Okay, so we were in Napa about 5 days, but getting there and coming back and everything blah you get it. I’m not writing this to brag, I’m writing this to help give ideas and how to space it all out. I spent a lot of time creating this itinerary and I’m hoping it can help someone else. 🙂 Keep in mind that I am gluten free and my husband is not, so every place we stopped and ate had a gluten free option for me.
After eating breakfast at the BnB, we drove up 29 and started at V. Sattui around 9:15, they open at 9. I had found a 2 for 1 tasting card, but they have the same coupon on Visit Napa’s app. (And a bunch of other tasting cards and discounts!) Make sure to buy a bottle of water here, stay hydrated my friends. We toured, tasted and talked around this beautiful vineyard for about an hour. You can self guide underground and walk in the garden it’s absolutely gorgeous. Going this early fights the crowds as well. V. Sattui is very well known as a tourist spot.
Next we continued up 29 to Heitz Cellars, which opens at 10. They have complimentary tastings (YUP IT’S FREEEEE). We tasted their wines for free, and talked to the staff. The staff here is very nice and will give you as much information as you want/need. After the tastings are over, pet Rudy, the vineyard’s dog. And tour their beautiful facility. We stayed here for about another hour, talking and touring.
After these two places, we were hungry so we went to Gott’s Roadside in St. Helena right up 29 from Heitz Cellars. It’s a great relaxing burger joint. You can eat on picnic tables and enjoy the space. We got there right before noon, and there was a pretty long line, but the service is great so it goes by very quickly. It’s reasonably priced as well. 🙂 Can’t go wrong with a good burger.
The next vineyard we visited was Frog’s Leap. It was gorgeous, and the tour was hilarious. This vineyard used to be an old frog farm. It’s just so silly and a great time! You have to book this tour in advanced, fyi. I didn’t know that, but luckily they had availability.
We went back to the BnB to get our lock to put on the bridge of love, or whatever they call it. This bridge is the walk up to the Wine Train. It is in downtown Napa, near the BnB, and by the Westin Hotel. We parked in downtown and walked over. While walking over we inadvertently did the Napa art walk and it was fun! The whole downtown is sprinkled with sculptures or paintings or other neat ARTifacts. (tee hee) We finally got to the bridge and did our cheesy 1 year wedding anniversary lock, and then we tried to find Amy and Sheldon’s lock from the Big Bang Theory. (YEAH, it’s there!! If you find it, send me a picture!) However, we couldn’t find it. 😦
After all that walking, we sure got thirsty, so on our way back from the bridge we stopped at Mason Cellars. It is kind of tucked away, but they offer complimentary tastings as well! (I’m all about the free, honey!) Mason Cellars is neat because it has artwork all over it. You can just walk around and taste, while viewing all the beautiful pieces. (Be careful when planning Mason Cellars, because they are closed on Tuesdays, so random)
You’ll probably be just as famished as we were after that. So, you’ll want to head on over to Velo Pizzeria for some grub. When we went they were only selling pizza by the slices, and oh my gosh. It was unbelievably good. I had the pesto, mushroom and cheese pizza! The slice was as big as my head! It was incredible. They also have beer on tap, and a full bar, so if you’re tired of wine you can refresh your pallet.
We were pretty beat after this so we went back to the hotel and played scrabble like old people.
Good morning, sunshine! After eating breakfast on this day, we had previously booked (and paid) for our seats on the Wine Trolley! They picked us up from the V Marketplace, but we got to the V Marketplace early so we shopped! It’s the cutest little town and has the nicest boutiques. We parked behind the Coffee Caboose and it definitely gave Starbucks a run for it’s money.
Finally the trolley came and the day was planned for us. (We received discounts at every vineyard because we were apart of the wine trolley, also the lunch and the Castle tour and tasting were included)
We started at the Castello di Amorosa! The vineyard I had been waiting for! It was incredible, not a single detail was overlooked, even the torture chamber. YIKES! They had a great tour with an amazing tasting! We had to buy a bottle of their Fantasia, it tasted like grape juice! Seriously!! Tasting and tour was included.
We stopped at Franciscan Estate for lunch! They have a beautiful landscape, we had a delicious picnic lunch and then a tour. Our tour guide was hilarious and very knowledgable. He took us around the estate and explained that they have the most expensive land in the nation! 10 acres cost 10 million dollars. WHOA! They also have the Rutherford Bench, which is a huge inside joke amongst Napkins (isn’t that cute, that’s what people are called who live in Napa) We got to see the insides of the winery and all the barrels and even taste some wine straight from a barrel, that was pretty cool. Tasting and tour was $20 a person.
Finally, we stopped at Provenance. Where we sat on the patio and were served with different tastings. The wine was really good and it was a nice end to our day of traveling, very laid back. They did not offer a tour, but my feet were tired from all the walking at the Castle and Franciscan, so I wasn’t complaining. Tasting was $20 a person
When we were finished with the Wine Trolley and back at our car, it was time for dinner! We went to Downtown Napa’s iconic Downtown Joe’s. This is where everyone goes for a good time out. They had a GREAT burger! Right when we were starting to eat a band started playing. We stayed inside because I had gotten a little too much sun, but you can sit outside and you’re right on the Napa River. Downtown Joe’s has beautiful views from their patio. My husband says that they have fantastic craft beers, too, if you’re into that.
We were pretty exhausted after all this activity. So, in our robes, we played cards and drank our bottle of Fantasia, on our room’s patio.
We were ALMOST wined out by our third day, but William and I are not quitters.
So, we started our day on Highway 29 going north and stumbled upon a beautiful (and open at 9:30) vineyard called Grgich Hills Estate. It’s family owned and operated, we talked to one of the founders sons (or maybe grandson, I don’t remember)! We got to guess how many corks were in a giant bottle for a chance for free wine and we saw a bobblehead of the original owner. It was $20 a person for a tasting, but the tasting was waived if you bought something. So, we bought something for only $10 more! No brainer!
Then we continued going north towards Sterling Vineyards. I found a coupon in a magazine from our hotel that was a free upgrade to the Premium Tasting. (Woo hoo!) Sterling Vineyards has a tram/gondola thing that takes you up to the winery. It was about $56 for the both of us. We enjoyed beautiful views and self guided tour, while sipping about 10 different wines, with several refills.
We were hungry and tipsy, so we strolled over to Checkers, an Italian restaurant in Calistoga. (Just north of Sterling Vineyards) It was reasonably priced and the food came out quickly!
On the way towards Napa, on Highway 29, we saw Sutter Home, which we all know and love their wines. They have complimentary tastings, FREEEE! This area is so nice, and their winery looks like a home! (no, duh) It’s beautiful and worth the price 😉
After Sutter Home, we drove back to Downtown Napa and did some souvenir shopping at the MANY welcome shops. We did some olive oil tastings at a welcome shop. We were quite tired so we went back to the BnB to rest (play scrabble) and munch on the h’or devours that they offered.
We were pretty wined out after 3 days, so we decided to go bowling at Ultra Crush Lounge. It was so fun! It’s a bowling alley inside a resort hotel! Bowling was $15 per person, per hour. And an hour was about all we could do!
We grabbed dinner from Bugerfi and sat right on the Napa River. We enjoyed our delicious burgers and beautiful scenery one last time.
We had a great trip, it was action packed, yet still really relaxing.