Napa and Sonoma Suggestions

My upcoming trip to Napa and Sonoma will be our sixth wine country trip in less than two years, and while we have spent a ton of time in wine country, I am still completely overwhelmed planning each and every trip. There are so many places I want to visit and so many wineries that we have visited that I would like to return to that I usually can’t make up my mind.

I know for sure we are returning to Sheldon, Michel-Schlumberger, and possibly Boisset and for dinner we are definitely eating at Zazu, but after that I am just not sure.

Now that I am not running the marathon, we will have some extra time on our hands to plan. We could not cancel our hotel reservation in Napa the weekend of the race, so we will be staying there, and I am looking for recommendations for Napa and Sonoma wine and food as well as maybe some fun outdoors activities like kayaking and hiking in or close to wine country.

Have you been to Napa or Sonoma? Do you have a favorite winery or restaurant that I have to visit? Or if you haven’t been to the area, do you have a favorite Napa or Sonoma-made wine that I should go taste at its source? Help!

Sonoma in autumn

Do you get stressed planning travel?

P.S. The winner of the blog makeover is Bridget from Yogurt and Berries! Congrats Bridget! Please email me so I can connect you with Sarah.

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Tags: Napa, Restaurants, Sonoma, trave;. wine, travel advice

  1. Emily @ A Cambridge Story’s avatar

    Two restaurants I highly recommend: Celadon (Napa) and Tra Vigne (St. Helena). We just bummed around at whatever wineries looked fun. I remember V.Sattui being fun but you are probably much more in the know!

    Reply

  2. GirlyGreenGirl’s avatar

    My husband and I stayed in Sonoma for our Honeymoon. Our favorite wine tasting was the Mayo Family Winery Reserve Room, wine & food! We also did a private tasting at the Ledson castle which was very cool! I’m so jealous that a) you are going back to wine country for the 6th time and b) that you get to drink wine! Enjoy!!

    ~ GGG

    Reply

  3. Daisy’s avatar

    you are going to have an amazing time. I wish I could offer some recs, but I’ve only driven through once and that doesn’t count for much. If I ever plan a trip I would be looking to you for help!

    congrats to Bridget!!

    Reply

  4. Molly’s avatar

    Hello! I was recently in Napa/Sonoma on my honeymoon. Some of our favorite wineries were:
    -Artesa
    -Arista
    -Kelham Vineyards
    -Fontanella Winery

    We also used a phenomenal driving experience because neither of us had been there – they made some wonderful plans for us and alleviated our concerns about not tasting too much :) http://www.designateddrivernapa.com/

    Reply

    1. traveleatlove’s avatar

      Thank you so much! We have been to Arista but not the others. I have always meant to get to Artesa but have not made it yet!

      Reply

    2. Laura’s avatar

      Hi, I really like your blog! I am a big fan of Napa. Whenever we go, the one place we make sure to eat at is the deck at Auberge du Soleil. Now, you can have a fancy dinner there, but nothing is better than getting a great glass of wine, some olives and one of their burgers outside. I highly recommend! You could also head to dean and deluca, get some bread and cheese and head over to Rutherford Hills for a picnic (and pick up a bottle of their port while you are at it, it’s the best!) I also Love the Bouchon bakery for great coffee and pastry, while Bouchon is a great place to eat, too…..and my favorite vineyard is Heitz, great cabs!!! Have a great time!

      Reply

      1. traveleatlove’s avatar

        All wonderful suggestions, thank you! I do want to go to Auberge, but it seems very pricey. Your solution is perfect!

        Reply

      2. Megan’s avatar

        I have never been and when I do finally go, I’m hiring you as my travel agent. Hope you get some great suggestions!

        Reply

        1. traveleatlove’s avatar

          I wish I had a travel agent for myself! I just want to be told what time to show up :)

          Reply

        2. JL goes Vegan’s avatar

          Ubuntu in Napa is wonderful for dinner (organic, farm to table joint) and Taste of Himalaya for lunch in Sonoma are two recent favorites.

          If you love pinot noir I highly recommend a visit to Schug Winery in Sonoma.

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          1. traveleatlove’s avatar

            Thank you! I actually made a reservation at Ubuntu last night. I am really excited about it!

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          2. casacaudill’s avatar

            Obviously I have to recommend French Laundry, but it is $$$ and can be hard to get reservations. With that in mind, I’d say you should visit Bouchon or ad hoc, Keller’s other Napa restaurants. A lot of my friends have visited Bottega and love it. Most of my wine knowledge is for Sonoma, but I do remember having a good visit to Peju a couple of years ago.

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            1. traveleatlove’s avatar

              Thank you! We spend most of our time in Sonoma too, though have been to Bottega and yes, absolutely LOVED it!

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            2. alicia’s avatar

              Mayo family winery – they had the rose sparkler that I brought to the potluck, and Rafe and I loved Homewood vineyards.

              We have a bottle of cab franc that we’re waiting to pop next weekend when we move.
              We only ate at Cindy Paulson’s backstreet grille – which doesn’t have the same fame as mustards-but we loved it.

              Reply

            3. Judy’s avatar

              I am glad you’re going to Ubuntu. It’s our favorite restaurant. If you’re in Healdsburg, there’s Willi’s we like as well. Winery favorites include Cakebread Cellars, Grgich Hills and Rombauer (especially if the weather is good – the gardens are beautiful). The Kendall Jackson Wine Center (not just the tasting room) has really good pairing menus that we love to do – food, cheese or dessert – that are very reasonably priced. Hope you have a great trip!

              Reply

              1. traveleatlove’s avatar

                Thank you! We had amazing small plates at Willi’s in November. I have a feeling we will be returning there! Have always wanted to try Grgich Hills. . . we actually pulled in on our last day last time and didn’t go in. We had wine fatigue! I am going to look up Rombauer right now. :)

                Reply

              2. Bridget’s avatar

                Um, so I feel like an ass! Clearly I missed this post back in FEB!? But I was just browsing around your blog for wine country info and saw I won that blog makeover giveaway!??? SO Sorry I never saw this!!! Damn that would have been awesome too! :(

                Reply

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