One of our first stops, Far Niente, had the most beautifully manicured grounds of the wineries we visited. This makes sense considering the owner originally made his money in the nursery business! All of the spring flowers were in full bloom when we visited in early April. The wines were really great as well, mostly Cabs, and my husband liked them so much we joined the wine club! Two more notable items about Far Niente are the underground caves which were carved out after the building had been there for many years. Unfortunately, I didn't get a lot of great snapshots of the caves since I would have needed a stand for my camera. Additionally, as part of the tour you get to see the owner's car collection (added bonus for the husband). I will note, though, that our tour guide - Zack - corrected me when I called it a "car collection;" he was quick to point out that these cars are driven regularly. La dee da. :) A few snapshots from this stop:
Me and my husband in the underground cave:
...and a picture of our group (my cousin and his wife):
We made another stop and Nickel and Nickel, the sister winery to Far Niente. This place had a completely different feel but the wines were also excellent and the property was beautiful, featuring several barns - one which was originally built in the 1700's and moved across country to stand at this property. When we entered the barn, I immediately noticed a beautifully sweet smell, and the guide pointed out that it was the aged cedar wood that the barn was built of!
This was a really cool cork display at Nickel and Nickel. I might do something similar at home; I think I may have just as many corks! ;)
Artesa - which is in Somona, I believe, or at least right outside of Sonoma - had the most amazing panoramic view. I enjoyed the variety and price point of the wines served out of this tasting room and may consider joining the wine club as a birthday present to myself later this year!
We then stopped at Homewood, in Sonoma, which was a family owned winery. The owner is also the single wine maker and these wines are sold only out of the tasting room. This was a really great stop for the variety of wines that we tasted. The woman - Michelle - who served us in the tasting room was great at recommending food pairing and recipes for each of the wines we tasted. I left really hungry. And maybe slightly tipsy. :)
A group picture with the driver, Mike, that we used that week. I highly recommend using a driver while in Napa for obvious reasons!
If anyone is planning a Napa trip soon and would like to know more about our accommodations/driver/stops I'd be happy to share my experience! Just drop me an email or leave a comment here.