Sunday, July 4, 2010

Napa Vacation Report

There was usually a winery dog at each winery!

Way back in snowy January, we decided to spend our 20th wedding anniversary in Napa Valley. This is the heart (well one of many now) wine country in California.

We had a blast. It was a very nice trip, we spent Monday through Friday in Napa. Just Napa. Didn't stray over to Sonoma or anywhere else.

If you have never been to Napa Valley, the choices are just overwhelming. Luckily, I first got the hotel reservation made. We stayed at a Best Western-The Best Western Elm House Inn. If you want an economical place to stay in Napa, this is it. This is not your usual chain motel. This is pretty much a bed and breakfast. Great breakfasts each morning with fresh fruit, fresh made waffles, just baked muffin bread. Eating there, we didn't even feel the need to head out anywhere else.

My next recommendation is to procure someone to drive you around. The choices on these are also overwhelming. A favorite that kept popping up on Tripadvisor was Platypus Tours: wine tours for people who want to have fun! These are smaller buses, holding between 0-12 or 14 people comfortably. We used Platypus on both Tuesday and Wednesday, and I highly recommend them. We were picked up promptly on time, we toured 4 wineries each day (none repeated from the previous day) and lunch was provided. There was also cheese and crackers and cold water to have on the bus as we toured.

Looking over my map after the trip, Platypus took us to very small wineries. One was not even open to the public. We got some varied experiences. Ken, the owner of Elkhorn Peak Vineyards was a grower. He gave us some great education on the wines themselves. Being a gardener, I appreciated the knowledge. Other stops were more mellow, and as the day progressed, everyone loosened up quite a bit!

On Tripadvisor, someone had mentioned the pairing menus at Signorello Vineyards. It was wine pairings with food-think like tapas here. I think Dennis and I enjoyed this the most. Two other couples, five wines, and exquisite food pairings. I learned alot about pairings here.

View from Signorello Vineyards
I think I will discuss our food outings in a shorter post to follow. We really had a good time. Dennis even mentioned a return trip here! So when is the Napa Marathon?


  1. LOVE the pictures. Napa marathon is early March with highly variable weather, perfect for a trail runner, except for all that damn road. :)

  2. Wow. I am truly envious! Marjie and I have always talked about Napa but never made any real efforts to go. This certainly re-lights that fire. The tour company sounds like it worked perfectly. No maps to fumble around with and you got to go to 8 wineries! Oh yea, no DUI, either. Added bonus. :-) Thanks for the report of a fantastic vacation!

  3. Congratulations on your 20th anniversary! What a fantastic trip. We recently camped at a winery on a bike trip, which is kind of the best of both long as you don't have too far to ride the next day! :)


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