Napa Wine Tasting

by agirlandhermutt on June 12, 2011

Wine tasting in Napa is something I had only dreamed about until this past May. I was nervous about hob nobbing with some serious wine tasters and feeling out of place with resident wine experts. I’m happy to proclaim after my recent trip to Napa that I was totally at home. Experts, occasional sippers, and those that are just looking for a few good views of the valley will totally enjoy Napa.

clip_image00161_thumb1_thumb[1]

Robert Mondavi– This powerhouse of a winery was one of the best and most informative tours I have been on. We went on the Signature Tour where we were shown how the winery operates from grape to table. Loved it! It was a rainy day when we were in Napa but it made for some really romantic and lovely scenery. Make it here for a tour in the am to start off a great day!



clip_image00161_thumb1_thumb[1]

Folie a Deux– Visiting the makers of one of my fave wines, Menage a Trois Red, was a must for our visit to Napa. This unassuming tasting room is home to some great, but not totally overwhelming wines, that are quality and easy to drink at home.  I love the history of this place. It was founded in the 80s by two psychiatrists who named the winery after a psych term that means fantasy shared by two people. They eventually sold it to the Trinchero Family estates and now have tastings for both Folie a Deux and Napa Cellars in their tasting room. Nothing fancy to look at here, but plenty to taste and try, including wine and bites.

clip_image00161_thumb1_thumb[1]

Sequoia Grove– A beautiful tasting spot that has lovely outdoor spots to sit, picnic, and taste. Even though its right off the main road, you have the feeling that you are engulfed in a little forest. The employees were all super friendly while providing TONS of information about the wines AND other great tips on where to eat and sip in the area. The Rebellious Red wine is one of their main draws. While I enjoyed it, it wasn’t as aggressive and full as I had hoped. The Rollicking Rose  tasty though and the strawberry notes were quite lovely. Be sure to check in on Yelp.com to get a great 2-for-1 tasting deal.

clip_image00161_thumb1_thumb[1]

Frog’s Leap– By far one of my most favorite wineries of the trip. This organic since 1988 winery boasts some great views, great employees, and fantastic wines! We split our $20 flight on a beautiful porch overlooking the winery while enjoying some tasty little nibbles. By checking in on Yelp.com you get a 5th taste for free, but really they offer you several tastes anyway. We were being served by the son of the owner of the winery and it just couldn’t have been more perfect. We went home with a bottle of their Sav Blanc and would totally love to have more in the house!

clip_image00161_thumb1_thumb[1]

Sterling Vineyards– Looking for a unique experience in Napa? This is the place for you! We arrived just as they were closing but they still let us ride the gondola up the hill to the winery to get some great views and take a self-guided tour. A ride at a winery! As you arrive to the winery on the top of the hill you are quickly greeted with a glass of their Sav Blanc. It was crisp and it was perfect to start the self-guided tour. We were handed several more glasses as we toured through until we ended up at a gorgeous patio area to do some more tasting. Be sure to check out their website for a $5 off coupon for their gondola ride and tasting.

clip_image00161_thumb1_thumb[1]

Peju– Our last stop in Napa was at Peju, a winery with one of the most interesting entrances along the Hwy. A friend of mine raves about Peju’s Provence, a chillable red wine. While I enjoyed this wine immensely, I was actually won over by their Merlot, with its cherries, brown sugar and hints of cranberry. Perfecto! Obviously a bottle went home with us. The tasting room is an open area with tons of hands on assistance from an assigned employee to your group. A wonderful visit and fantastic grounds to roam around on.

clip_image00161_thumb1_thumb[1]

Hope you enjoyed the Napa run-down! I’ll be posting one last review of wineries from Sonoma and then a great listing of our yummy eats. Stay tuned!

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Michelle June 13, 2011 at 10:07 am

GORGEOUS photos! We went to Napa 5 years ago and sadly we only had time to do one vineyard… but it was Mondavi, so we felt like we picked a good one! Can’t wait to go for a second time and try some of the wineries you’ve been showing us!

Reply

agirlandhermutt June 14, 2011 at 10:05 am

You did pick a good one on your first visit! A return visit is much needed for you!

Reply

Noelle Reese June 13, 2011 at 10:36 am

What stellar pics Erin! Everything is so beautiful! What is with the statue of the person laying down? Did they have too much wine? LOL
I so want to like wine. I love the pretty glasses!

Reply

agirlandhermutt June 14, 2011 at 10:06 am

That is really The Scientist in the background laying down. 😉 Kidding…although we did feel that way by the end of the day!

Pretty glasses can hold water and other beverages!!!

Reply

Mindy@FSL June 13, 2011 at 11:04 am

Um, yeah. I just lived vicariously through your photos…

Reply

Mary @ Fervent Foodie June 13, 2011 at 7:43 pm

I’d like to make your suitcase my home… that way I could tag along to all these FABULOUS places you go!

Reply

agirlandhermutt June 14, 2011 at 10:07 am

I get 1 free checked piece of luggage on JetBlue. Hop in! 🙂

Reply

Leave a Comment

{ 6 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: