2 days in Napa Valley

  Posted by - April 27, 2015 - CynEats Foodie Guide

Napa Valley AKA Wine Country.

We’ve all heard of it.

And yes. The French Laundry is here.

So you already know that Napa is KING of food and wine (OMG the food! I might need a sep post for that).

Anyways, the wine. You really can’t go wrong with any of the 400+ wineries in Napa, each one with its own uniqueness and appeal depending on your personal tastes.

Plus, wine tasting is fun. I’m all about the ambiance, good vibes and having a good time. But you know what’s even more fun? Wine tasting AND food tasting. The food at these wineries were all soooooo YUM (made in-house, fresh ingredients from their gardens, etc). So basically it’s my version of heaven.

We had the perfect itinerary (went to 5 diff wineries and ate the best foods).

Literally, everything was so well-planned out that I need to give props to my friends from Florida for doing all the research (Thanks Rach & Jono!)

If it’s your first time in Napa, follow along, but skip the falling asleep part.

Here’s what we did:

DAY 1

Cakebread: 11am-12:30 (food & wine pairing)

As soon as we arrived, they poured us a glass of Sauvingon Blanc- a solid detail that really just sets the mood for the entire experience. We were taken on a tour of the estate, then escorted into heaven… I mean, this room full of hors d’oeuvres. Guys, it’s a real, serious party in the mouth.

Side: Did you know their last name was actually Cakebread?

Anyways, each hors d’oeuvre was paired with a different type of wine. Basically, they teach you how wine and food go together like chocolate and strawberries.

I’m still OMGing over these fried mushrooms. Try it and you won’t be sorry.

After Cakebread, we had a quick lunch down the street at Oakville Grocery (killing time before next tasting)

Its a super rad spot for a quick lunch. We picked up some sandwiches, cheese & crackers, dessert, and had a mini picnic in the patio out back.

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These $5 mini bottles of wine were delish. I almost wanted to grab a few to put in my purse.

Opus One: 1:30pm- 2:30pm

Opus was literally right next door to the grocery store. This was one of the most gorgeous wineries I’ve ever been to. Everything was so grand (I totally felt like royalty here and wished grapes were hand fed to me #goals).

It’s definitely a MUST visit, plus their wines are one of the best in the valley- it’s exclusive, pricey and worthy of being on a pedestal.

But to be honest, I thought the tour was SUPER boring err maybe 1 glass of wine was not enough (sorry tour guide!).

Tip: skip the tour, do the tasting and chill on their rooftop terrace instead. Look how pretty:

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The tasting went even longer than it was suppose to have (almost fell asleep), so we were late to the next winery.

Silver Oak Winery: 3pm- 4:30pm

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Since we were late to this appt, we missed half the tour.

But since we were nearly bored to death by the previous, I wasn’t mad about it. We hopped in towards the end and had a wonderful time tasting their wines.

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Note to self: the wines at Silver Oak were very good, but unless it comes with food.. stick with the tastings instead of the tour.

Check in hotel

We grabbed some cheese and crackers, popped open a bottle of Opus One, and chilled at our hotel till our dinner reservation at 8:30.

It was the perfect plan.

Except… after that bottle of Opus, we decided to take a quick nap. Here’s what happened:

And sooo yeah. That’s what happened.

Jefferson woke up at 11pm and grabbed sushi by himself at midnight.

He brought some back for me. Thanks babe!

PS: Morimoto was bomb and super packed on a Friday night- according to him (huge sushi connoisseur if you haven’t guessed already.

All in all, I’d say the first day was a success.

DAY 2

We were on our way to a tasting at Caymus.

But last minute, we decided: what better way to start the day than with some bubbly at Domaine Chandon.

We did the Prestige Tasting: $20 bucks for two glasses of champs (Brut & Rose)

And I’m glad we made the right decision because this place was beautiful. Once you drive in, you’ll notice a wooden bridgeway, rose bushes and a water pond at the entrance.

This is the perfect spot to day drink with plenty of seating outside. You can even order oysters and food with your drinks! (kinda genius)

Side: we didn’t take advantage of this because we were on our way to lunch at Bouchon.

11:30: Lunch at Bouchon (1 Star Michelin)

It was the BEST breakfast I’ve ever had… I went CRAZY & tried everything.

When we sat down, we told our waiter that we might need a bigger table. He didn’t believe us.

This was also the first time a waiter cut us off from ordering by saying “uhm, I think that’s enough for now.”

Soooo then, we decided to start off this brunch with some bubbly!

Round 1: appetizers

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Round 2- we need a bigger table

(And yes, I’m sure you’re wondering: I gained 5 pounds after this lunch alone ).

