Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Napa: Day 1

We woke up rested at 7 am, Texas time was 9 am, ate breakfast at our hotel cafe, and used my new email address to get 50% off our Uber ride. Speaking of rides, we chose to Uber everywhere this first day. There are plenty of Ubers around and you get to meet all sorts of interesting people!

We set off to our first stop of the day: Schramsberg
Schramsberg is located north of Napa in the town of Calistoga. Our plan was to start there and work our way back down the Silverado Trail. Schramsberg was recommended to us by our friends, the Smiths. It is sparkling wine and you get to take a tour through the caves where they store all of the wine. However, they have one delicious red wine that the newer owner, J Davies, makes that was nothing like we have ever tasted. It was so smooth and I could have stopped right there and been perfectly happy with our trip. 

When we got picked up from Schramsberg we went to a little lunch place recommended by our tour guide at Schramsberg. The place was called Goose and Gander.. and she recommended "duck fat fries"...... so of course we went!!! Duck Dude got chicken wings that were phenomenal and I got an arugula and asian pear salad that was also fantastic. Duck Dude had an old fashioned that had a massive ice cube, and I had a winter something, that was so refreshing. We had to eat entirely too fast and I wish we could have spent more time here.. it was exactly what I was picturing in my mind.

The next stop was: Quintessa
It was on top of a hillside with a beautiful look out over a lake. Here you got a personal tour guide which was different than our group of 10 at Schramsberg. We got to know her very well and ask all the questions we wanted to, which pleased my husbands' heart. We learned a little more about the process and got to try three of the $165 a bottle wines they have. 

The best thing happened when we were getting ready to leave Quintessa. We had some time to kill and was asking our tour guide if there was any good spot to go right around where we were. She mentioned a spot a mile up the hill across the street, and a local guy that was there picking up his wine said, "I'll drive you up there." We happily accepted and hopped in his BMW to drive up the hill! 

Cue: Auberge du Soleil 
The most beautiful spot in the entire world!!!! We got a table right on the edge of the patio and had an unobstructed view of the valley in front of us. We talked a little March Madness with the table beside us and sadly watched Baylor lose on my phone... however, how can you be that upset when you have a view like this? 

After this incredible view, we went to Robert Sinskey. This was a great one to end the day. We did not do a tour and just did the tasting, with snacks! :) We stuck our fingers in the Coy fishies mouths and went back to the hotel to get ready for dinner!

Dinner reservations were also made by our friends, the Smiths. :) At dinner at their house one night they were flabbergasted we had not made reservations. So, Ashley called them right there and made our reservation! We did indeed go to Farmstead and they were not lying. I drank a fantastic margarita that tasted so good after a day full of wine! We were a little early and got to mingle at the bar with the locals that were there! The locals told us about these cheddar biscuits that reminded me of Red Lobster, but were still outstanding. Travis ate the short ribs and I got a pork chop over jalapeno grits. The food was phenomenal. It was an outstanding recommendation. 

And that concludes day 1! What a marvelous day it was! 

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