Friday, October 7, 2011

Vacation (all I ever wanted) Vino, Part 3. day two, Napa. This day started out with a bang. Champagne before we hit the road had us all very loopy and um..raunchy. Our poor driver, Delos. I'm not sure he knew what hit him. Turns out it was only his second day driving! Poor guy. 

First stop, Pride Mountain Vineyards. The drive from Sonoma to Spring Mountain, where Pride is located, is insane. Like, grip your seat, hold on tight, don't look down, crazy pants. In fact, on the back of Pride's t-shirts it says, "I survived the drive to Pride." Yeah, that.

We are all huge Pride fans. I think my brother in law has been drinking Pride wines for close to 12 years. Besides for the insanely awesome wine, the vineyard is gorgeous. A tour is a must. It's informative and totally down to earth. Which, for me, is a perfect wine tour.  


This picture would be perfect. If it wasn't for the 80's porn 'stache my loving husband decided to torture me with all day. He went to shave of the scruff, came out to show us this little number, and decided to keep it when he saw my reaction. Seriously. Look at it. I kept expecting him to say, "Da Bears." 

Barrels in the cave at Pride.

After Pride we drove down the hill for lunch. The winning choice was, Gott's Roadside. Formerly, Taylor's Refresher. If you're planning on going for lunch, which you should, make sure you get there early! Before noon. Otherwise the line is long. And you'll be bummed you have to wait when you see everyone around you eating garlic fries, burgers, and really awesome shrimp and fish tacos. 

Those garlic fries came back to haunt us. But I wouldn't mind some haunting right now. 

Next up was Cade, up on Howell Mountain. Cade is Napa's first organically farmed, LEED certified winery. Which is pretty awesome. The view, more awesome. I've never seen anything like it. The picture doesn't do it justice. 

It looks amazing, right? More amazing in person. You'll just have to go visit!

Cade's Sauvignon Blanc. It's my favorite Sauvignon Blanc to drink with a meal. So delicious and crisp. It's also my favorite to drink without a meal. It's good.  

Yes, his shorts are what you think. Yes, his mustache is hidden, thank you very much!

Our third winery of the day was Joseph Phelps. It was probably the most commercial winery, well maybe second most commercial winery, that we went to on the trip. After the quiet and beauty of Cade it was a little overwhelming with all the people, but the wines are still delicious. If you like really rich, full bodied, red wines, their Insignia is lovely.

And the view, pretty flippin' beautiful. 

The funniest part of this stop was my brother in law telling some poor group of saps that he used to play professional football. This was after they asked if he was famous. I spit my wine out across the terrace and blew his cover. Sorry, man. It was too damn funny. 

We ended the day at Tacos Garcia. A crazy good taco truck parked in a parking lot in Yountville. It's like two doors down from The French Laundry and next to some crazy dive bar.  My brother in law and husband managed to drink a PBR while waiting for our food. 

The Chile Verde Burrito?? Do it. 

We ended the day in another blur of cheese, snacks, card games and bourbon. That's the good life!

Our last full day was pretty open. We only had one winery booked in the late afternoon and dinner in Napa. So we decided to head into the lovely town of Sonoma for lunch and a little retail therapy. We stopped at the Sunflower Caffe for lunch. 

The back garden is gorgeous. The perfect place for a glass of wine and a sandwich or salad. Speaking of sandwiches...

This sandwich? This one right here? My sister ordered it. We all tried it. It was hands down the best sandwich I've ever eaten. The end. Homemade chimichurri, marinated grilled flank steak, grilled onions, blue cheese....I need the recipe. I'm right on top of that!

Our last scheduled winery of the trip was none other than Staglin Family Vineyards. There are many reasons to love Staglin. The wines are phenomenal, the winery is gorgeous, the people are fantastic. It's a family owned winery and they take tremendous pride in their craft. On top of their fantastic wine, they are amazing Philanthropists. Since they began the winery in 1985, they have raised nearly $725 million dollars to support charities. Proceeds from their Salus Chardonnay, my favorite Chardonnay ever, and their Salus Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, go to support mental health research. Their Music Festival for Mental Health has raised over $135 million dollars. So, yeah. They're pretty awesome.

Oh hey, it's me and my man! 

Staglin's solar panels. The winery is 100% solar powered. 

Hello, beauties! 

Last winery of our trip was a random stop because we had time before dinner. So we swung into Grgich Hills. Grgich makes awesome, easy to drink Chardonnay. It's my sister's Chard. of choice. The winery itself was packed. Crazy-ville! Still, good chard. 

Plus, I got to take this ridiculous picture of my husband. I'm not sure what this is about. I do know by this point we were very slap happy. VERY. 

And last but not least, Redd for dinner. I had some yummy bourbon cocktails. In sweet little julep cups. 

And, a trio of foie gras. Swoon. 


Ahh...what a trip. It was everything a vacation is supposed to be. Relaxing, crazy, funny as hell, and with amazing people. Who, I'm so lucky to say, are my family. It doesn't get much better than that. 



  1. grrrrrr! you keep getting that damn song in my head! awesome vacation and great pics!

  2. Sorry, Amy! I can't stop singing, "Damn, I wish I was your lover.." Did that help at all? And thanks! It was a blast.