Side: If you haven’t heard of Bouchon yet, it’s down the street from The French Laundry (also by Thomas Keller- the best chef in the world).

2pm: Del Dotto

If you’re ever in Napa you have to ( have to, have to ) go to Del Dotto.

I’m so glad we saved it for last.

Plus, everything about this place just screams gorgeous. This is the outside:

Inside:

This tour is unlike anything I’ve ever been to- it’s INSIDE A VENETIAN CAVE. (yah, pretty cool huh)

We actually got to taste the wine straight out of these barrels and not from a bottle.

After the cave tour, they gave us all this food!! (cheese & house-made salumi, hot sandwiches and pizza straight out the oven) Gah, not even sure how I ate this after my huge meal at Bouchon already. But I did. And every bite was fantastic.

And that’s a wrap! It was honestly the perfect 2 day getaway from San Francisco (1.30 hrs)

Do your research and see what kind of wineries you like. For me, I like the ones with food. Go figure.

 

 Until next time, Napa!

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22 Comments

  • Latife Hayson October 15, 2017 - 12:56 pm Reply

    Wine tasting in Napa Valley is definitely one of the best things to do there. I hope you can come back to Napa again soon!

  • Chris Fagbolu August 6, 2017 - 10:29 pm Reply

    Yes, very well written. Napa Valley is the perfect place. You really can’t go wrong with any of the 400+ wineries in the region.

  • Leslie June 16, 2017 - 1:01 pm Reply

    Hi! What tour did you take at Del Dotto? Your review and pics have put it at the top of my list! :)

  • […] Keller’s name was very familiar to me. The blogs I read in order to prepare for the trip (Cyn Eats, The Blonde Abroad, This is My Happiness) all mentioned at least one of his restaurants so I knew […]

  • Sabrina March 1, 2017 - 7:51 am Reply

    Thanks for all of this info! Using it for an upcoming trip! What hotel did you stay at?

  • […] Valley, CA – Vineyards in the spring means harvest, and harvesting vineyards means wine. YUM. Wine country is great for those old enough to go taste the fruit of the land while those not-so-21 can still […]

  • pablo February 2, 2017 - 3:14 am Reply

    i really like the personal touch you have given to your blog. And the Photos, the colors are brilliant.

  • Teri August 17, 2016 - 7:09 am Reply

    Nice your, thank you for the tips. Just a question, did you drive or hired a driver for two days?

  • Amy July 22, 2016 - 11:20 am Reply

    Loved the post!! What hotel did you stay at?

  • Tedd January 22, 2016 - 5:46 am Reply

    Wonderful photos and history.
    Thank you!

    • CynEats July 22, 2016 - 3:01 pm Reply

      Thanks Tedd! Glad you enjoyed it :)

  • Rad October 22, 2015 - 3:43 pm Reply

    These photos look so great, and make me want to go to Napa right now! You should definitely try Paraduxx Winery- it’s one of my favorites. It’s outdoors, has jazzy music, and great wine.

  • Nancy May 3, 2015 - 3:03 pm Reply

    I have always wanted to visit Napa and SF, even for all the food. Looks like now I’ll have to devote a whole week just to try out all these places I’m reading about. Thanks for this napa recap, you’re making planning it a little bit easier!

    • CynEats May 4, 2015 - 12:24 pm Reply

      That’s going to be such a great trip! Glad I could help :)

  • Lisa Swenor April 30, 2015 - 9:34 am Reply

    I also really like doing the food and wine pairings. I think some flavors can really compliment and bring out the natural flavors of the wines. I am adding Cakebread and Del Dotto to my Napa Valley list! Thanks for this post!

    • CynEats May 2, 2015 - 11:02 am Reply

      You’re welcome! You’ll love them both :)

  • Deanna J. April 29, 2015 - 11:10 am Reply

    I have never been to Napa, before I but hope to visit there sooner than later. Just to see some of these wineries would be fantastic. You post is giving me the travel bug!

    • CynEats May 2, 2015 - 11:03 am Reply

      Hope you get to visit Napa soon! Thanks for reading :)

  • Kerry April 28, 2015 - 11:38 pm Reply

    Sounds like such a fun trip! All that food at Bouchon looks amazing. Have you been to the Vegas one?

    • CynEats May 2, 2015 - 11:04 am Reply

      No, I haven’t been to the Vegas one. But I have stopped by the one in LA to grab some macarons lol

  • Julianne April 28, 2015 - 2:24 pm Reply

    I’m with you on that one! Wine tasting is so much better when there’s food involved. Everything looked really yummy too.

    • CynEats May 2, 2015 - 11:04 am Reply

      Right?? 100%

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