Wednesday, September 30, 2015


Our final day in the vineyards.  This day we did not have any appointments except one with a winery that Jay made the day before at the last minute.  Robby had also made plans to take a uber to another town a couple hours away so he could meet a friend for a little bit before he came back and met us for dinner.  We made sure we did this final day right! I am not sure why it was a little more crazy.  Probably just because we weren't meeting with the owners and staff of the wineries and spending time talking to them while we were tasting.  The walk ins you just saunter up to the counter and they pour you three, four, five tastings, you buy some wine and then head out to another winery.  It moves a lot quicker. You drink a lot more.  But this day was super fun but I could not of done another day.  

This was the end.  But oh my goodness am I in love with Napa! I haven't stopped looking at all the pictures and cannot wait to plan another trip. We are already tentatively planning our next trip.  We plan to use Pat again and focus on the Sonoma region.  Napa is know for their Cabernets which were delicious but Kenny and I like Pinot Noirs and Sonoma has more Pinot Noir wineries. So already looking forward to next year!Not to mention this trip made me absolutely fall in love with wine.  We came home with eight bottles that we checked and then joined three clubs and made a couple more orders to have wine shipped to us.  We have to wait until the weather gets cooler so the hot sun doesn't ruin our precious wine! So here we go with the last picture recap!
This was the view in the morning out of our house.  We were on the Silver Oak Golf Course and Resort and it was a beautiful course!  Our house was perfect for our group.
This was a panoramic view.

It was a warmer morning so when we got to our first stop at Domaine Carnaros and sat down at our beautiful table with our beautiful view it was hot and we were all feeling the last two days.  This is a beautiful place but it is not personal at all.  I would compare it to going to a restaurant and getting a wine flight.  We finished our flight quickly and went ahead and left.  Not my favorite place but it was pretty. 
Group shots

We did a quick tasting at Boldocci and then we stopped at our one appointment that Jay made with Taylor Family Wineries.  Jays parents are club members there and fell in love with this winery because they have planes on their wine bottles and Jay's dad is a pilot.  This tasting was held at the family's house and we were so pleasured to be hosted by Nana the matriarch and the granddaughter of the family.  They gave us a cheese pairing with each wine which I absolutely loved! The family bond was apparent at this vineyard so we really enjoyed this appointment.
Group shot with Nana and granddaughter
They had a Meyer lemon tree right at the corner of the house and I asked them about it and they started telling us about the lemoncello they make with the lemons.  
Then they shared some with us and it was so delicious!

After we were done with Taylor wines we were pretty hot and did not have any other set appointments so we chose to do some indoor walk in tastings. We went to Cliff Ledet, Plumpjack and Silver Oaks. 
We picked this book up at Plumpjack for Elle.  It is about a grape who doesn't turn purple 
like the rest of her friends and family.  So cute!
Had to get a few pictures with Pat since I rode shotgun with him all week. Love him!
Being silly in the car!

Our last stop was at Silver Oak.  I can't say anything for the wine because I did not drink any.  I had had enough wine but everyone said it was good and we enjoyed seeing the winery owner's person collection of wine.
The guys at Silver Oak.
Group shot including Pat.
This is Deake.  He took a special liking to Foley.

After we were done at Silver Oaks we headed to Bouchon for dinner where Robby returned from his road trip and joined us.  Dinner was so good and brought along three bottles of wine from Boldocci that we enjoyed with each course of our dinner.
One side of the table!
The other side of the table
A final toast for our trip!

This trip was amazing and I have been having dreams about wineries and our days there.  It was so relaxing and so fun to go with friends.  I wasn't sure what to expect of Napa Valley and it definitely surpassed my expectations.  We are planning our trip for next year and if it comes to fruition I will be looking forward to it for sure!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015


Hooray for day two because it was my absolute favorite! Just truly magical.  This was the day that made me fall in love with Napa and has me wanting to go back! First off let me know that it was Maroon Friday! We had a home football game on Saturday that we were going to miss so of course we wanted to show our support all the way across the country!

Pat picked us up mid morning and it was so beautiful out.  Still cool and the sun was bright.  Napa Valley was really showing off for us! Our first appointment was with a very small winery called Aonair.  It is by appointment only and I believe they only take a few tastings a week.  They have a small staff so they are busy picking grapes, making wine, waxing bottles and then meeting people and introducing them to their wines too.  This is what we drove up on.  I mean, really! It was so beautiful! The wine at Aonair was amazing and this was one of the wineries that we joined their club. Can't wait to come back!

 This is the wineries main building.  They had a cigar loft upstairs and a large table for dining, a bocce ball court and a pizza oven out in their outdoor area.  We wanted to stay forever.
Maroon Friday at Aonair with the Laces
Getting the tasting started with the chardonnay
Enjoying the porch that was perched on top of the winery and under this beautiful tree.  
It was all so dreamy!

Kenny was enjoying the morning too.

We headed to our next appointment at Lake Terrace.  Lake Terrace is another small winery on top of another beautiful hill.  They had a very laid back California hippy vibe going and also another awesome patio to taste their wines on.
The girls!
Group shot at Lake Terrace

This winery was extra neat because after we tasted all the wines we were able to go down and look at the process of how the wine is made.  We tasted the grapes off the vines at almost all the wineries but at this one we were able to touch, feel and taste all the stages of wine making and it was really really neat.
Peeking into the large vats with all the grapes fermenting.
This was Monica.  She was so funny and dry and showed us all the ropes 
with her vineyard hand boyfriend!

This was where we tasted just the juice of the berries after just being crushed.  It was sweet.

