A DAY IN NAPA VALLEY

Napa in the winter?! Oh yea baby! Hubby and I went to Sacramento for work, we’ll be traveling quite a bit out there since he has a big development project that I’m doing design for in the works. It was also the perfect work/play trip to get away, reconnect and disconnect. When going to Napa you can either fly into San Francisco or Sacramento. From there it’s about an hour drive into Napa from both cities. The drive was absolutely stunning and a bit moody and rainy. It was quite romantic if you ask me.

We checked into our gorgeous brand new, The Archer Hotel. I can’t say enough amazing things about it. It’s absolutely stunning! The beds are huge and beyond comfortable, the bathrooms have the best lighting, they carry MALIN + GOETZ  products, have NESPRESSO machines in the room and empty coolers for the wine you purchase at the vineyards! What else can you ask for?!

The lobby at The Archer is always happening, I swear people start drinking and hanging out in Napa at 10am. I barely saw anyone with a cup of coffee but vino was a given. The hotel also has a stunning rooftop and spa. Like I said, I can’t recommend the hotel enough. This whole trip was not sponsored, we paid for all of it. To tell you the truth I’ve been so busy with holidays, kids and work I barely remembered to make reservations at the top spots that I wanted to check out. Luckily, off season you can typically get in, even in the hardest to get into places. During high season I highly recommend calling early to make ressos.

We loved, having the vineyards to ourselves. It was quite lovely and felt very private and special. There were a few other couples popping in. Our first stop was at the stunning Paraduxx Winery where we hung out for almost two and a half hours. The wine was superb and our host Johnny was hilarious. We may be besties after this trip!

I have a few friends that travel to Napa quite often and so we had a nice list to go by!

Another great part about this winter visit, everything was decorated for the holidays, and felt so festive . The morning was a bit chilly and all the wineries provide heating lamps, blankets and some have fire pits. It’s so cozy and very romantic.  As the day goes on and you get a bit more lit and the weather warms up I didn’t even need a jacket in the sun. It got quite hot! So my recommendation is to definitely wear layers. Also, ladies… leave your stilettos at home. Vineyards are filled with gravel, mud and there are rattle snakes. So wear boots for sure! Plus you want to be comfortable roaming around the properties.

Another upside to traveling in the winter is the temperature. During high season not only are the vineyards packed and you may be sharing tables with others, it’s also super hot. Temperatures can rise to over 100 degrees and you’re out drinking all day. Winter was the perfect temperature. Cool in the mornings and mid sixties in the afternoon.

After the Paraduxx tasting we headed off to Auberge du Soleil… holy smokes. This place is STUNNING and a must visit. It’s the only Forbes five star resort in Napa and also holds a Michelin star restaurant, where we had lunch. You can definitely stay at this luxurious hotel. It’s breathtaking guys! The crowd is super fun and chic, and the food is amazing. It’s pricey, my salad was over $40 so if you are on a budget pop in for a drink and the views. Auberge du Soleil reminded hubby and I so much of Capri. We can’t wait to go back, definitely one of my favorite spots.

So another fun fact about Napa, is that wine tasting is basically like bar hopping. So you typically hit up a few a day. My professional taster friends told us to do four, we apparently are light weight and after two we passed out! Yep… so much for drinking all day!

We did hit up Frog’s Leap another beautiful vineyard that came highly recommended. This one was covered in the mustard plant. Another amazing part about coming to Napa in the winter is the fact that the mustard plant is in full bloom. It is so beautiful and the yellow is so potent against the blue sky. Picturesque my friends!

Our final stop of the night was Bistro Jeanty, at this point I forgot my camera, hubby was in heaven. We had a perfect meal and I could barely finish my wine. But I went nuts with the carbs and dairy here. It was divine. We loved the vibe and the perfectly French atmosphere of this place. Overall everyone in Napa is beyond amazing, kind, sweet and major conversationalists. We met people from all over the world and it was truly such a fun time!

I hope you guys venture out to Napa soon and basque in it’s gorgeousness. No matter when you go, it’s stunning all year round. Oh, and there are NO HANGOVERS. I swear, all the sulfates that you get from store bought bottles are simply not in this wine. Hubby and I also agreed that we’re not sure how people come here for a week because our liver would hate us. We barely made it fora  day and a half and I felt like it was the perfect amount. Luckily we are booked to come back soon and check out other cool spots that Napa has to offer. I’m going to share this very special list with you guys. Here is the Best of the BEST in Napa Valley!

BREAKFAST
  • Bouchon
  • Boon Fly Cafe
LUNCH
  • Ad Hoc
  • Auberge
  • Addendum
  • Bardessono
  • Brix
DINNER
  • The Carneros Inn
  • Morimoto
  • Redd’s
  • Bistro Jeanty
TASTING
  • Frog’s Leap
  • Schramsberg
  • Paraduxx
  • Hall Winery
  • Stag’s Leap
  • Domaine Carneros by Taittinger