9.06.2013

A shameless shout-out for advice.

In just a few short weeks I will be standing here.


Okay, well maybe not exactly here...but you get the point.

Wine country, California.

It's a dream.

Believe me, the thought of it is such a far cry from the melt-down tantrums and explosive baby poo I'm emersed in everyday. It's almost inconceivable to imagine that we'll be living such a carefree life for an entire week! 
We need this, really need this.

We bought the Frommer's book, of course, but then it occured to me all the experienced friends I have...and thought it might be worthwhile to see if you guys had any advice??

We plan to be all around Sonoma and Napa...up to Healdsburg and ending our trip in San Francisco. As much as we love all the big name wines, we'd really love to spend our time at the small, non-tourist bus ones. :) Do you have any favorites?

Thus far, we only have one dinner reservation, so if you're willing to share any fabulous dining venues, I'm all ears! 

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!


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31 comments:

  1. Oh that looks lovely. I haven't been to Napa in over 10 years, so no advice from me. But I look forward to seeing other readers' advice and planning a return trip! Have a great time!

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  2. We went to Napa for our anniversary last year, and we loved this little place called Frog's Leap. It was beautiful (and the wine was great).

    This is my first time commenting...your blog is swoon worthy!

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    1. I'm looking it up right away! Thank you so much!

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  3. My boss and his wife travel to Sonoma several times a year. They stay at the Sonoma Hotel and love the restuarant inside.

    http://www.thegirlandthefig.com/

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    1. Wow! It MUST be good!! We will definitely have to check it out! Thank you so much!

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    2. The Girl and The Fig is a WONDERFUL restaurant!

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    3. Just made reservations!! So excited!

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  4. Native Northern California girl right here! Here are my all time favorites, as a Napa lover for almost 20 years!

    Sterling Winery (take the tram up to the top. My first ever winery!- gorgeous scenery, amazing wines)
    Domaine Carneros (french style chateau- gorgeous scenery- delicious sparkling wines and cheese plates!)
    V. Sattui Winery (THE best picnic and deli spot in the Napa Valley in my opinion, shady outdoors with excellent wines)
    Cakebread & Silver Oak (serve more of an upscale wine enthusiast, and ohh sooo excellent)
    Beaulieu Vineyards (like an old trusty friend)
    I also enjoy Andretti, Turnbull and Frog's Leap. (they're smaller and amazing)
    For an interesting medieval castle themed winery, you can go to Castello di Amoroso. It's fabulous!
    Have fun!!
    -Jennifer

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    1. Holy moley! Thank you so much!! I wrote them ALL down! What a HUGE help!!

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  5. Sadly, I have no advice to give as I've never been to wine country! Have fun on your fabulous trip! Can't wait to see the follow-up posts! :)

    http://thriftarchives.blogspot.com/

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  6. David Caffaro winery...it's in Geyserville, Sonoma county way off the beaten path...excellent wine, no tourists. You must stop in Petaluma, it is a beautiful little town with an awesome main street. I'm so jealous...I lived in Petaluma for 10 years and miss it every single day!! Have fun and enjoy!

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    1. THank you! We look forward to checking out Petaluma! It looks lovely!

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  7. A San Franciscan here - Napa is gorgeous and I head up there at least a couple times a year. I'd like to recommend V. Sattui (gorgeous winery where you can picnic outside), Newton Vineyard (beauuutiful English garden and spectacular wine-food pairing, private tastings), Mumm (gorgeous outdoor seating overlooking the vineyards; they serve sparkling wines). Hope this helps!

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    1. Awesome! Thank you so much for your advice!

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  8. My husband is from Kenwood CA and we love Kenwood Vineyards http://www.kenwoodvineyards.com/

    Also St Francis Winery

    http://www.stfranciswinery.com/

    Have fun and don't worry you really can't go wrong....just enjoy!

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    1. Thank you! We will!...and I believe you're right about that!

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  9. Hi, Holly, I live in Healdsburg and I have a few suggestions. just one exit beyond Healdsbutrg off ofmHwy 101 is CoppolamWinery (technically in Geyserville). It's a fun place... Gorgeous setting, lots of cool stuff to see-- he has his movie memorabilia there-- good wine to taste, and the reataurant Rustic is very good and has a big range of options so it's not fancy. There is even a pool and patio where you can hang for a day rate, sip wine poolside, etc.

    My favorite restaurants in Healdsburg are Zin and Willi's Seafood. Zin is sort of home style food in a modern upscale California wine country style. Willi's is a small plate seafood place... Nice patio, delicious food, also casual and fun.

