I basically dropped the ball on the recap of our trip to Sonoma County, Napa & San Francisco last fall, but thanks to my friend Leigh at Hines Sight (she has a pretty sweet gig reviewing luxury hotels), I’ll be featuring bits & pieces here, on Thursdays, for Instagram Travel Thursday…a link up of some really great travel bloggers & regular bloggers with really great travels, all featuring Instagram pictures of their trips. Enjoy!
The next morning, we packed up, kissed Sonoma goodbye & took the windy road north…around the mountains & into Calistoga. We were headed back to one of our favorite places, Schramsberg, for a cave tour.
Since we joined their wine club on our last visit, our tours were complimentary, but if you are planning a trip to Napa, I’d add it to your list. The cave tours are $45 a person, but hearing the history of the place, sparkling wine in the US, learning about the bubbly making process & getting to sample the goods is totally worth the $$.
Then we headed just down the road to Frank Family Vineyards where the wine was good, but the atmosphere ok. I just find it a little cold & impersonal when you walk right in, are greeted by a cash register & have to pay for your tasting up front. So, meh.
Making our way down to Yountville, we stopped at another favorite from our honeymoon, Napa Wine Company. It’s a custom crush facility, a really awesome concept, allowing small growers & producers to produce some really incredible wines like Ghost Block, Blackbird Arise, Hoopes, & Mirror…to name a few of our favorites.
We grabbed a coffee & a few macarons & sat down outside Bouchon before our 5:00pm dinner reservation. We had toyed, again, with the idea of trying for reservations at The French Laundry, but ultimately decided against it, again, & at the time we pulled in to Napa Valley we had no plans for dinner that night. In the time since our last trip to the area, there has been nothing but buzz about Thomas Keller’s more casual endeavor, ad hoc, & even more buzz about it’s fried chicken. A quick check of the calendar showed that the day was, in fact, Fried Chicken Monday (luck!), & we got what I think was the last reservation of the evening…meaning that we had flown almost 3,000 miles to eat fried chicken at 5:00pm. Yep.
It was worth it.
All of it. The iceberg salad with buttermilk dressing, the chicken, ribs, puréed sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, cheese course, pecan dessert & cocktails…more food than two people could ever possibly eat, but totally worth it.
We checked in to The Napa River Inn, for a little digestion time before our next move. Right in the middle of downtown Napa, inside a historic mill right on the Napa River, this hotel proved to be an excellent home base for the next couple nights. The breakfast brought right to your door each morning didn’t hurt either.
After regaining a little stomach capacity, we headed over to Bounty Hunter for a nightcap. Their by the glass wine list is incredible.
We settled on a glass of 2010 Orin Swift “Saldo” Zin & a 2010 Venge “Scout’s Honor” Red Blend, then a 2010 Two Hands “Sexy Beast” Cab, caught up on the local gossip from the Loud Talkers next to us & called it a night.