Where’s all my wine lovers at?! I definitely was not a big fan of wine after I turned 21. It took me a while to find wines that I liked, I would gravitate towards the sweet wines but as I got older my wine palate changed. I am not sure how Kaitlynn and I even came up with the idea of going to Napa and Sonoma for a wine trip but somehow, we did and I am dying to go back. I think we just decided that we were classy ladies and were going to take a fancy trip to go wine tasting.
We flew into San Francisco and rented a car so we could drive to Napa, she made me drive out of the city and boy was I nervous to drive with all the crazy drivers in Cali. I learned you must be a very aggressive drive, by the end of the trip I was well adjusted to the Cali driving and fit in quite well I think.
We didn’t waste any time getting to the wineries. Our first reservation was at Gundlach- Bundshu Winery in Sonoma. We sat on the patio at a long table and some girls joined us and asked if we were there for Bottle Rock Festival, we had no clue what that was. Naturally we googled it later to see who was all playing. It is basically a classy Coachella.
The wine at Gunlach- Bundshu was pretty good and if I remember right the pours were decent too.
Our next reservation was at Ramsgate. I wish we could have spent all day there. This was hands down my favorite winery of the trip. We sat on the patio which was so cute. The whole place looked like it was straight of a magazine. We shared almost all the tastings we did and the lady at Ramsgate was not shy with giving us each a nice pour. The grounds here were just amazing. We walked down to the little pond they had where we later found out you can have a picnic they provide for you by the pond. I will for sure be doing that next time I am there.
Pond at Ramsgate
By the end of the day we were exhausted since we had started our day so early in the morning, so we headed back to Vallejo where we were staying, we had dinner and it was a nice part of town. Everything looked new and updated. Fast forward driving about 3 minutes to our hotel and it had a very different feel. It seemed way sketchier and we weren’t to thrilled with the area. But we had booked the hotel and we just wanted to go to bed and figured how bad could it be. We got our room key and walked up to the room, passing some interesting characters. I opened the door and saw that it was not clean, there was a towel on the chair and energy drink cans all over the room. I freaked out and Kaitlynn had to see her for self, sure enough the room was still occupied. Thank goodness no one was in the room when we opened the door. So, we went back down to the lobby and the lady didn’t seemed to concerned with it and she put us up in another room. It ended up being a smoking room so it reeked like cigarette smoke and the AC hadn’t been on, so it was boiling hot in there. I called the other hotel in town and they were all booked up for the night, so we sucked it up and stayed there, I however was paranoid about the hotel so did not sleep well. The next morning, I called the other hotel in the nicer part of town and we were able to get a room there that night, so we hightailed it out the Howard Johnson Inn and stayed at the Comfort Inn and it was a million times nicer. So, do yourself a favor and don’t ever stay at the Howard Johnson Inn in Vallejo.
We had finally made it to Napa and started our morning off at Mumm for some bubbly. I loved how we were able to sit outside for almost every tasting and enjoy the sunshine and relaxing atmosphere. Mumm’s champagne was amazing, and it was a perfect start to the day.
Next, we went to Frogs Leap, I wouldn’t expect to find a barn in wine country, but Frogs leap had the cutest red barn. It was very relaxed there. You picked up your glass and you could just wander around the grounds and come back when you were ready for your next pour. If you want some good picture opportunities, you need to check out Frogs leap. The wine was also amazing!
Have you ever drank wine in a hillside?! Artesa is set in the hill itself. It was one of the coolest places we went. The views up there were stunning! We did a tasting on the patio. I don’t remember a lot of the kinds of wines we drank but at Artesa they had a Rose that had watermelon notes..AMAZING!!! I also don’t think you can go one a wine tasting trip without someone spilling. I wasn’t the one that spilled anything but yet the receiver of getting wine spilled on me. At least it was white wine and a I had black outfit on so you couldn’t really tell.
The last winery we went to was Domaine Carneros. I’m sure you have probably heard of this one as it is one of the more popular places to go. I did a sparkling tasting and it was pretty good, but the whole place is so commercialized and touristy that it wasn’t one of my favorite stops. But the chateau was very pretty.
Downtown Napa is soo adorable!!! I am mad we didn’t spend more time there. There were so many adorable places to shop and drink more wine. I wouldn’t definitely eat dinner here every night if I ever go back. It was just to cute. We ate at an Italian place a little off the main downtown strip and it was pretty delicious! When we were walking into town we realized we could hear the bottle rock festival so we made our way down to the river in town and the Lumineers happened to be playing! Talk about an amazing end to the night.
I couldn’t go to Northern Cali and not go to San Francisco since I had never seen the Golden Gate bridge and its one of those things that I had to see at some point. We went on a holiday weekend so traffic was crazy all over the city. We drove over the bridge and up to a viewpoint but we couldn’t find parking anywhere. I was determined to get with the bridge, so I pulled a major tourist move and probably blocked in about 3 cars so we could jump out real quick and get some pics. Everyone else was driving terribly so I figured why not follow suit and be an annoying tourist. All in all I got the pic- see below and no one got mad at me for blocking them in LOL.
There were a couple other things on my San Fran bucket list. I had to see Lombard street. This one was also a crazy adventure to get to. Again holiday weekend so the city was packed. The hill before you get to the top of the street is soooo steep! It was quite terrifying, the car we were driving had to power so all the stop and go was so nerve racking. I thought for sure I was going to roll into the car behind me every time I had to take my foot of the brake. Driving down the street was way less stressful that driving up. It was cool to say I’ve driven down that crazy windy street. Was anyone else obsessed with Full House growing up?! I definitely was. It was so cool to see the painted ladies and pretend I was in a Full House episode LOL.
I wasn’t a fan of the actual city of San Fran. Everything seemed so dirty and we drove through some really sketchy areas. The city also stinks so bad in the morning, it was disgusting. Now I’m sure there are some nice parts of the city we just never discovered them. We stayed at the Pickwick Hotel, the staff was so friendly, and the hotel was very clean and the room was pretty cute. You also can’t beat a $5 happy hour mojito. It was actually one of the best mojitos I’ve ever had. I wish we would of stayed there instead of going to explore around the hotel. We tried to find some cool spots but we ended up at a weird little place and got a mud slide, that cost us $15 bucks and it wasn’t even that great or big. We were not happy with how much it was for what we actually got.
One of my favorite places we went in the city was the Dandelion Small Batch Chocolate Shop. They made all their chocolate right there in the little store and had a few different options of chocolate flights to try! After we enjoyed our treats we sat up at the bar so we could watch them make chocolate and thankfully they gave us a few fresh samples! Make sure to check this place out as it is amazing! We also went down to Fisher Mans Wharf. If I went back id stay down there as it was much nicer. Lots of street entertainment and really good food! Of course, we had to go to the Ghirardelli chocolate square. We each got sundaes and I would suggest sharing with someone when you go! They are huge and so filling after a few bites! Again, pre vegan Lyndsy LOL. If you love seafood they had a ton of seafood options at the Wharf! We ate at a Fish and Chips place. It was pretty fresh but still not Ireland good!
Chocolate Tasting at Dandelion
I am dying to plan a trip back to Wine Country as I know we didn’t even tough half of the amazing places! Please let me know your favorite wineries or places to eat so I have some new places to check out next time!