Two of our best friends from Virginia, Tina and Michael, are in town for a week; and on Saturday we headed north to Sonoma and Napa for a weekend of wine tasting and lots of food. It has been so incredibly fun having visitors already--it pushed us to unpack a bit more quickly than we would have otherwise (although there's still a ton left to do), and it gave us a reason to start exploring our new state with enthusiasm. It's truly incredible to think about all the places available to us, and all within a one or two hour radius.
Wineries we visited:
- Iron Horse--one of the most beautiful places I've ever been, and some of the most beautiful wine I've ever tasted. Get the bubbles flight.
- La Crema Estate at Saralee's Vineyard--obviously one of my favorites but it was even more special to visit their new digs. We got a private tour of the grounds and ended the afternoon with some charcuterie in their gorgeous cellar. I've been a fan of La Crema long before I started working with them, so getting to visit the new space was really a treat.
- Freemark Abbey--gorgeous space and an amazing restaurant, which I'll link to below.
- Grgich Hills--delicious Zinfandel and a really nice patio to hang out on.
- Artesa--super friendly staff and unreal views of the mountains. We'd go back here in a heartbeat.
Where we ate:
- Pascaline Patisserie & Cafe--great spot for a light lunch near Iron Horse.
- Glen Ellen Star--cute little place tucked away in Glen Ellen near our hotel. We sat at the bar ("the chef's counter," as they called it) and had some of the best chicken ever there. It was so nice to sit and watch the chefs at work while we enjoyed some truly delicious food.
- Russian River Brewing Company--amazing spot to stop and have some food while enjoying a few Pliny the Elders. We go as often as possible.
- Two Birds One Stone--we brought a bottle of Freemark Abbey rosé over and enjoyed a few snacks. Get the chips and definitely don't miss out on the black sesame soft serve with plum compote.
- Basalt--pretty spot on the Napa riverfront with great cocktails.
- Napa General Store--we stopped here on our way to lunch for a bellini and some spring rolls. Gorgeous patio.
- Morimoto--one of the most amazing lunches I've ever had. The sake was incredible and every bite was delicious.
- Celadon--swanky but approachable place for dinner. We brought a bottle of wine we had bought earlier and had them open it for us there. Everything we ordered was good but Michael definitely won with the lamb shank.
Places we stayed:
Now we're back at our place in the South Bay and excited to explore Mountain View, Palo Alto, and some more of San Francisco before they leave on Saturday! If you've been to Sonoma and/or Napa, what are some of your favorite spots? I'm already making a list for our next visit.