    One of my favorite wine tasting things to do is to head west on Dry Creek Road out of Healdsburg. There's a little general,store called dry creek enteral store where they make the BEST sandwiches. You can grab your picnic lunch there, then turn left right opposite the store on Lambert bridge road, and there are tons of great wineries along ther. Mymfavoritesmare David Caffaro, Rafanelli, Raymond Burr (which has a nice picnic area and you can see the Perry Mason Emmy awards) and it's worth following the road out to Bella Winerymwhich has a very cool wine cave.

    Have a great time... And feel free to email if you have any other questions!

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    1. This is fabulous info! I can't thank you enough! We will certainly take your advice!!!

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  10. We just visited Sonoma and Napa. We loved Sonoma most, and our very favorite winery was Bartholomew Park. Best wine, service, and they don't sell their wines anywhere except the winery. Try them out for sure!

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  11. Wow have fun it sounds delightful. Look forward to a blog post or two!!

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  12. Our favorite place was Miner Family Winery in Napa! But go during the week if possible, I have a feeling that is the reason we enjoyed it so much. We were one of like 2 or 3 groups that were there. And they took us on a free tour too! Super friendly and knowledgeable

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    1. Yes! I'd imagine it'll be a bit busy...as we're going at the most popular time I hear. But, we're up for it! Thank you!

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  13. If you like sparkling wines, check out the Gloria Ferrer Caves and Vineyards. They have a gorgeous patio with a fantastic view where you can sip on a glass of bubbly and relax. And when you get to SF, you should check out Bi-Rite Creamery. It's right next to the famous Tartine bakery and Dolores Park. I'd recommend getting your Tartine treats to go, and enjoying your ice cream in the park first. If you need lunch before all the sugar, Pizzeria Delfina is right next door and has the BEST pizza around. My fave!

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    1. Oh yay! Thank you! We will definitely have to check these out!

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  14. Hi there! We live in San Jose and go and stay with our friends in Napa about 4 times a year, so we constantly like to try new places up there.

    Definitely try Pearl restaurant in Napa. It's a family-owned small restaurant with hearty and tasty food.

    Make sure you go to Oxbow Market for some of the most fresh, local and innovative food and goodies in the Bay Area. Try Pica Pica, which is Venezuelan food! It's delicious and such a departure in flavor from anything you'd find in most restaurants. There's also a farmers market inside, an ice creamery, and several other restaurants.

    You'll have to bop over to St. Helena for a stroll down the shops and also try and get some great grilled food at Taylor's Refresher and sit outside to enjoy in the back. There's a bunch of great boutiques along the main drag and there's even a place to taste different kinds of olive oil.

    Make sure you taste wine at some smaller wineries. They need the support and you will often find them trying innovative ways to bring their goods to market. Cakebread winery is a good one. But also make sure you stop at V. Sattui to experience their cellar and their awesome choices of food for a lovely outdoor picnic on their lawn.

    Hop up to Calistoga and check out Indian Springs Spa and Resort. It's a fabulous historic spa with a great pool (heated by hot springs, so it's always really warm!), and their own line of cucumber lotion. I always get a bottle when we go up there. I recommend it! I took my Canadian friend there many years ago and she thought the mud bath was just a hoot!

    I also agree that Healdsburg would be lovely to visit if you have the time. It's got great restaurants, shops and places to stay. Also, it's worth jetting over to Petaluma, which I find fun if you go to downtown and check out the antique stores and the Baker Creek Seed Co, which is situated in a historic bank building that is AH-MAZING if you like architecture. They sell heirloom seeds and varieties of flowers and plants I have NEVER heard of!

    Also, stop in to California Culinary Institute to see the amazing kitchens at this world class cooking school. Take a class, or just shop in their cleverly stocked gift shop.

    I suggest doing a google map on which you can plot the points you want to see, and then let it do the navigating for you on your phone. If I can figure out how to share it, I will let you see my Google map with all the places we visit and then you can use whatever you like! Let me know, I can send you my email. Thanks~ have a great time!!

    Dina

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    1. Wow! What great info! Thank you so much for taking the time to tell me about it! We will absoultely try some of these places!! You are a huge help!

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    2. Hey Holly!
      My hubby and I are heading to wine country and San Fran Oct19 for 8 days, so your blog comments have been extremely helpful to me, as well! When are y'all going? There is so much to choose from that planning has been overwhelming at times. Thanks to all who have given such great tips and shared so many wonderful vinery suggestions!
      Have an awesome trip!
      Tricia Thain

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  15. My sister lived in Napa for years and all around the area for at least a decade. I know they loved Zuzu - a tapas style spanish restaurant and sitting outdoors at Paraduxx Winery. I will direct her to your blog to leave more suggestions. Enjoy!

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  16. You will have a great time!! It is so beautiful out there! Can't wait to read about your trip and see pictures!

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Comments make me smile! :)