After learning all about how wine is maid we hopped on their gator and rode down the hill to their small building where they were agin balsamic vinegar the old fashioned way in barrels.  Apparently this is very very rare. And a small bottle of it would cost you a fortune! But it was cool to learn about it all and we were able to taste the vinegars in different stages.
Girls on the gator
Aging Balsamic vinegar 

After we were done with everything at Lake Terrace Pat set up another wonderful picnic for us with another beautiful view!
The boys ready for our picnic.

When we were done eating it was time to go to the very much anticipated Maroon Winery.  When Margaret began planning our trip we knew we would be out there for Maroon Friday and she somehow found Maroon Winery.  We were all excited to go! Paul Maroon is the owner of the very small and private winery.  He does very few tastings and when we arrived and Paul greeted it I thought oh no what have we gotten ourselves into.  He seemed a little eccentric and could not of cared less why we were all dressed in maroon or why we were so excited to be there.  

We sat down with Paul and he began to tell us about his wines, how he was friends with Robin Williams, his home in Mexico and his business partner there and his belly dancing wife that he married for his first marriage at 65. We were loving talking to him.  He was so interesting and of course we were feeling great and the scenery was perfect.  It was by far my favorite afternoon spent in Napa! I will note even though he told him several times why we loved maroon so much he still never really cared but I that just makes it funnier to me!
Listening to Paul tell his tales.
Group picture with Paul!

After Paul's belly dancing wife arrived and very nicely kicked us out (she was quite the spitfire) we headed back into town for dinner at Mustards.  It was another delicious meal!

Tune in for day three and our final day among the vineyards!

Monday, September 28, 2015


So it's been a hot minute since I blogged but I have a fantastic excuse.  I was out of town visiting one of the most beautiful places in this country and then it took me a whole week to recover and writing these mammoth posts hasn't been the easiest thing to do.  Because, warning, they are going to be huge.  I just can't leave out very many of the pictures.  Plus I want to remember all the places we went each day!

We got up bright and early Wednesday morning to drive to Memphis and then caught a plane where we flew into San Fransisco.  It happened to be raining when we got into San Fran and apparently that rarely ever happens.  Our wonderful driver for the week Pat met us at the airport and we started the drive back to Napa.  Its not a very far drive but when you hit traffic in the bay on Friday evening it took us almost two hours. But Pat had a cooler stocked for us to make it fun!

We got into Napa a little after dark and Pat dropped us at the home we rented on the Silverado Golf Course.  Then we ubered to dinner that night.  Our first dinner was wonderful and maybe my favorite from the entire trip at Botdega.

The next morning we were bright eyed and bushy tailed when Pat picked us up.  We found Pat our driver through some Starkville friends that had used him before and he absolutely made our trip. Outside of driving us, he made appointments for us at private wineries, planned our days, picked up our lunch and arranged picnics for us, handled all purchases that we made through out the day and quickly became our friend! Felt like I need to tell you about him before I kept going because you will hear about him constantly.  I got to know him a little extra because I rode shotgun so I wouldn't get carsick!
The group all loaded up in the car ready for our first winery!

Our first appointment was with Fontanella Family Winery. Since it was dark outside when we got into town this was our first taste of the beautiful scenery and it was so gorgeous. We also had a very cool morning. It was all perfect!
The girls at Fontaella winery.
Kenny and me!
Jay and Margaret
We were able to taste from the barrels and also make our own blends.  It was lots of fun.

Our next winery was a private family winery called Frisinger.  We met with the owner and he told us about his winery's wines and he had the most beautiful property.
Group shot as we got out of the car!
Tasting the winery's chardonnay.
Frisinger had this beautiful gazebo overlooking their pond and the rest of the Napa scenery.  It made for some excellent wine drinking. My goodness it was so incredibly pretty!

Jay and Kenny enjoying the wine and the scenery.
Learning about the wine. Vineyards in the back behind us.

While we were at the winery Pat went and picked us up some lunch from the Yountville Deli and then we drove down the hill to a picnic area under an olive tree grove.  It smelled divine and was so beautiful.  There are olive trees everywhere in Napa!
Our pretty picnic.  Only picture I have.  But let me tell you, the sandwiches from Yountville are some of the best sandwiches I have ever had!

Our final winery for the day was Regucci.  It was just as beautiful as the others.  We had an appointment at this one also but just sat out on the patio and had a sommelier serve us.  It wasn't as intimate but still very pretty.  This winery was neat because of its age.  It was one of the few wineries that continued to make wine through the prohibition and was called a Ghost Winery. We asked to see inside the building and were given a short little tour.
Enjoying our afternoon at Regucci.

The winery that withstood the earthquake a few years back.  Original walls and doors.

Below the main level with all the barrels of wine.

The owners personal collection of aged wine.

When we were done at Regucci we had about an hour and a half before our dinner reservations at Ad Hoc.  So Pat took us to one of the little boutique hotel bars for a cocktail since we were craving something other than wine. We enjoyed a fun cocktail hour before heading over to Ad Hoc.  We were so excited to eat there and were happy that we came on a good night.  Ad Hoc has one set menu each night and you get what you get.  Well we got a great meal.  This fantastic salad, then hanger steak over roasted potatoes, corn and asparagus, a cheddar cheese course and then this caramel and cookie ice cream bar for dessert.  We all chose to do the wine pairings with each course.  It was a fabulous meal and we are stuffed when we left!

We took an Uber home and all hung out outside on the patio where our house had a fire pit and then went to bed fairly early.  Had to get our rest for the next day!

Tune in again for Day 2!