We flew into San Francisco and took the hour and twenty minute scenic drive into Napa Valley.
Napa is full of quaint bed and breakfasts and we checked into ours, the Hennessey House. Located in the city of Napa, the Hennessey House is in a great location. A Victorian style house, its rooms are pretty roomy and the staff was very helpful. They provided us with great breakfast, which you can choose to have in the main dining room or in the terrace out back. A travel assistant is on call at the front desk during the day to assist you in planning out your day. In the afternoons, the Hennessey House offered a complimentary wine tasting in their courtyard by a local winery. The Hennessey House was a great place to stay.
We pulled into the V. Sattui Winery. The winery was founded by Vittorio Sattui in the 1880s and is still a family owned business. V. Sattui offers a great opportunity for wine tasting. Their wine tasting room staff is very knowledgeable about their different wines and can answer any question you may have and help you select the perfect wine for you. A tasting of up to 6 wines will cost you about $15. When you find a wine you like, you can easily purchase a bottle, some cheese or cold cuts in their shop and sit in their front picnic area to enjoy the day. For more information on V. Sattui, visit: http://www.vsattui.com.
During our visit, we also made it to the Robert Mondavi Winery. Founded by Robert Mondavi, this winery is also proud of its heritage and offers a great 75 minute tour. The tour includes a short introduction to the brand, a walkthrough near the grape bushes, a visit to their cellars and a wine tasting. The tour provided us with a great perspective of the wine making process. If you have the opportunity, this is something I highly recommend. Several other tour and tasting options are available and can be found on their website: www.robertmondaviwinery.com. If you are visiting during the summer, Robert Mondavi also offers a Summer Concert Series in their main courtyard, which they have been hosting for 45 years. The schedule is also available on their website.
Everyone knows of the wine tasting, but one of the lesser known facts of Napa Valley, is that you can also have an olive oil tasting. We visited the St. Helena’s Olive Oil Company in the city of St. Helena. Olive Oil tastings are free. You arrive at the store and find a variety of different olive oils and vinegars sitting on a counter with pieces of bread in a bowl and tooth picks. You are able to sample as many as you want. There are olive oils available for any pallet. And if you find one you like, you can purchase some for the road. Here is a link to their website: www.sholiveoil.com/store.
Finding a romantic place to have dinner is not hard. Napa Valley is full of exceptional restaurants in all price points. Many popular chefs have restaurants in the area and you can definitely find one for you to enjoy.
If you like a fun party atmosphere, Thursday nights are “Chef’s Market” nights in Downtown Napa. There is live music and chef demonstrations. It’s a great place to go and enjoy the evening. Here is the link to the Chefs Market website: www.napavalley.com.