Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Wine Tasting.

Artesa Winery. A must-see when planning a day of wine tasting.

Whenever we are in Napa for a visit, we often go on an impromptu wine-tasting trip but since it's usually a last minute thing, someone in our group has to stay sober to be our designated driver. And now that Lee and I have a toddler, those impromptu wine tastings have become a bit more complicated.

So my wonderful step-mom arranged a day of wine-tasting for our family! She had a Groupon for a 6-hour limo ride so that no one would have to drive and then she made a few reservations at some of her favorite wineries with a lunch stop in the middle. Since we wanted to do this outing sans kid, my sister asked one of her friends who has two little girls (one who is only 3 days older than Alice!) if she'd watch Alice for the day and she happily agreed. We dropped Alice off in the morning and then our limo picked us up promptly at 11AM and took us to our first winery: Artesa (pronounced Are-tessa).

We should've just canceled our other winery stops and stayed there all day.

Wow. Artesa is phenomenal. It sits at the end of a steep and winding road on top of a hill and has views of the Sonoma and Napa valleys and, on clear days, even of San Francisco! The winery was built with the rolling hillsides in mind and was designed to compliment the surrounding natural beauty (when you see the next winery, you'll see what I mean). And the outdoor fountains and art are some of the coolest I've ever seen.

And the wine was delicious, too. If you are in Napa, put Artesa on your must-see list.

The view from Artesa. // Primping. // Sisters!!

After Artesa, we climbed back into the limo and headed down the road to Domaine Carneros. You can't miss this giant but gorgeous winery that looks like it was plucked right out of the French countryside. We climbed the stairs through rose gardens and grape vines to a deck with more spectacular views of the valley.

Instead of a traditional wine tasting we ordered a cheese plate and a bottle of wine and enjoyed it at an outside table. As we sat there, though, a very strange and unkempt woman kept parading back and forth through the deck area and, every time she walked past us, there was an unbearably strong smell of urine that had us hurriedly finishing our wine and snacks so that we could get out of there.

But despite the urine smell, I'd go back!

Domaine Carneros. // Roses and Starlings! // Goofballs.

Next we headed to Yountville for a 2PM lunch reservation at the R+D Kitchen. We shared a few small plates of deviled eggs, fresh guacamole and what I can only describe as the foodie version of Tostitos queso dip (YUM!) and then I had a Negroni that tasted exactly like BubbleTape (remember that stuff?!) and the Mediterranean salad with seared Ahi tuna. And of course we had more wine: a bottle of the Belle Glos pinot noir.

We intended to go to Caymus Winery after lunch, but with our six hours of limo-time dwindling and a toddler who had most likely overstayed her welcome, we headed back to my dad's house instead.

And then we used that last hour of the limo service to pick up Alice. Turns out she's only a tyrant for her parents and was a great kid all day for my sister's friend! As we were leaving and as I was strapping her into her car seat inside of the limo she kept saying over and over, "Woooooow! Big caaaaaaar!" It was so cute.

Thank you to my beautiful step-mom for arranging such a fun day!

Lunch at R+D Kitchen. // Alice's first limo ride!


  1. This sounds like such a great day!

  2. That sounds like an awesome day. How thoughtful of your step mom! Isn't it nice how the toddlers will be so good for others? Though it would be great if they'd be that good for us too.

  3. oh that looks lovely! to be wearing sleeveless in November! ahhh..

  4. Beautiful women! Gorgeous day! Fun times!


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