If I could only travel to one place on Earth it would 100% be wine country! This was my 3rd trip out to wine country in California. I was in Napa the first two times I went, and this time I was so excited to explore Sonoma. This trip was even better because it was a blogger event to help raise money for those affected by the horrible fires last fall. I mean how could I say no to drinking wine for a good cause?!
I had several of you ask me about my favorite wineries and restaurants so I’m giving you a full wine country travel guide today! Scroll down for all the deets!!
Littorai: This might be at the top of our list forever. Not only because the wines are outstanding, but because Littorai is a bio-dynamic and organic winery. Meaning they don’t use any pesticides and it’s probably some of the cleanest wine you’ll ever drink. The best Pinot Noir I’ve ever had in my life!
Obsidian Ridge: Who doesn’t want to have a wine tasting in an actual vineyard?! They actually aren’t open to the public, but if you book with my friend Corey (aka: Napa Wine Guide) he might be able to pull some strings…
Buena Vista: This place is the oldest winery in the Napa/Sonoma area. Lots of amazing history, and some pretty interesting wine rooms so definitely take the tour!
Scribe:Absolutely beautiful! This place is really just for wine tasting and not actually going out in the vineyard, but it’s a great spot to stop for lunch.
Matanzas Creek:You’ve got to go for the wine, but also for the lavender barn!
Repris Winery:Another organic winery with some of the biggest and boldest wines I’ve tasted. You must take the tour because the wine caves are to die for here!
Dutcher Crossing Winery: Definitely some of the best wines of the weekend! Their story is amazing too, and you’ll probably meet the owner. She is seriously the sweetest!!
Reeve Wines: This winery by far has the best decor! The patio area is absolutely gorgeous, and we wanted to sit there all day long. Also, the best Zinfandel wine which is my personal favorite!
Jordan Winery: If you’ve ever tried Jordan wine then you’ll want to go here! But, make an appointment as soon as you book your trip because they only take appointments and fill up fast. We didn’t get to go 🙁 But that just means I have to go back again!
Medlock Ames: We met Sonoma Grape Girl during the fundraising event on Saturday, and she works here so of course we had to go! It’s actually one of the few wineries in the area that’s completely organic. I’m a fan of organic wine because they don’t give me bad hangovers…yes please.
Trione Winery: Beautiful venue for events! The first photo in this post is from Trione.
Elhers Estate: Best tasting room for a larger winery. It’s so freaking cute and cozy. This was our first stop on my second trip to Napa. I only drink reds so if you’re like me then they were a great place to do a tasting.
Frank Family Vineyards: I haven’t personally been to Frank Family, but it’s my dads absolute favorite wine. Cory (best tour guy in Napa) took them when they visited a few years ago, and now my dad basically only buys this wine. Lucky me, every time I go home I know I’ll get to drink amazing wine!
Spence Vineyards: Probably my absolute favorite experience in Napa. The owners randomly fell into the wine making business, and they are doing a pretty darn good job. The vineyard is at the top of Howell Mountain in Napa with the most peaceful views. Check out my post from their vineyard here. Also, they have two yellow labs who hang out with you while you’re there!
Porter Family Vineyards: Okay if you want some incredible views of the valley then you have to put this place at the top of your list. This was the last wine tour on my first visit to Napa, and we spent wayyyy too much time here. But when you’re having a good time and your tour guy is friends with the owner there are perks 😉
The Girl & The Fig:This place is so good I ate here twice on my last trip to wine country! You all know I’m a foodie so that says a LOT about how amazing this place is…
Willie’s Seafood: OMG… Order the bread!! I think that’s almost all I ate that night because it was ah-mazing. Oh, and I love carbs.
Flying Goat Coffee: Great little place in Healdsburg to grab really good coffee and pastries. We might have got donuts too from the place down the street. #guilty
Spoonbar: If you are looking for a nicer dinner spot then this is the place to go. I wanted everything on the menu because it looked so pretty. Get the donuts for dessert!! Also, definitely the best spot in town for cocktails!
The Parish Cafe: Great casual spot we went to for breakfast. Makes you feel like a local. And delicious food.
Campo Fina: After a day of drinking who doesn’t want pizza? It’s kinda small so try to make a reservation before you are a few glasses of wine deep.
Archetype: We stumbled upon this place for brunch the second time I was in Napa and it was probably the best find ever. I still remember how incredible the lemon-ricotta pancakes were to this day. It was so good we grabbed appetizers here on my last visit. Also, it’s the cutest spot for pictures!
Bottega: There are 3 restaurants that have the best pasts EVER… This place is one of them! And the other two are Italy and a place in Dallas that is basically like Italy.
Solbar: We went to this place for appetizers and wine. Their patio is absolutely stunning and I could sit there all night long over wine and great conversation.
Gott’s Roadside: Okay look… If you are going to be drinking wine all day long you need something substantial to eat. My hangover food is a juicy burger. So if eating a delicious cheeseburger while you’re day drinking I think it helps!
The French Laundry: This is probably the one placed you’ve heard of anytime you ask for recommendations. I’ve never been because they are always booked, but it’s at the top of my list for my next visit!
PLACES TO STAY IN WINE COUNTRY
235 Suites: Amazing luxury suites for large groups or families. Right in the middle of Healdsburg, and a quick ride to all the Sonoma wineries.
Harvest Inn: A perfect location in between Napa and Sonoma. The property feels like you’re staying in Charlie Palmer’s old house.
Hennesey House: I’m pretty sure we stayed here on my first visit to Napa, but it’s been a while… Haha. It’s a cute traditional bed and breakfast right in the center of Napa. Beware there is a code to get in the front door after like 9am… We may or may not have forgotten the code and luckily found a random attic door open.
There are clearly a ton of options when visiting wine country, but I hope my personal ventures have helped give you some good recommendations. I’ve decided I think I’ll have to go every year now… My birthday is in October which is harvest season so it just makes sense!!
If you want the best wine tours in Napa you need to book with our family friend Cory Waken! He grew up in the area and knows everyone. He takes care of booking the tours because some of the places you will go aren’t open to the public. Like Spence Winery… We sat on the back porch of the owners home, eating bacon wrapped figs, and chatting it up like we’d known them for ages. You won’t get that experience with anyone else!!