I’m going to cut to the chase. I just turned thirty. It was bound to happen, right? First, you learn how to crawl, then walk, then run, then drink, then you’re back to walking and possibly crawling because you’ve just had a few bottles of wine but you still have at least a handful of vineyards left to hit-up before you really quit and just fall asleep somewhere.
That wasn’t exactly what happened on my celebratory birthday trip to Sonoma and Napa Valley with my parents and significant lover. I’m pretty sure I behaved a bit better than that. First of all, there’s no room for a hangover. You wake up at eight in the morning. You trip your way over some eggie bennies with a side of champagne and by ten you’re back in a tasting room with two glasses of Sauvignon Blanc and a Bordeaux for back-up.
We started in Sonoma and it was crazy hot as soon as the sun came out. Not a problem though since there was plenty of California champagne to keep us cool at the Korbel Winery where this lucky duck also stayed the night. Look how cute my mom is, decorating our bathroom with happy flowers:
We tasted at Sonoma Cutrer where I discovered I actually liked Chardonnay (because it is possible for too much buttah) and got my tobacco fix with their incredibly smokey Pinot Noir. By the end of the first day, I was in need of some walking and ocean air. After a beautiful winding drive through cow pasture butt-up-against the redwoods, we hiked down to the misty beaches of the Sonoma Coast.
The next day we were off to our adventures in Napa Valley and our first stop was at the Hess Collection. Besides the wine, my favorite things about Hess’ winery: first of all you wind up manzanita forest to reach the summit, passing the monastery the Christian Brothers began, to finally reach the beautiful European-esque grounds where the tasting and tours begin.
We really did kill that cheese plate. A few other memorable stops were Trinchero:
The beautiful Duckhorn where we had the most adorable server:
Darioush with the best pistachios I have ever had:
But Sterling Vineyards gave us the best view of the valley:
We made several more stops and they were all worth it and I hope to give them all due attention. I’d love to hear about your favorite spots in Sonoma and Napa or wherever you have discovered your wine favorites. Please do share as this is not the last trip to California’s wine country.