Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Crusin' Napa Valley - Day 2

DH and I were up and at 'em on our second day in Napa Valley and ready to squeeze in as many fabulous vineyards as possible!  Not wanting to make it too complicated, we whipped out our Frommer's Guide to Napa Valley and followed their 'Napa Valley in One Day' tour to a 'T'.  We stopped at so many beautiful vineyards, it's hard to remember them all!  I left my guide book with my friend Jenny, who recently moved to the area, so I am unable to look up all of the names of the vinyeards we visited.  Let's just say that the Frommer's tour was spot-on and all of the wineries were fantastic!

More lovely Victorian homes in downtown Napa Valley.  Don't they look like doll houses?  Swoon...

Top down and on our way to the first vineyard.  The weather is AH-MAZING.

Our first winery was Hess Collection - a winery combined with an art museum.  I just loved all of the green and lush outdoor spaces.

Barrel Room - lots and lots of them!  Hess Collection had what I would call an avant guarde contemporary art museum.  We enjoyed looking at the somewhat strange exhibits - one included looking into the sight of a rifle and pulling the trigger.  Upon doing this, several random images flashed in front of you as well as sounds of rapid fire.  Let's just say that not all of the images were things that you would want to kill.  A little disturbing.

After touring the museum, I couldn't resist checking out the gift shop and found these gorgeous serving trays that were crafted from discarded oak wine barrels.  Oh how I lament that I didn't buy one!  The trays had a lovely burnished and stained patina that was just so unique!  They were a little pricey and since it was our first stop, I told myself that I would come back for one if I couldn't get it out of my head. Sadly, we ran out of time that day and I never made it back.  Of course, my (know-it-all) handy DH says he could make these himself.  All we have to do is buy an entire wine barrrel...

View from Clos du Val Vineyards.  I loved their tasting room because they served wine at tasting stations set up on wine barrels throughout the room.  Very unique presentation.

Clos du Val also had outdoor wine tasting cabanas.  I absolutely must come back with a few of my besties to try this out!

Wine barrel tasting stations set up throughout the tasting room.

Our next stop was Domaine Chandon for a champagne tasting!

We sampled some exquisite champagnes and selected a sparkling red to take home and share with our friends and family.

View from patio at Robert Mondavi Winery.  Unfortunately, my camera couldn't capture the rows and rows of grape bushes off in the distance.  Trust me, it was unforgettable.

Action shot of DH playing with an old grape press.

Beautiful house at the Francis Ford Coppola Winery.  It. was. stunning.

Private tasting room at the Francis Ford Coppola Winery. 

Beautifully manicured grounds at the FFC Winery.  Without thinking, I commented that the estate seemed like it was 'right out of a movie'.

We had a fantastic trip together exploring this gorgeous region of California and plan on returning sometime in the future.

If you've never been to Sonoma or Napa Valley, you simply must plan a trip very soon with someone you love!

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