Napa Weekend – Part II

We slept in till about 8:00 a.m. on Saturday morning, which was so nice.  We were both hungry so we quickly put on some workout clothes and headed down for breakfast.  The breakfast offered was an extended continental style breakfast but it definitely exceeded our expectations.  We came down to warm poppy seed and almond muffins right out of the oven, fresh fruit, yogurt parfaits, and of course hot coffee.  They also offered hard boiled eggs, fresh waffles made to order, and an oatmeal bar with everything you can imagine to pile on top.  Overall we were among the younger crown in the hotel and around Napa but it was fun to be an adult (minus a baby) for this trip.  There weren’t any kids screaming or running around, which was definitely not something we were used to so we enjoyed the quietness.

After breakfast we went back to the room to get ready and finish mapping out our day with the Napa bike Tour.  I chose a self-guided tour so we could go at our own pace without having to wait for others at the different wineries. It was recommended to choose 2 wineries in the morning, stop for lunch at a winery (they suggested) with picnic tables, and finish off the afternoon with 1 last stop for a total of 4 wineries.  We planned a 16 mile bike tour which included – Robert Mondavi, Cake Bread Cellars, Rutherford Hill Winery (with picnic lunch stop), and Mumm Napa.

Bike Wine Tour

Bike Fanny Pack

Here we go a wine tasting…

Matt in action…

Robert Mondavi Winery

Robert Mondavi

Napa Bike Tour Company was just a few miles north of our hotel.  Along with us we brought a small backpack with sunscreen, snacks, camera, phones, ID’s, and credit cards.  The tour provided a bike and helmet, souvenir water bottle with water, picnic lunch with our choice of sandwich or salad and sides, and they threw in a few protein bars for the road.  Our first stop was Robert Mondavi, and as a side note we highly recommend if you actually do bring kids to Napa to go here because of the large grass area out front.  We tried 4 different Cabernet Sauvignon’s and a Pinot Noir in their reserve tasting room.  Next up was Cakebread Cellars, the only place I was able to make an appointment at (in fact, they only take appointments for tastings).  We had a small private tour and enjoyed a variety of different selections.  They are known for their Sauvignon Blanc, which I’m not usually a fan of but this one was nice and crisp for a hot summer day.  Their Merlot was also very nice and I highly recommend.  We purchased wines at both of these locations and the way the bike tour works is you just call their offices and let them know about your purchases and someone comes along after you and picks them up so they are back at the office when you complete your tour.  No need to bring them along the route with you! After Cakebread we were starving so we headed up north to Rutherford Hill Winery but we were more looking forward to the lunch than the tastings at that point.  Once we got up the steep hill to the picnic area we arrived to a beautiful picnic inside of a ice chest with our name on it.  Inside the ice chest was a table cloth, clean plates and silverware, napkins, fresh cool water with cups, 2 sandwiches, 2 sides, and 2 pieces of Ghirardelli chocolate.  And the food was just as good as it looked!  I had a vegetarian sandwich and Matt a turkey sandwich.  The picnic area is open to anyone so I highly recommend it even if you don’t do the bike tour.  We were so relaxed after lunch that we decided to skip the winery on site (Rutherford Hill Winery) and head straight to Mumm for some sparkling wine.  The nice thing about the route was that after lunch it was mostly downhill, which was good because in the afternoon it got a lot warmer than it was in the morning.  At Mumm we shared a sampler of their sparkling wines and really enjoyed a sparkling Pinot Noir that the host suggested pairs well with a Thanksgiving meal.  We didn’t purchase any of these wines but I will definitely keep it in mind come November (unless I’m pregnant of course).  We got back to the Bike shop around 430pm and of course we could barely walk.  I guess that’s what 16 miles on a bike, heat, and wine will do to you, right?  I forgot to mention, in the morning, before we got to the bike shop, I booked a couples massage for the afternoon at a place that was just 2 blocks from our hotel called St. Pierre Center for Massage.  We definitely looked forward to this after our long day.

Biking and Vineyards

Cakebread Cellars

Picnic and Rutherfod Hill Winery picnic grounds

Champagne!

Mumm Napa

We got back to the room, changed and walked over for our massages.  The massages were just what we needed and both of us agreed we were no longer sore (as we were earlier from the bike ride).  On the way back we stopped into the lobby for cocktail hour once again and then headed up to our room.  We quickly got ready for dinner and headed back north to our dinner spot – Bottega.  This was probably the most crowded spot that we ate at during our trip.   I ordered a glass of Pinot Noir, and Matt decided to pass since he felt he had enough for the day.  We were served crusted bread with Parmesan, garlic butter before we ordered our food.  For a starter we ordered the beef meatballs, and for our entrees I enjoyed the Spinach Ravioli and Matt, the Marsala Chicken and truffle Parmesan fries.  After dinner we drove back to our room and called it a night.

Bottega – appetizer

Bottega – my entree

Bottega – Matt’s entree

Bottega – truffle fries

The next morning we woke up and got ready to head home.  For breakfast the cook changed up the muffins and offered freshly baked blueberry coffeecake which was delicious, of course.  We then packed our bags and headed home.  It was about a 6 ½ hour drive home and we could not wait to see our baby.

The amazing breakfast

Breakfast Buffet

Beverage Bar

The rooms at our hotel

View from our balcony of the hot tub 🙂

Front Entrance of our hotel

Best Western Elm House Inn

Overall it was an amazing trip but the 6 ½ hour ride home made me realize that Paso Robles is half that amount of time and the wine just as good.  I’m glad we went to say we have been to Napa but I can’t imagine we’ll be going back anytime soon.  Napa is one of those places that everyone needs to visit once in their lifetime, especially if you already live in California.

Please leave me comments if you have any questions about our trip!

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