So I know I haven't published any posts all summer and I've been feeling SO guilty about it. However, I have been keeping up on my blog to-do list, so I have my top favorites all lined up and ready to go. I will tell you what, it has been one crazy, busy summer and I can't even tell you how happy I am that it is finally October and fall.
So as you can gather from the title I made it to Napa again, and I couldn't have been more excited to go back. My boyfriend decided we needed to take one last trip before the holidays rolled around and I was not about to put up a fight. We went for a long weekend this time and stayed at this pretty cool hotel in St. Helena - Harvest Inn. I would HIGHLY recommend anyone to stay there. It is gorgeous! We stayed in the lofts, which are located in the main building. This made it extremely convenient when it was time to head down to breakfast. Their breakfast is so good and what's even better is it's included in the room rate. They offer all different kinds of fruit, cereal, toast, bagels, homemade jams, coffee, fresh orange juice, tea and pastries. Now for the hot stuff.....you are invited back into the kitchen to help yourself to scrambled eggs, frittata, quiches, crispy potatoes, bacon, sausage and oatmeal. Very delicious and a great way to start off your day vineyard hopping. This Inn is so inviting and the property is just gorgeous.
So we started off at Shafer Vineyards, which I would recommend to anyone. Please note that you need to call WAY ahead of time, because they book up extremely fast. We were 4th on their waiting list and somehow magically made it to the top, just in time. They give you a tour of the property, which is just stunning and luckily this year we were there for crush. We got to experience them sorting the grapes and the winemaker actually made an appearance and let us sample the grapes that they will be using to make the wine. Such a cool experience and incredibly interesting.
Next we were off to Sinskey which we visited last year, but just had to return too. They give you a tour of their gardens and they actually expanded pretty recently and their tasting room looks gorgeous. It was so nice to go back and be around such amazing talent. This year I left with Maria Sinskey's cookbook. I can hardly wait to start cooking some of her recipes. One thing I loved is that she sectioned the cookbook out by season. Love, love, love.
Last winery of the day was Del Dotto, which we also went to last year. An absolute must for everyone. Such an insanely amazing experience. Our tour guide was so knowledgeable and just funny and cool. They ended the tour with some meats and cheese and some tasty pizzas. This year we actually saw Mr. Del Dotto himself, which is one thing we were really hoping would happen.
To end the day we went to our old favorite spot Ad Hoc. They change the menu daily. It's a pretty awesome food experience and we always enjoy dinner there. They are known for their fried chicken, which they only serve a couple of times each month, however they do have a take out option for lunch at addendum, which is around the corner.They release their dinner menu the morning of, so be sure to check it out before you head over.
On to Saturday....we had a fantastic picnic and a bottle at Whetstone and one of the sweetest girls set us up for our picnic. So nice and helpful. This place is super cool and chill. They even have bocce ball set up for you to mess around with. Hang out on their lawn, sit up at a picnic table, whatever you like they are cool with. For dinner we headed to the Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch. Holy moly is this place ridiculous. My description won't come close to doing it justice, but all I can say is that you NEED to go there whenever you are in town. Great scenery, knowledgeable staff, everything that is grown on their farm will show up on your table. It doesn't get any better than that. We started with the steak tartare and the meatballs. All I can say is, yes. I ordered the pork chop and Chris got the ribs. Amazing. Just out of this world. If you asked me to decide between the two, I just couldn't do it. They were exceptional. Just go there, like right now! So after this incredibly fulfilling dinner we did what two completely normal people do and we ordered the beignets. I mean why not just stuff ourselves to the brim?? SO we did and it was so worth it. I can not wait to go back and do it all over again. So after dinner we sat out on their insanely cute patio in front of a brick fireplace. Great spot for before or after dinner drinks. Even a great spot to propose to your significant other, which is exactly what my boyfriend did. He stuffed me to the brim and then proposed. hahahahahahah It honestly does not get any better than that. It just doesn't.
Before heading to the airport on Sunday, we needed to fit in one more tour to finish this trip off right. Failla was the place to be. A small vineyard with exceptional people and delicious wine. Our tour guide was an absolute treat. You most definitely need to make an appointment. Don't even think about just "walking-in" because you will be calling that Uber to come right on back, to pick you up. Make sure you schedule the cave tour, it's a really awesome experience. Our tour guide found out we got engaged the night before and asked the winemaker to sign one of our bottles of wine, which was the sweetest gesture ever. We will most definitely be cherishing that bottle of w
ine and saving it for a very special occasion.
In conclusion, Napa Part II was a complete success. We found a new hotel and the amazing Farmstead restaurant. Old winery favorites were revisited and new wineries have been added to our list of must see again. Most importantly, we got engaged and are approaching a very exciting new chapter in our lives. I couldn't be happier, especially since I have a nephew on the way. Tis the season for family and sharing magical meals with the ones you love. Stay tuned for some really yummy posts. I promise to post only the best of the best. So if you see it, you know it's good and I mean really good! Cheers to family, fall and new memories!