This week was a special one. In addition to a lovely Thanksgiving with friends, we spent the first part of the week in Napa Valley. I can’t say enough about this place. Stunning colors, beautiful vineyards, wineries for miles and each one different from the last. We arrived on Sunday evening and checked into the Rancho Caymus Inn.
The inn has a lovely courtyard, a restaurant and rustic, but luxurious rooms. If you’re ever in the area and need a place to stay, we definitely recommend it. They serve breakfast daily and most of their assortment is from Model Bakery in St. Helena. Let’s just say, we made sure to stop by the bakery to stock up before we came home!
We went to four wineries over two days and checked out the towns of St. Helena, Napa, Rutherford and Calistoga. St. Helena was my favorite, by far. We had lunch at Gillwoods Cafe both days (brunch one day and lunch the other). Everything was very fresh, the service was great and there were lots of locals dining in the restaurant.
On our first full day, we went to Mumm Napa, a winery for sparkling wine in Rutherford. I enjoyed watching the process and layout of this winery the most. The tour guide was also the best we had at all the wineries we visited.
We had dinner at ZuZu in Napa on Monday night. Although the tapas were good, what we really enjoyed most was the seafood paella with arroz negro. The flavors were fantastic. On Tuesday we went to Castello di Amorosa, another gorgeous winery and our favorite from the trip. The winery, built to mimic the Tuscan countryside, is stunning.
The wine tasting at this winery was also the best of our trip. It was served in a private room in the cellars and we had a long list from which to choose. My favorites were the 2013 Pino Bianco and the 2011 Sangiovese. We made sure to bring home several bottles from Castello di Amorosa.
On Tuesday evening we made our way to Pizzeria Tra Vigne and split a thin crust brick oven baked pizza with goat cheese, fresh tomatoes, mushrooms, roasted peppers, olives and prosciutto.
What are your favorite spots in Napa? What is your favorite time of year to go?