When Patrick and I planned our trip to California, I did not want to go to Napa Valley. Wine? Good. Snooty people? Bad.
In my mind, Northern California’s wine country was going to be full of people who knew way more about wine than I did, and would gladly point that out all day long. I am so thankful that I didn’t listen to my own twisted ideas about Napa Valley.
We spent the last three days of our trip in Northern California, just a 45 minute drive north of San Francisco, in wine country.
You can read all about wine country on many blogs and endless travel sites. But, it feels good to share our memories. Patrick and I were able to spend three days enjoying nature, drinking the fruits of the vine, and disconnecting from the world around us.
Here are the things we would go back and do again:
The Frog’s Leap Winery. Of all of the wineries we visited, this one was by far our favorite. Although it is in Napa Valley, you will not find snobbery here. This organic farm gives tours every day at 10:30 and 2:30, and keeps your glass full all along the way. The folks at Frog’s Leap taught us everything we needed to know about wine-making. AND they have corn hole.
A great place to stop for lunch while you (carefully) drive up and down St. Helena Highway? Oakville Grocery. Make a picnic! Eat outside or take what you find and go! This place has it all. We would highly suggest striking up a conversation with folks at surrounding picnic tables to hear about their favorite wineries– you may just get a great tip!
Last but not least, there is Schug. Though this winery does not give regular tours, the tasting room is worth a visit. With warm rich Pinot Noir, and supple Cabernet Sauvignon, we couldn’t stop drinking. And still haven’t. After three days in Wine Country, and visiting eight wineries–the only grapes we continue to seek out at home, are those from the Schug Carneros Estate. Yum.