Last year when I posted about our excursion to Georgia’s wine country, I mentioned that while I’ve visited wineries in other countries, I’d never been to Napa.  Well, I fixed that.  Last month, we finally made the trip to Napa Valley!

I now realize that the area is Napa Valley, but there are individually named towns in the valley.  We stayed at the Embassy Suites in the town of Napa but we ventured out to the other towns such as St. Helena, Yountville, and Calistoga.

Embassy Suites Napa

Embassy Suites Napa lobby

While the rooms were straightforward, the grounds were more resort-like than most Embassy Suites I’ve visited.   The Manager’s Reception every evening also included representatives with tastings from the nearby wineries.

Embassy Suties Napa courtyard

We were there for four days and we visited 8 wineries,  7 restaurants, 1 movie theater, 1 outlet mall, and 1 mineral spa.   The highlight for me was actually our very first stop:  Domaine Carneros.

Domaine Carneros specializes in sparkling wine made in the champagne style. (they are owned by Tattinger).   We took a tour of the grounds and enjoyed tasting 3 sparkling wines and 2 reds.   Le Reve was my very favorite.

I just did tastings instead of full guided tours at the rest of the wineries.  Two of my favorite vineyard grounds were Raymond Wineries and Sterling Vineyards.  Raymond has a really neat setup with a full garden to walk through ……

Sunflowers at Raymond Vineyards

and Sterling Vineyards actually has a skylift tram that takes you from the bottom up to the top of the mountain where the facilities are.

The weather was fabulous.  We spotted lemon trees everywhere.  This one was just growing in a pot at a restaurant where we had lunch.

Saturday morning we spent some time at the spa.   I experienced a mud bath for the first time at Dr. Wilkinson’s.   It was definitely an experience.  I didn’t expect the mud to be squishy, but apparently it’s peat moss so it feels more spongy than ‘muddy’.

Mineral Spa

grapes in may

Can you see the grapes there at the bottom of the vine?

It was a lovely trip and I’m so glad to have finally experienced Napa, even though it was brief.   Have you been?  What were your favorites?
-J

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3 Responses to A Weekend in Napa

  1. Emily R. says:

    I have to admit I have not been wine tasting in Georgia even though my future inlaws live in Atlanta. I have the great please of living in Sacramento (about an hour from Napa)and am currently in the process of searching for a venue. Going tasting at Sterling is rally an experience. My favorite winery is Chateau Montellena it was the subject of the Movie Bottle Shock and where I got engaged so it has a special place in my heart. Castillo de Amorosa is often referred to as the castle winery and is a sight to behold. One of my favorite wineries that is more low key and has amazing wine is Cakebread.

    • J. says:

      I need to see Bottle Shock. We went to Chateau Montellena and heard the story. We also visited the castle winery. I thought the structure was pretty amazing. It took the owner several years to build. How awesome that you live nearby and can go often! When I go back, I’ll be sure to visit Cakebread.

  2. Beautiful! I’ve never been to California but this makes me SO want to get out to Napa Valley for a vacation!

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