day trip guide: napa.

As I discussed in a previous post about the art of weekending, my husband and I have been taking full advantage of living in Northern California with many day and weekend trips nearby. One of our favorite day trips is Napa. We live a little less than an hour away so a day trip is usually what we do but this could easily be turned into a weekend trip as well.

We had a friend in town a couple of weeks ago who requested a trip to Napa so wine country it was. An insider tip, if your driving to Napa from Sacramento on weekend, l recommend leaving earlier rather than later. Napa is also on the way to San Francisco and traffic can get a bit out of hand.

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I’ve lived in Nor Cal for three and a half months and have been to Napa three times now. Perhaps I should be embarrassed but rather I will just admit my love for wine and the great outdoors instead. I’ve gathered my favorite wineries below. Enjoy!

The best Napa wineries:

Classiest Winery: I recently discovered Alpha Omega winery on my last trip to Napa. The rolling landscape, fountains and patio create a more up-scale experience. I will say, be prepared to spend $30-40 on a wine tasting (a bit pricier than some). The ambiance and views were well worth the price. If I had to describe what this place felt like I would use the term “country club”.

Best Overall Winery Experience: Castello di Amorosa is one of my all time favorite wineries and is one I’ve been to almost every time I go to Napa. The winery houses a beautiful castle that makes you feel like your in somewhat of a mix of Tuscany and Scotland. Beneath the castle is the tasting room where you can sample a variety of bold reds and crisp whites. I’m a red wine lover and this winery has the most rich and bold wines I’ve ever had. The whole experience of walking through the vineyard, exploring the castle and the exceptional wine selection make this one of my favorite for overall experience.

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Favorite Casual Winery: Although I used to drink this brand of wine in college, going to the Menage a Trois winery was a favorite of mine for being so casual. The tasting room is fairly small but my recommendation is to buy a bottle and take it outside. The views are absolutely incredible and you can play as much ladder golf or life-size Jenga as your heart desires. No snootiness here, just fun!

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Winery with the Best View: Hands-down Scribe winery has one of the most incredible views I have ever seen. It makes me forget that we’re in Northern California and transports me to Tuscany, Italy. They have an abundance of picnic tables and blankets that you can take your bottle or glass of wine out to and sit on the hillside overlooking the wine valley.  I believe this winery is on the Sonoma side but it’s definitely worth the short trek.

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Still being new to the area, I would love any additional recommendations you have on the best wineries to go to in Napa or Sonoma.

** Thank you to our good friend Don James Bolerjack for some of the photos!

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