guy leading our tasting was young and quite the story teller, but had our glasses full the whole time which is always a good thing.
We picked up sandwiches at Big Johns Grocery (that were ammmazing) and took them to Simi's tasting room to sit outside and have lunch.
Our last stop of the day was Medlock Ames in Healdsburg. We all loved Medlock wines and their winery was awesome.
Everything was sustainable and solar powered, and at 5pm they opened a bar that served craft cocktails and beers. Plus, any winery that served cheese with their tastings gained extra points with our group.
That night everyone pitched in and we made an Italian dinner with pasta, meatballs, caprese bread and ceaser salad.
We played taboo, hung out in the hot tub before turning in.
We woke up pretty early and after sitting around the fire and having coffee, we decided to hit the gym to work off some of the wine that we were sure to be indulging in the rest of the weekend.
After the gym, our first spot of the day was Pride Mountain which turned out to be our favorite tour of the trip.
Not only was the tour one for the books their wine was divine.
The only let down was that it was pouring rain and pretty freaking cold so we didn't get to spend much time outside enjoying their property.
After the tour we went to downtown Yountville to shop around and have lunch. I wanted to pop into Napa Styles because I love Michael Chiarello and the last time my parents were there he was there and was signing cookbooks. I wasn't so lucky but it was a really fun store.
We had a nice lunch in Yountville before our 2pm tour at Stags' Leap. We really enjoyed this tour, but it was very historically driven and after more than an hour...they started to lose us.
I will say though, Stags' had the most beautiful grounds of any place we visited.
Our guide was telling us that last season pottery barn had a photoshoot in this passion pit for their catalog in case you recognize it.
Our last stop of the day was a champagne tasting at Domaine Carneros which was a really nice change of pace. We ran late to our appointment but got there with enough time to have a solid round of champagne.
After drinking wine all day, champagne and cheese tasted so, so good.
That night we had gotten a few pounds of fresh dungeness crab and made fish tacos and corn on the grill too.
After breakfast our group went to Dry Creek and we decided to join Wine Wonderland, which a bunch of wineries were participating in. We each paid $60 bucks for a glass and then carried is around from winery to winery for unlimited pours and light snacks throughout the day.
Our next stop was one of our group favorites; Truett Hurst. Laura had recommended this spot as one of her favorites, and since she has yet to lead my astray - I knew we were in for a treat.
Their winery had tons of space to sit, relax, and drink with gorgeous views, beautiful gardens, and even chickens and goats to check out.
And lots of adirondack chairs ;)
Another crowd favorite was Ridge. We stopped there before lunch and their wine and property were equally fantastic. Am I sounding like a broken record yet? Seriously Napa and Sonoma are such stunning.
I think this was the day that everyone ended up drinking the most during our trip, and I'm blaming the unlimited pours on that one. We were all pretty much falling asleep in our chairs at 9, so after pizza and a few rounds of Heads Up, we called it an early night.
Flying back to LA from San Fransisco is so easy. We were able to get on an earlier flight home and after 45 minutes in the air, and a 15 minute drive home from the airport, we were home at 2:30 in the afternoon. It couldn't have worked out better.
This trip was awesome. It was relaxing and beautiful and it was really nice to spend time with good friends. A long weekend is just not enough time in Napa and I'm already plotting my next trip back.