Monday, January 19, 2015

A Much Needed Christmas Vacation Part 2: Napa Valley

After going to Seattle to see my grandpa, we spent two days in Napa Valley. I'm not exactly a wine expert so it was definitely a new experience stopping by wineries and tasting different types of wines. The valley was beautiful and everywhere we looked we could see grape vines. We even drove up to see Old Faithful! It was a great couple of days and it was really cool to see what wine tasting is like.

Click Here for Part 1

Day 1

As soon as we landed we looked for our family friends at the airport. We've known them since my sister and I were in preschool and we always go on trips together. Once we met up, we picked up the rental car and drove out of San francisco to Napa Valley. We listened to music in the car and looked out to the miles and miles of grapevines outside of our windows.

Listening to music on the road to Napa.

We arrived at the hotel and ordered a few drinks at the bar before showering and heading off to dinner. We ate at an Italian restaurant and talked about what was happening in our lives since we hadn't seen each other in more than a year. After planning the itinerary for tomorrow, we bid each other goodnight and relaxed before our busy day.

Day 2

The next morning, my dad and I woke up to go for a run. The concierge gave us a map and told us the best routes to go on. We, of course, accidentally deviated from the route, but we ended up having a nice jog through the valley.

After our run, we met with the rest of the gang and jumped in the car to our first destination: Nichelini. Nichelini is a family winery located in St. Helena. The wine tasting was fun in that it seemed very private. We were one of a few groups there so it was nice to actually hear what the sommelier was saying and discuss the different flavors. We selected two flights to try and they each included many varieties of wine with different ingredients. My favorite was the Roman Press Red!

Nichelini Family Winery

Dad and I wine tasting (and shivering!).

The wine list.

Wine description and ingredients.

We stayed at Nichelini until about 3:00pm so we were starving. The people at Nichelini told us to go to a winery called V. Sattui Winery to get lunch. Apparently it was popular because when we arrived it was packed! We waited quite a long time to get food, but once we got it we were incredibly happy. We each got sandwiches and paninis.

V. Sattui Winery

My friend looking at cheeses. 

Relaxing in the sun as we waited for food.

Our next stop was Old Faithful! Keep in mind this was not the Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park, but the one just north of Napa Valley. Because it had rained so frequently, the geyser went off every five minutes! The staff said it will normally be about half an hour so we were lucky to see it go off so many times. Other than the geyser, there was also a random petting zoo that had fainting goats and a llama. I love llamas (looking at them, not touching) so I made sure to get a few closeups.

Old Faithful

Hayley and I posing.

Hayley feeding the goats.

A little "Fainting" Goat.

A lone llama

After checking Old Faithful off our lists, we set off to one more winery called Rombauer Vineyards. Compared to our experience at Nichelini, Rombauer wasn't too great. The tasting room was very small and only a few sommeliers were there. It was loud because there was so many people and a lot of pushing and shoving. We stayed for a little while and sat outside to avoid all of the people. Then, we went to a Japanese restaurant for dinner and finally went to the hotel to rest.

Rombauer Vineyards

Wine selection list

Keeping warm by the fire at the hotel.

Day 3

The next day didn't consist of much because we were leaving Napa Valley to go to San Francisco. I woke up and went to the gym with my parents and then had a nice facial. Since I'm in college it's not very often that I get a professional facial done, so I was very grateful! We then got brunch and headed off to San Francisco!

Overall, our stay in Napa Valley was very nice. Wine tasting isn't exactly my cup of tea and I would prefer to do other things such as go hiking or sightseeing, but it was still a great experience and I am glad we got to go! I definitely recommend going to Napa if you are a wine lover, but if you only want to stop by a few wineries, keep your trip short and go see Old Faithful like we did!

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