Yes, I'm still talking about Napa! After waking up on day two slightly "under the weather" (day one was a doozy ya'll) we were moving rather slowly.
Seeing as we were in wine country we figured we'd continue visiting wineries...good plan, right? We didn't have a tour scheduled which meant we were able to move at our own pace and pick out some wineries that particularly interested us.
First stop of the day: Gloria Ferrer
This was a great spot. The views were stunning. They have caves which is cool (no pun intended) but, we didn't stick around for a cave tour. Since this was our first tasting on our own it was a bit of a reality check. This place was high traffic. You basically sit down and select a flight and then a waiter brings it over. You're not really learning about what you're drinking other than the literature provided. It was borderline anti-climatic. I guess I left feeling like if I went back I'd want to go on a tour where we had a private tasting and a cave tour otherwise I wouldn't really care to go back.
Second Stop: Mumm Napa
This was my favorite stop of they day. I loved it. It was similar to Gloria Ferrer in that you're seated and then order a flight. The difference? Our waiter was engaged and interested in our tastes. He asked us questions and then brought us tastes that may or may not have been on our original order. The bubbly I ended up purchasing wasn't on my ordered flight. Mumm Napa produces a Sparkling Pinot Noir and yes, it's as fabulous as it sounds. I now know that if I want to look hoity-toity and show up at a gathering with some bubbly, I can't go wrong with Mumm Napa. It's delish.
Third Stop of the day: St. Supery
After our stop at Mumm Napa I didn't know where to go next so I made an emergency call to Ariel she said: You'll Love St. Supery. She wasn't wrong. When you walk up to this winery all you can think is, 'wow. this is amazing.'. The gardens, and outdoor seating really set St. Supery apart. Its warm and inviting, quaint yet chic, stunning while casual. As I walked up the first thing I noticed was that a boules game was readily available. I can't explain why but, it instantly warmed my heart. Once inside it was like being in an art gallery. There were so many visual appealing accents. Simply said: St. Supery is Gorgeous inside and out. Plus, they make a pretty tasty Moscato!
Last Stop of the day: Napa Cellars
My Dear Friend Jenny said, 'I'm going to be so mad at you if you don't stop at Napa Cellars!'...so we did. Napa Cellars holds a few added bonuses: varietals from Folie a Deux and Menage a Trois. What I loved? I knew their name and had maybe had some before! Tip from Megan: If you're going to a friends a bottle of Napa Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon will be a hit. The winery itself was cute and they had a beautiful picnic area behind the tasting room.
Here's what I learned about tooling about on our own:
- If you are the driver: Be careful! Bubbly will sneak up on you! Be responsible!
- Your car should have copious amounts of water available. Between stops you will need refreshing.
- Pack snacks. You will be able to purchase snacks at some wineries. Crackers, spreads, nuts, dried fruit. Your car or purse could easily have some heartier snacks to keep you going.
- Many wineries had amazing picnic spots. Dining al fresco in Napa? Ooh la la. Pack a gourmet picnic!
- Take your time. Feel like hanging out under a shady tree between stops? Do it!
- Share tastings! If you're traveling with a friend buy one tasting. It's more than enough and will help you save a substantial amount of change. (It will also help 'keep you in check' i.e. no one likes a sloppy wine taster!)
- This is a no brainer: Have a budget. How much wine do you want to take home? Since coming home I'm sometimes hesitant to drink the wine I bought....because I don't want to 'waste' my expensive bottle. That's not good. How much money are you comfortable sipping away? Stay true to your tastes and style! (Also, use caution when you're in your cups. Affordable becomes 'relative' as the day progresses!)
Clearly there are more photos!