Happy Monday everybody and happy last full week of work before Thanksgiving! I’m still so surprised that it’s already that time of the year because up until last week we were still getting into the 80s here in Texas. Chris and I got a nice break from the warm weather this weekend when we went on our last weekend trip of the year to the Napa Valley to spend some time relaxing and wine tasting! I’m linking up with Biana to tell you all about what I learned from our second trip to Napa!
- The fall is the most beautiful time to visit Napa- Originally we had scheduled this trip for September but we had to reschedule because of work. At the time I was bummed, but looking back on this weekend, it couldn’t have turned out more perfectly! Napa during the fall is nothing short of pure perfection! The temperatures aren’t too hot and not too cold, there aren’t a ton of people around, and the entire area is a sea of reds, yellows, oranges, and greens! It felt like we were in New England instead of California and I loved it! I think that all of my future trips to Napa will be in the fall because it’s that beautiful!
- There are two different Stag’s Leap Wineries- After our first trip to Napa a couple of years ago, I became obsessed with California wine and loved trying out different wines from the area. One that we would try out quite often was Stag’s Leap since it’s one of the more well known wineries in the area. We didn’t have a chance to visit there last time we were there, but I did book us a tour this time around. While our guide was telling us about the winery and its history, he told us about another winery that had started to produce wine under the name Stag’s Leap as well. Both wineries sued each other and the result of the lawsuit was that the original winery became Stags’ Leap while the new winery was Stag’s Leap. I had noticed that the labeling was different on the bottles by I had no idea that they were actually 2 completely different wineries!
- I actually like Merlot- I don’t usually consider myself discriminatory when it comes to wine, although Chris might beg to differ sometimes, but I just don’t really have a thing for Merlot. I think that it’s because they’re not as full bodied as I normally like my red. Well, that all changed on this trip. We tried some fantastic Merlots and even bought a few bottles of it. I think that it goes to show that we might have to spend a little bit more money on the Merlot that we buy. I swear every time we go to Napa we come back liking a new type of wine. Last time it was whites and sparkling wines, this time it’s Merlot!
- Most wineries mix all of their barrels together- One of the things that I love about blogging is that it gives me the opportunity to get some really great suggestions from other people. I was talking to Carolann from Finding Ithaka about our upcoming trip and she recommended that we do the cave tour tasting at Del Dotto while we were there. That sounded like a fun tour, especially since there aren’t too many wine caves you can tour in Napa, so I signed us up. During the tour we got to sample several different Cabernets straight from the barrel. While they were all Cabernets, each of them was different based on where the grapes were from, what barrel they were being stored in, and the vintage. While we were sampling, our guide explained to us that Del Dotto is different than other wineries because they don’t mix everything that’s in their barrels together. Instead they have a wider variety of wines because they love the different tastes that come with slight changes in the wine production. So two Cabernets from Del Dotto that are the same blend and same year might taste completely different because one is aged in American oak barrels while the other is aged in French oak barrels.
- Our wine bag was the best investment we ever made- The more wineries that we visit, the more it seems that we come back with more bottles of wine. It’s hard to say no when you’re drinking an amazing glass of Cabernet! Anyways, when I was talking to Carolann about our trip, she recommended that I buy this bag. Basically it’s a portable wine carrier that’s safe for flying! Not only do we not have to worry about trying to pack a ton of wine in our suitcases, which could break, it’s easy to check and even has wheels so it’s easy to navigate with in the airport! If you’re planning a trip to wine country sometime soon and our thinking about buying some wine to take home, definitely consider purchasing this bag!
- Despite being high up in the air, you don’t get cold on a hot air balloon- One of the things that I knew that I wanted to do during this trip to Napa was a hot air balloon ride. So even though it was a little rough, we woke up bright and early Saturday morning and headed to Yountville for our ride. We got there before the sun came up, so it was a little chilly when we got there. I wore a jacket because I figured that it’d be even cooler once we were in the air. Well let me tell you, I was completely wrong! Apparently the air above the ground and where we were flying is actually warmer than on the ground, which meant that with my jacket I actually got a little bit warm towards the end of our flight! It definitely wasn’t what I expected!
Overall, we loved every second of our trip to Napa (I mean how could you not be in love surrounded by wine and beautiful scenery?) and it was a little sad going back into the office today. I guess that means that I need to try and figure out when we can make another trip out there!
Other Napa Posts:
Life Isn’t Always Diamonds & Rosé…
A California Castle
Napa Tips & Tricks