The Perfect 3-Day Napa Getaway
To ring in my 30th birthday, hubby and I went on a quick 3-day weekend to Wine Country at the beginning of May. I loved everything about this trip! The vineyards and mountains were absolutely breath taking. Our hotel stay was exquisite and our dining experiences were phenomenal. If you’re headed to Napa in the near or distant future, I would definitely recommend checking out of few of the places we visited.
Here’s a snapshot of our weekend:
We took a morning flight into Oakland and drove 30 minutes to San Francisco. We live in Kansas where the airport has very limited direct flights. The drive wasn’t bad at all. We took the opportunity to sightsee and ask our driver tons of questions about the area.
We stayed at The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco. The décor there was very contemporary-modern and as always, the amenities and service was top notch. Be sure to check out their JCB Tasting Lounge for rare and exclusive wine options.
For dinner we ate at Ozumo after being sold by the concierge at the Ritz that this was the place to go. Refined Japanese Revelry is their tagline. Need I say more? Ambience? Check. Service? Check. Food? Double check. The manager and wait staff members were extremely professional and welcoming. If you don’t like waiting for your food, don’t go after 6pm, especially on a Friday or Saturday night and try not to judge the place by the friendliness of the host staff. They were a little short with us upon entering. All that withstanding, you will not be disappointed with this place. The food and the manager’s familial disposition make up for it ten times over though.
Best day ever! I booked us a Wine Train Package through Napa Valley Wine Country Tours. The tour included breakfast, lunch, 4 vineyard visits, and a wine train dinner. Can you say awesome? We were greeted by our charismatic guide, then boarded the tour bus around 8 am and joined about 20 fellow wine connoisseurs. Our first stop was the San Francisco Bridge. What a beautiful view. Mimosas flowed immediately after as we began our ride up to Sonoma.
Jacuzzi Winery was the first stop. This was my very first and best winery experience. Hubby and I were able to visit the Club Member’s Lounge for our tasting. (They ran out of room everywhere else because the place is great. We’re not special)
The tasting was arranged in order from lightest to heaviest wines and included an info sheet. If you’re anything like me, having some educational information about the wine that you’re drinking makes the experience that much more enjoyable. The first wine that we were served was their Prosecco. Prior to this tour, I never tried Prosecco but as soon as I did, I was hooked. Even if you don’t end up going to Jacuzzi, get yourself some of this. In addition to wine, we were able to taste many of the company’s olive oils and vinaigrettes. The Raspberry Vinaigrette was superb!
If you’re looking to learn more about wine and not just drink it, Jacuzzi Winery is the way to go.
Next up was the Larson Family Winery. If you’re looking for more of a family friendly environment, Larson’s is your place. This winery had a very down to earth, farmhouse feel. The tasting took place outside under a pergola, overlooking miles of vineyard. Visitors were able to get in a game of corn hole on the grounds, sample some of their homemade mustards, and play around with the owner’s 3 Labs. In addition to some amazing wine, the tasting also included the winery’s own wine-infused chocolate sauce. Yummy!
Then we headed on over to Madonna Estates Winery where we had our third tasting and enjoyed some lunch. This winery specializes and sells only organic wine. So if you’re hoping to keep your organic and holistic lifestyle intact on your weekend, this is the winery for you. Their Rose is phenomenal!
Finally, we ventured to Kieu Hoang Winery. This property took me by surprise. From the outside, Kieu has the same farmhouse feel that Larson’s does but when you step inside; you’re transported to this ultra modern-minimalist, loft-like showroom floor. The wine bottles are arranged in rows behind the front desk and flat screened TV’s showcasing the estates feature wine selections decorate the walls. It’s truly a work of art. If you love aesthetics with wine on the side, this winery is for you.
Because this estate was the last on the tour, we spent a considerable amount of time just hanging out here. We were able to lounge on their back deck that ran the length of the property and came with the most beautiful vineyard and mountain view.
After Kieu, our tour guide dropped us off at the Wine Train Depot on McKinstry St in Napa where we boarded an antique train that boasts 20th century rail cars. I thought that I’d been teleported to one of those old movies where the soldiers are hanging their heads out of the windows, hoping to get one last kiss from their sweetheart before the train leaves. It was adorable and really romantic! This train ride would be perfect for an anniversary or date night. The train runs on a 25-mile long track through the heart of Napa. From both sides you are able to see vineyards stretch for miles out.
We had appetizers as we traveled north and dinner when the train redirected, heading back south. The staff members aboard the train were purely pleasant and made our ride very enjoyable.
We didn’t return to the Ritz until well after 1 am Sunday morning. Hubby and I were both absolutely beat from our full Saturday of sun and wine drinking. We slept in with the curtains drawn until close to 10 am, then ordered breakfast in bed. The Ritz always has great food and prompt service, so you can’t really go wrong there.
We requested a late check out then grabbed a cab back to the airport to head home.
Not a bad way to ring in the big 3-0. Even though this trip was very eventful, I enjoyed myself so much so that it really felt more like a refresher than a drainer like some short trips that I’ve been on in the past. Napa has since become one of my favorite places. I’ll visit there again in a heartbeat.
I hope you guys get a chance to visit. Have you been to Napa lately? How were the vineyards you visited?
Leave your comment below.
In Health and Wellness,