A couple of weeks ago my wife and I went to SF/Napa Valley to celebrate ten years of marriage. We saved up some money but it wasn’t enough to go to NY like we planned however that turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Going up north was awesome. First we go to see our nieces in Nor. Cal and stayed with the brother-in-law’s family. Then we took a day to hang out in SF.
I truly love SF. It is my favorite city in the US. We always go to the Ferry Building per the recommendation of a friend. If you have not been in the Ferry Building it is a really great place with cool things to eat.
Napa was the highlight. We visited three wineries that my brother-in-law booked for us. I recommend each one to you for different reasons. Below are some photos and why I recommend each one to you.
Barnett Vineyards is a small winery in Spring Mountain. I am not a Napa expert, but the few people that know about this place say it has one of the best views in all of Napa. My wife and I are not Merlot drinkers but really liked theirs and picked up a bottle. While looking at the view you see above, the wine guy poured us different wines explaining each one and answering all our questions with no pretension. Wine tasting is $40 per person but they waved one of them when we bought a bottle. We are so lame we forgot to ask if they would wave both tasting fees if we bought one more. So stupid. We could have walked away with two bottles. Oh well. What would we have bought? We don’t like Chardonnays but theirs was really good and would have been our second bottle.
Really close by was Guilliams Vineyard. They don’t have a website but google around and you can get their number. This is smaller than Barnett Vineyards and Guilliams only does red wines which was really cool for us because we don’t like white wines. We picked up two from there: cabernet franc and cabernet sauvignon. They are one of the few places that does cab francs because cab francs are hard to do well.
The cool thing about Guilliams’ is that the owners do the tasting and they are awesome. They raised their family on this vineyard. The stories. Their philosophy. It was really cool. They are so knowledgeable about Napa and its history too.
Fun Facts…In the last 30 years Napa’s population has only grown by 1000 people!!! More than 50% of residential property in Napa is used for rentals.
Tasting is free here. Also, they won’t get you to buy the expensive stuff. They have Reserve bottle that she said wasn’t as good as the cheaper cab. We agreed.
After eating lunch at Gott’s (formerly Taylor’s) we headed off to Frog’s Leap Vineyard. Here is the thing about Frog’s Leap. They are one of the first organic vineyards. Great stories and tour of their facilities. Terrible wine. Still think it is worth visiting.
They are organic which means they use no pesticides and they do not irrigate. They say the rain they get is enough. They have an organic garden with fruits and vegetables they grow for their workers and local restaurants.
Fun Fact: By planting fruits and vegetables near the vineyards you increase the mineral content in the soil which makes for a more complex grape.
If you are ever in this area, be sure to check out these places. I really enjoyed being at smaller vineyards where it is more intimate and driven by the stories of the people who run it.