Napa and Sonoma Valley Travel Guide

napa-sonoma-travel-guideNapa Valley RentalA little bit of a delayed post, but better late than never, right? Today I’m so excited to break down our favorite spots in Napa Valley and Sonoma. I love to really dig in and research an area before traveling there, even if I’ve already been before. Many of the below spots are personal recs from friends, found through online sleuthing or by locals once we were out there.

If you’re traveling out to wine country and really plan on enjoying yourself (who wouldn’t?), the very best recommendation I could give you is to book with My Napa Valley Driver. This is the second trip that we’ve used the driver service for and it’s without a doubt worth every penny. We picked up our rental car in San Francisco and each morning our driver, Will, met us at our house in Napa and drove our rental car around all day to the various wineries. He was amazing and the best resource for suggesting hidden gems, restaurant recs and was so knowledgable about all things wine country. Again, so worth it!
Wine Barrels Buehler VineyardIf you can, schedule your wine tastings in advance. Many of the wineries only have a certain amount of tastings per day and don’t allow walk-ins. Call each winery directly so you can check availability and hear about the various tasting packages that they offer. The big names ones (i.e.: Robert Mondavi) have walk-in tastings at the bar, but for smaller vineyards reservations are key.
Domaine Carnero Napa ValleyNapa: Day One
Two of my favorite wineries are a little further out, but so worth the extra 15 minute drive. In Saint Helena, you cannot miss Buehler Vineyards and Anderson’s Conn Valley. Buehler is family run and somewhere that makes you feel like family as soon as you walk through the door. Brian and I joined their wine club and I can’t wait for the first shipment to arrive in November! Anderson’s Conn Valley is right down the street and offers a really cool tasting in their caves. Their Chardonnay was amazing!

Our first day we swung by Yountville Deli to grab sandwiches and headed to Clos du Val for our first tasting. It’s a great spot to enjoy lunch in the vineyard while enjoying a bottle of wine!

Dinner that evening was at Farmstead and it was delicious! The space is beautiful and the all of our dishes were total hits. If you’re a barbecue person, don’t miss theirs!Scribe WinerySonoma: Day Two
On both of our trips we spent two days in Napa and one in Sonoma. Scribe came highly recommended and was a beautiful, relaxed setting. They brought out a great snack tray (pictured above) with the tasting and it was the perfect way to start our second day. Patz & Hall was our second stop and honestly, it wasn’t my favorite. Good wine, but compared to all of our previous tastings this one just fell short.

Lunch at The Girl and The Fig was so good! Make reservations ahead of time and eat here if you can. You won’t regret it.

To break things up we booked a sparkling wine tasting at Domaine Carneros. This was definitely a more ‘touristy’ spot, but it was a great way to switch things up. If you like bubbles, it’s a fun spot with beautiful views.
Hall RutherfordNapa: Day Three
Since the reason of our trip was for my dad’s birthday, we couldn’t miss one of his favorite spots, Hall Rutherford. It’s on the pricier side, but the reserve cave tasting is such a unique experience. Always a trip highlight. Will recommended Goose & Gander for lunch and their burger + fries is a must have. I could go back for lunch there every trip and never tire of the menu.

We booked a laid back tasting at Frog’s Leap Winery in the afternoon and enjoyed the tasting while walking through the grounds. It’s a great option if you want to move at your own pace and just hang out.

Dinner at REDD didn’t disappoint and if you’re in a more low-key mood, Redd Wood is a great option. Mustards Grill is another Napa staple that’s a really good dinner spot.


Have any questions that I didn’t answer? Send an email my way and I’m happy to help with any other Napa/Sonoma questions! turqandteale[at]gmail.com

xx

 

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12 Comments

  1. October 10, 2016 / 6:26 am

    I was about to email you yesterday to ask for more of your trip LOL!! We did Napa and Sonoma on the last leg of our honeymoon but I think in March I want to focus on Sonoma!! Thanks for all your tips!! xo, Biana –BlovedBoston

  2. October 10, 2016 / 7:05 am

    I loved your posts on Instagram from your trip! It looked like you had an amazing time! I loved Sonoma, and I cannot wait to go back. I will definitely be saving this post for the next time.
    xo, Whitney and Blaire
    Peaches In A Pod

  3. October 10, 2016 / 7:42 am

    Frog’s Leap and REDD are personal favorites of ours, along with Soda Canyon Store for the best sandwich ever! I love to find out what other people enjoy. There’s just so many places to go it’s great to have recommendations. We really need to book another trip soon!

    Glad you had an amazing time!

  4. October 10, 2016 / 8:26 am

    Your trip sounded absolutely amazing! I am definitely adding Napa and Sonoma on my travel bucket list! That table at Hall Rutherford is stunning! <3, Pamela Sequins & Sea Breezes

  5. October 10, 2016 / 8:37 am

    what great rec’s! i mean those photos just make me want to hop on a plane immediately! and getting a driver – genius!

    xoxo cheshire kat

  6. October 10, 2016 / 8:39 am

    Frog’s Leap was and still is our favorite! I will have to bookmark this guide for our next trip 🙂

  7. October 10, 2016 / 8:45 am

    Pinning this! I think we are going to go back again soon. We absolutely loved it there and want to try more wineries. How smart is the Napa Valley Driver?!?! Wow thank you for that gem of a tip!

  8. susy
    October 10, 2016 / 9:09 am

    BEST trip!!! SO fun going to the various wineries & restaurants in Napa and Sonoma. Buehler was my favorite winery too! Welcomed by the owner personally and truly felt like “part of the family.” Truly enjoyed lunch at Goose and Gander – dining outside with a great rose’. I strongly recommend Your Napa Driver – Will was outstanding and knew some hidden jewels wineries- very knowledgable…This was our second trip as a family and look forward to going back next year in November. We were told that the rates really drop early Nov. Ashley, so glad you and B could join us!

  9. October 10, 2016 / 9:54 am

    Definitely pinning this as we’re planning our first trip to San Fran and wine country in the spring. Awesome tips, and a car service sounds like a fantastic idea!
    Green Fashionista

  10. Natasha
    October 10, 2016 / 10:39 am

    We went to Hall on our last visit and it was so good!!

  11. Maureen
    October 11, 2016 / 3:19 pm

    I love the Wine Country. I have not been in a number of years. I used to go almost every crushing season for a few days. I do not even drink alcohol. I just think the country is gorgeous. My mother is from Northern Ca so we would go there on vacations when we were growing up.
    Looks like all had a fabulous time.