In this issue, you will find a relaxed and fun-filled guide to Napa. I know it sounds intense but trust me having a plan was worth it. If you want to experience Napa in a unique 7/11 (Beyonce fans will understand) Girls Trip way, continue reading.
Getting to Napa Valley from San Francisco
Three of the ladies in our group live in the same area, and I live about 4-5 hours away from them. So, we caught a flight at 5:30 am and met during our layover. From there we made the trek to San Francisco on a 4 ½ hour flight.
Once we landed, we caught an Uber to the San Francisco Ferry Building. Our uber ride was epic, and the street tacos were just what we needed to refuel! Our Ferry ride was about $16 per person to Vallejo. It was a clear day, and we caught great views of the Golden Gate, Bay Bridge, and Alcatraz. From Vallejo, we took a 30 minute Uber ride to our resort.
We stayed at Vino Bello Resort and let me say the pictures online are cute, but they don’t do the property any justice. The suites are spacious and the grounds are gorgeous. They have several tasting rooms, restaurants, coffee shops, lounges, and a grocery store.
Tasting #1 Get Glam and Turnup!
After freshening up, we made our way to JCB Tasting Salon in Yountville. The hospitality and salon were terrific! The extravagant décor mixed with neon lights and floral arrangements helped us kick-off our epic Napa trip. We started with the JCB Sparkling Wine Flight tasting and a Charcuterie Board. The No. 9 Provocative was my favorite.
After the tasting, we made our way to dinner. The sad part is I don’t remember where we ate dinner because we were so tired. But it was good!
Tasting #2 The Big Bang at Raymond Vineyards
We went to Blend Café for morning pastries, oatmeal, and fruit. Next up was shower and a quick photoshoot before hopping in the Uber! However, we had no idea what we were in store for at Raymond Vineyards. We spent an entire day at Raymond, and the experience was exceptional. The hospitality was stellar and Maha our private tour guide was a gem!
Yabo and I started with the Barrel Cellar tasting where we learned about the owner Jean-Charles Boisset, the production of wine, tasted six wines (1 from the Barrel the 2018 grape my favorite available for purchase in 2021). We also learned that John Legend went to school to be a winemaker (hence his partnership with the Vineyard and brand LVE).
Courtney and Mika decided to become winemakers in the room next to us. Keep your eye out for Pretty Stallion (2019 grape by M. Harrell) and Imperfectly Perfect (2019 grape by C. Moore) coming to a store near you in 2022!
We left the Vineyard for an hour and went to lunch at Oakville Market which is owned by Raymond Vineyards and JCB. Who knew a little market would be the hot spot of the day? The line was insane, but the sandwiches were amazing.
Upon returning to the Vineyard, we met with Maha and toured the Theater of Nature learning that the Vineyard is an organic and biodynamic farm. We then visited several tasting rooms, cellars, ending with a bonding moment in the super sexy Red Room! Denise was fantastic and kept our glasses full.
The experience at Raymond was so amazing it could be a chapter in a book. We ended our evening at Allergia Ristorante recapping our day over drinks and pasta.
Key things to remember to drink plenty of water, eat crackers they coat your stomach better (thanks Maha) and give yourself 15 – 20 minutes for an Uber to arrive. During the peak season traffic is more cumbersome, and getting around takes a little longer.
Stay tuned for Days 3 and 4.