So if you’ve been following my Instagram, you know that I went to Napa just a little bit ago for the weekend. Napa is absolutely one of my favorite places to visit and I try to go there at least 2-3 times a year. Since it’s one of my favorite places, I wanted to share my travel tips with you from my recent trip if you ever get the chance to go. I present you with my first of many, Napa Valley Travel Guide!
The first time I had the english muffin from Model Bakery, it was at a restaurant in the Andaz Napa Hotel. On the menu, it said that it proudly serves this “world famous” english muffin. I don’t even eat english muffins, but it was such a big claim that I had to try it out for myself. Ladies and Gentlemen… I can say with confidence that it was really the best english muffin that I had ever tasted!
I would definitely start your morning here if you are close to one of their bakeries. I’ve listed both locations below. Be aware that they do run out of english muffins so be sure to get there as early as you can. You can order them to eat there (get it toasted!) or get a six pack of them to-go. If you do get the six pack, definitely eat them within two days. They will spoil!
Napa: Oxbow Market, 644 1st St., Bldg. B, Napa, CA, 94559
St. Helena: 1357 Main St, St. Helena, California, 94574
One of my favorite places to start off a day of wine tasting is going to Domaine Carneros Winery. It’s a winery dedicated to mostly sparkling wines and pinot noir. It’s also easy if you are driving up from the Bay since the winery is located close to the beginning of Napa and Sonoma.
This was the first winery I’ve ever visited in Napa and I was totally blown away by how beautiful and majestic the chateau was. I would definitely recommend getting a reservation since this place books up real fast. Also, the earlier the better since you have a better chance at sitting at one of the tables in the patio.
There is absolutely no shortage of amazing restaurants in Napa. But for this trip, we wanted to get something on the quicker side so we stopped at Oakville Grocery. Oakville Grocery is this super cute market off of the main highway where you can get cheese, charcuterie, tapas, sandwiches, wines, coffee, snacks, etc.
The great part about this is that you can take whatever you bought and eat it outside in the beautiful picnic area that have set out back for you. There was also a oven outside where you can watch them make fresh pizzas.
They are also located right next to Durant and Booth’s tasting room so you could literally take a couple steps and be in their wine tasting area. We didn’t do it because we actually got a bottle of their Chardonnay to share from Oakville Grocery for only $19! I would also recommend the muffuletta sandwich.
Ahhhhhhhhhhh… Opus One Winery. I’ve been to Napa so many times and never had the opportunity to actually go visit their tasting room. It was probably more so the fact that their tasting is definitely on the pricier side. It’s the most expensive wine tasting that I’ve done to date.
Essentially, they only do one type of wine and it’s a Bordeaux style blend. That means that it’s mostly made up of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The lower tier wine was $35 for a 4oz pour and their signature wine was $50 for a 4 oz pour.
Closing Time: Most wineries open around 10:00am and close around 4:00pm or 5:00pm. Usually if I’m doing a full day, I try to squeeze in three wineries (shared tasting-see below) if possible. Usually one in the morning, then have lunch, and then two in the afternoon. If I’m doing full tastings, I would usually only do two wineries a day.
Share Your Tastings: This is a big one for me. If you want to try as many wineries possible, I would highly suggest you share your wine tasting with your partner or friend (be responsible!). By sharing the tasting, we’ve definitely had the chance to hit up four wineries in one day before. Also check ahead of time with the wineries. Some of the upper scale wineries won’t allow shared tastings.
Hydrate: I always carry a bottle of water with me. Not only is it hot during the day in Napa, but since you are wine tasting all day, you will get dehydrated.