Trip to Napa

Over the weekend we (my husband, me, my sister, brother-in-law and their dog Fannie Pack) piled into their Mini Cooper and headed to Napa for the day.  Our plan was to visit 2 vineyards and then have dinner at Ad Hoc in Yountville.   

Both my husband and brother-in-law swore that the back seat was significantly more comfortable because we could move our front seats up to provide ample leg room…the only thing they didn't account for was that Fannie Pack would not want to ride in her originally intended seat.

Grgich Hills

Our first stop was to Grgich Hills Winery.  When we arrived, we were greeted at the front door with a tasting glass of their Chardonnay.  Years ago I tried their Chardonnay and to this day, it is still one of my favorite white wines.  We then walked into their tasting room and sampled both their Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon, both were exceptionally delicious and ended up buying a bottle of their Zinfandel to take home.  

Napa Cellars 

For those of you who have read some of my previous posts (like this one or this one) and/or seen photos that I post on my Instagram account, I absolutely adore Napa Cellars Wine.  Their wine is consistently delicious, robust in flavor, smooth to drink and very reasonably priced.   This is a wine that my husband and I have enjoyed for some time now, so I was beyond excited to finally have the opportunity to visit their winery.  

When we arrived for our afternoon tasting we were greeted by the nicest associate Casey, who was extremely knowledgable about the Napa Cellars Winery and the Napa Valley Region.  One of my favorite pieces of information she shared with us was that the first grapes planted by George Yount (for whom Yountville, CA is named) were on the Napa Cellars property back in 1839.  We also learned that Napa Cellars has two sister wineries, Folie a Deux and Menage a Trois, so when you visit the Napa Cellars Winery, you will notice that you have the option to select either a Napa Cellars, Folie a Deux or Menage a Trois tastings. 

We selected the Napa Cellars tasting, which included four wines- Sauvignon Blanc 2013, Pinot Noir 2013, Zinfandel 2012 and Cabernet Sauvignon 2013.  Each wine that we sampled was delicious, but I have to say that the ultimate treat was the special sample of their new V Collection Carneros Pinot Noir.  WOW!  The V Collection is a special line of Napa Cellars limited production, sub appellation wines from the Napa Valley that are nothing short of exceptional.  

After the tasting, my brother in law treated us to glasses of Napa Cellars wine, while my husband signed us up for their Latitude 38 degree Wine Club (yay!).  We then journeyed out back behind the tasting building to enjoy our wine while playing a few rounds of Corn Hole with the Napa Cellars Vineyards in the backdrop (talk about a perfect afternoon!).  

Ad Hoc

Yes I am a huge fan of both Martha Stewart and Ina Garten, but I have to say that Chef Thomas Keller would probably rank at the top of my favorite celebrity list.  Originally, my husband had planned to treat me to a dinner at The French Laundry for my 30th Birthday present.  This past March, the French Laundry served its final meal before closing for an undisclosed amount of time to undergo a complete renovation.  While it was a little disappointing that I wouldn't be able to experience the infamous French Laundry this trip, lemons were quickly transformed into lemonade because the French Laundry is not the only Thomas Keller establishment in Yountville.  Ad Hoc is Chef Keller's casual dining restaurant featuring American comfort foods served family style.  We enjoyed a four course dinner that was absolutely divine- Rustic Salad, Grilled Pork Chops, a fabulous Cheese Board and Create Your Own Ice Cream Sundae for dessert.  We dined al fresco and even enjoyed a round of Moscow Mules.  

All in all, Napa was a fabulous experience.   My husband and I are officially Napa Cellars Wine Club Members and my sister and her husband are now officially members of the Thomas Keller Fan Club.  A special thank you Napa Cellars for going above and beyond to make our visit to their vineyard such a memorable experience.  Cheers to Napa!