Being a Californian, I’ve always heard “you haven’t seen a real fall”, and while I know it’s true, I do savor the glimpses I do get. I am very blessed to live a hop, skip and a jump away from wine country, so I try to make it up as much as possible, especially when I know the leaves will be radiant with color.
For my latest trip I got spoiled. Normally I do a decent amount of research into where I want to go to breakfast, wineries with the prettiest grounds, yada yada. But for this trip my friend had everything planned out! What a treat 🙂
Here’s what we did:
Stop 1, Breakfast at the Sunflower Café in Sonoma Square
This place is just heavenly! You order your food at the counter and find a seat. It started pouring rain when we arrived, but we snatched an amazing covered table on the back patio where we were toasted by the heaters and serenaded by the sound of rain. I’ve never dined outside while it was raining, and this experience alone was therapeutic. All their food is sustainably sourced from local businesses – and is quite delicious! We arrived around 10:30 on Saturday morning and had no trouble finding a spot. After your meal, make sure to swing by the shop next door – Global Heart – where you can find fair trade goodies for all ages! If you have extra time, stroll around the square, there are tons of cute spots to see.
Stop 2, Domaine Carneros, Napa
Driving up to this winery makes you feel like you’re approaching an English Country Château- it’s enchantingly elegant. Stroll up the beautiful staircase and take in the colorful vineyards and roses on either side. If it’s a nice day out, the patio will be loaded with champagne connoisseurs enjoying the view. If it’s a rainy day, like ours was, get a reservation so they save you a seat in their lovely dining room. You will spend a bit more on tastings here (starting at $30), but it’s worth every penny (*they offer a military discount for my fellow service members). We sat here for literally hours, sipping our champagne and taking it all in.
Stop 3, Oxbow Public Market, Napa
This place is ah-mazing. The market is loaded with unique restaurants, goodies, gifts, you name it! If we hadn’t still been stuffed on breakfast, we would have indulged in one of the tempting restaurants. Since we were stuffed, we sauntered around the little “shops”, tasting olive oils and chocolate sauces, getting googly-eyed over cupcakes and assortments of cheeses and meats, smelled the extensive collection of every spice you could think of, and sniffed more flavors of bitters one knew existed. We grabbed a couple of rainy day weather brews from Fieldwork Brewery and sat out on the patio and took it all in. We ended our day walking along the river, watching the locals fish.
While only hitting 3 spots doesn’t sound like much, we took our time at each spot, and before we knew it, it was evening. This truly was a beautiful, delicious, and leisurely day. Now, go, explore, indulge, have fun! Surround yourself with good company, have good conversations, and enjoy the beauty that surrounds you.
God id good friends. God is good.