Napa Valley

Okay, let me start by saying if Napa is not on your travel bucket list it needs to be! This was my first time to Napa and it definitely won’t be my last. While we were there we went to 3 different wineries that were all very different but all amazing. Napa was my absolute favorite part of my trip to California, I wish we would have stayed for more than just 1 day.

First Stop: Domaine Carneros

DSC_0296DSC_0300DSC_0303DSC_0313DSC_0315DSC_0340The Domaine Carneros, was my favorite winery out of the three that we went to. The Domaine Carneros specializes mainly in sparkling wine. At first I was calling it champagne, but we quickly learned that you can only call it champagne if it comes from the Champagne region of France. Anything else that does not come from that region of France is technically called sparkling wine. We only had an hour here because we had a reservation at Larson at 12 but I could have stayed here all day. We ordered the sparkling sampler and it was amazing. We got to taste four small glasses which consisted of their Estate Brut Cuvee, Blanc De Noir, Brut Rose and Vermeil Demi-Sec. The service here was amazing and the servers are so knowledgeable about all of the wines. They do not allow you to bring in any outside food but they do offer a variety of cheese and meat plates that they have carefully selected to be paired with the different kinds of wines that they offer. The Domaine Carneros is definitely the place to go if you want to feel very classy and fancy for the day!

Next Stop: Larson Family Winery

DSC_0347DSC_0349DSC_0350DSC_0351One thing that we loved about Larson is that they allow you bring your own food. I suggest packing your own little picnic of assorted meats and cheese that pair perfectly with wine!! We went to Whole Foods and bought all of our stuff which ended up being way cheaper and way yummier than if we would have bought food from the winery. I suggest packing a variety of stuff so you can see how different things go good with different wines.

Screen Shot 2016-05-20 at 1.03.50 PMDSC_0391DSC_0400DSC_0413DSC_0417Larson was completely different from the Domaine Carneros. It was off the beaten path, more family friendly, the owner’s 3 dogs are just roaming around and it is a lot more casual and relaxed. Larson was what I pictured a typical winery to look like. We didn’t taste here we just bought a bottle and sat at our picnic table and snacked on all of the goodies we brought. I would suggest calling ahead or going online to reserve a picnic table in advance if you plan on packing your own food. This is definitely a great place to come and stay for several hours. We really loved that we could pack our own picnic.

Last Stop: ArtesaDSC_0425DSC_0445DSC_0427DSC_0432DSC_0437

Our last stop of the day was Artesa and it was the perfect place to end the day. The winery was built beneath the ground into the highest hill of the 350-acre estate. The reason they built it into the side of the hill is so that it can be kept naturally cool by the constant temperature of the earth surrounding it. We thought that was so cool! The view from the top of the winery is unbelievable. It is so high up you can see for miles. You can even see the Domaine Carneros right across the way! Inside they offer wine tastings and guided tours of the wine making facility. A tasting includes five wines of your choice for $25 and tours are $40 per person which also includes a tasting of five wines. Tours are available daily at 11AM and 2PM and can be booked through their website. I definitely recommend stopping at Artesa if you are in Napa! It is so convenient that it is right across the way from the Domaine Carneros you can easily do both in one day! Even if you do not go inside to taste the wine the view alone is worth the trip.



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