Mother Daughter Napa Valley Vacation
If you are lucky like me, my relationship with my two girls has only gotten stronger as they have gotten older. Now 23 and 29, my girls and I talk about a lot - boys, shopping, careers, goals, aspirations, relationships – almost always over a glass (or bottle) of wine. It was only fitting that we decided to take our most recent girls trip to wine country - Napa Valley, CA.
With over 400 wineries, 150 restaurants, and too many accommodations to count, planning a Napa trip can be a little overwhelming. After searching through the best places to stay in Napa, we picked the Archer Hotel, right in the heart of downtown. This modern luxury hotel is walking distance to boutiques, wine bars, and delicious restaurants, not to mention their own amazing rooftop restaurant - the lobster corn dogs are a MUST.
I know Napa is known for their wineries, but I have to say, the food is just as notable. Every restaurant we went to blew away our expectations. Our first night we ended up at the Waterfront Seafood Grill, located right along the Napa River, and the Lobster Roll was incredible. I think we talked about it the rest of the trip. The next night, we had reservations at Morimoto, a fabulous sushi and sake restaurant. Again, highly recommend getting a rez. Our third night out we ended up at Oenotri. This dimly lit, family-style Italian restaurant left us feeling warm and cozy and very, very full. But I saved the best restaurant for last, and even I was surprised at this - BooneFly Cafe. This quaint farmhouse breakfast joint was so incredible, we went two days in a row. Make sure to get there early - there are no reservations and you may have to wait, but trust me when I say, it is absolutely worth the wait. Everything on their menu is delicious, and it’s the perfect place to eat before a lovely day of wine tastings.
Alright now to the best part - THE WINE! Over the course of three days, we had about seven wine tastings. Each experience was unique, and the wine was amazing. Our first stop was Sonoma County, where we visited Domaine Caneros and Gundlach Bundschu. Domaine Caneros’ vineyard and tasting room were picturesque. If you can, I highly recommend scheduling your wine tasting in the solarium. The views and the vibes are absolutely spectacular. Domaine Caneros is known for their sparkling wines and their reds, so naturally we split flights of both. The entire staff at Domaine Caneros was incredible - it truly was the best start to our wine-filled weekend. If you go here, ask your server to bring over the magnum and 3 liter champagne for some picture opps, it was so much fun!
After our time at Domaine Caneros, we traveled about a mile or so down the road to Gundlach Bundschu. No surprise, it was also a gorgeous vineyard, but way more secluded and rustic. I’ve been a fan of Gundlach for some time now, so bringing my girls to this winery was extra special. We were originally slated for a wine tasting tour in the vineyard, but since it was 106 degrees outside, our plans were quickly rearranged. We ended up doing a cave tour, and that was super cool. We were able to learn the rich history of the Gundlach Bundschu family, and how intertwined they are with Napa’s history, all while sipping on equally rich pinot noir. After our tour, we moved into their lush tasting room for another glass of wine, paired with some charcuterie and conversation.
Our next day we spent in downtown Napa, and instead of going to vineyards, we opted for wine tastings. Our first wine tasting was for RAEN (Research in Agriculture and Enology Naturally) Wine. To our surprise, our private wine tasting was located at Carlo Mondavi’s home in the hills of Napa. This small winery doesn’t have a public tasting room, which made this private experience even more memorable. Our family loves RAEN, especially their Pinot Noir, so being able to learn more about how their wines are made while enjoying them at the same time. Our hostess, Michelle, was amazing and helped us with questions, photo opps, and had an extra strong pour.
After our private RAEN tasting, we made our way to Vineyard 29 Tasting Room. This super cool, super modern, sophisticated tasting room was so much fun. While lounging on these ultra-lush dark green velvet couches, we sipped some lovely red wines and really enjoyed each other’s company. It was a great way to end our second day in wine country.
Our last day we spent in St. Helena. First off, the drive through Napa Valley is breath-taking. Wineries on Wineries on Wineries, for miles on end. It was gorgeous. After eating the best English muffins of our lives at Model Bakery (ps. they are also Oprah’s famous English muffins!), we spent the morning shopping and exploring Downtown, and then stumbled upon The Saint Tasting Room. The Saint had this dark, rich vibe that paired well with our wine choices. From there, we made our way to Cakebread.
Cakebread Winery is super chic, recently renovated over the last five years. We had the Perfect Pair, which is a private food + wine pairing, where the majority of the food was grown on the property. Highly recommend doing this! It was such a lovely and unique experience. Their chardonnay is one of my all time favorites, so taking the girls here will be such a great memory.
We rounded out our Napa extravaganza at V.Satturi Winery. This winery + gourmet deli + shop, was the perfect place to wine down our trip. This huge property has tons of picnic tables, so we were able to hang out and enjoy some snacks and cheers-ing our final glasses of wine.
Overall, planning a girls trip to Napa is an absolute must! We had the best time, made the best memories, and cannot wait to do it again. Cheers to you, Napa!