Hey guys! So we just got back from a family trip to San Francisco and Napa Valley. The trip was filled with good laughs, good food, and of course good wine. So we are giving you a round up of where to eat, where to drink, what to do, and what to read in northern California.
Where to eat
This french style bakery is to DIE FOR. Chef Thomas Keller does not disappoint with his flaky croissants and delicious chocolate eclairs. My personal favorite was the cream cheese filled pastry, but everything was seriously delicious. Order a latte with your pastries and this is the perfect way to start your day.
The Signorello Estate offers a unique wine tasting experience where their in-house chef cooks a 5 course meal, with wine pairings. This was by far the most enjoyable tasting, as wine really is meant to be enjoyed with food. Make sure to call ahead and make reservations as there is only a limited number of eight slots on Thursday through Monday.
Cole’s is one of the top rated steak restaurants in Napa. They offer a variety of different types of protein with delectable family style side items such as yukon gold potatoes with gruyére gratin, truffle parmesan fries, and sautéed wild mushrooms. For dessert, don’t miss the flaming bananas foster!
Bistro Jeanty is a Parisian style café. They offer french staples such as onion soup, coq au vin, beef bourguignon, and steak frites. The atmosphere is elevated, while still being laid back and the service was exceptional.
Not in the mood for elevated cuisine and just want some pizza with your wine? Look no further than Filippi’s Pizza Grotto. This casual pizza restaurant has been in business over 60 years. The pizzas, salads, garlic knots, and giant meatballs were all sensational and inexpensive.
Where to drink
This has to be my favorite winery we visited. We have family friends that are members and referred us. While the tasting only had 3 wines, the flavors of each of them were impeccable. This is a small production intimate winery with a beautiful property and sensational wine.
2. Opus One
Opus One has a majestic property and some pricey, but high quality wine. The tour begins by sipping a glass of wine in the sitting room. Next, they take you out to the vines and they finish by taking you to a tasting room overlooking their caves. They are known for their cabernet sauvignon, so if you are a fan of cabernet this is one you don’t want to miss.
Caymus Vineyards is not as pricey as these other vineyards, but the wine is great quality. The tasting walks you through five of their wines and if you purchase a couple of bottles the tasting fee is waved. Our favorites were the Red Schooner and the special selection cabernet sauvignon.
Joseph Phelps had one of the most beautiful properties of all the vineyards. You do the tasting on the terrace, overlooking roses and their vines. Our favorites from this tasting were Insignia and the pinot noir. Also, see if you can get a taste of the Eisrébe dessert wine while you are here. It is amazing!
The Far Niente winery is most known for the Dolce dessert wine. The tasting experience was unique, in that they have cheeses, crackers, and small bites to pair with their wines. You get a tour of their property and sit at a dinner sized table during the tasting. A highlight of this tour was the classic cars found in a garage on property.
Darioush is a Persian style winery that has a majestic palace with a lily-pad covered fountain. The Duel and the Shiraz were both great wines.
Regusci Winery is known for their red wines and is a must see in my opinion. The cabernet sauvignon’s at this winery were my favorite in Napa. It is a family-owned winery in the Stags Leap district with a long history of wine making.
Last, but certainly not least is the Ehlers Estate winery. The tasting came with a croissant and a tour around their property. On property they have a garden, fruit trees, and even chickens. Best of all, they are a winery for a good cause as they are a non-profit supporting heart disease.
What to read
Before the trip started, Josh and I made a decision to read through a parable each day of the trip that dealt with vineyards and wine. This trip really opened our eyes to be able to understand the scriptures in a new way. It was such a rich spiritual experience that really added to the sweetness of this trip.
Be blessed in your travels. Much love!