A Fall Day in Wine Country

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 

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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.

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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.

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Russian River Wine Tasting

Another post about my jaunts in wine country…

Today was absolutely lovely!  We only tasted at 2 spots – but they both were wonderful!

Stop #1: Korbel Champagne Cellers

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$9 for a bottle of delicious Champagne!  I bought the Brut Rose.  YUM!

FREE Champagne tasting!  Everything I had was delicious, and the place is beautiful.  They also have a little market to buy snacks from to picnic.  Bottles of Champagne average around $14!  Can’t beat it.  Also, for my fellow military folks, they generously offer 25% off purchased.

Stop #2: Lunch at Russian River Pub 

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As seen on Diners, Drive ins & Dives.  Feeling a little perked from Korbel, we wanted something hearty and delicious.  We had reservations elsewhere, but decided to give this one a go, and we’re super glad we did!

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And the best spot yet…..♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Stop #3: Russian River Vineyards

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Don’t take this lightly… you MUST go here.  This place, and the staff, has left me with feelings of packing up life and moving to Forestville.  It’s tranquil, quaint, delicious, darling… it’s everything you want.  The grounds are gorgeous, the wine is decadent and they have a delicious looking menu (we were too full to eat!).  They too are generous to us military folks by offering complimentary tasting and 10% off purchases.  A must go.

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’twas a beautiful day and a beautiful drive.  So blessed to live this close to paradise!  God is good friends, God is good.

Silverado Trail Part 1

Today was glorious.  Started out at church, followed by a delicious brunch and wine tasting!  Perfect way to spend a Sunday.

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Here’s where we went:

Brunch:  Alexis’ Baking Company & Cafe (ABC) Downtown Napa.
They change their menu seasonally (maybe monthly) so we ate off the March Spring Menu* & Everyday Breakfast Menu.

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Food:  Creme Brulee French Toast with Fresh Strawberries* ($14.95) and Smoked Salmon Sandwich with Eggs, Cream Cheese, Red Onions and Capers on a Potato Bun ($12.95) with a side of Potatoes with Cheese ($4.95).  Hot Chai Latte & Cold Chair Latte – YUM!  (Around $3.50/each)

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Wineries:  Regusci Winery, Robert Sinskey Vineyards & Chimney Rock Winery.

Regusci:  Stumbled upon this gem after we missed our turn for Chimney Rock!  A flight of 4 wines for $20.  A BIG thank you to Brittany for waiving the tasting fee when I asked about military discount.  Today we tried a Chardonnay, Zin, Merlot and Cab.  I hate to say it.. but we really only enjoyed the white – and I’m not normally a big Chardonnay fan, but this was a good one.  The tasting room and outdoor patio was really charming, the grounds were lovely, and the old building was beautiful!

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Robert Sinskey Vineyards:  This spot was recommended by Brittany from Regusci.  We pulled in, and though it was under construction, it was lovely!  A flight of 4 wines for $25.  Another BIG thank you to Kyle for offering a waived tasting fee for my military discount, and throwing in an extra taste.  We had an Abraxis, Orgia (label made of acid paper…), Pinot Noir, Cab and a POV.  The Abraxis was pretty tasty, especially on a warm summer day.  The reds were good, but we didn’t walk away with any.  What I especially liked about this winery was that they included a little food platter to sample with your tastings – and everything on here with yummy!  Especially the roasted almonds with rosemary, sage, olive oil and salt.  MMMmmmm

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Chimney Rock:  Found this on the Winery Finder App offering discounts, and also on yelp.  And boy are we glad we came here!  We made this the last stop for the day, and it was perfect.  A flight of 1 white and 4 reds (2 different flights to choose) for $35, and a flight of 3 whites and 1 red for $25.  A BIG thank you to our sommelier for offering a 2 for 1 taste for my military discount.  I’m going to be honest here… it was the end of the day, and the wines were blending at this point.  I had the 3 whites and 1 red, and enjoyed them all!  Ha!  My partner had 1 white and 4 reds and enjoyed them as well.  What we really enjoyed was the grounds.  The back patio was just lovely, a perfect spot to spend the afternoon.  The only bummer was you can’t picnic here due to Napa laws (or something beyond my scope).  We will definitely be back here!  Loved it.

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It truly was a beautiful day in wine country, and I am looking forward to the Silverado Trail part 2.  This part of the trail was the Stags Leap region – and it was beautiful and tasty!  Great day to be a Californian.

God is good friends.  God is good.

Occidental & Healdsburg

Saturday called for early afternoon rain – so I figured I could get a quick bite and some wine tasting in before it came!  California thinks it’s spring – so the hills are luscious green are flowing with mustard flowers!  Such a beautiful day!

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Here’s what I did:

Travel time: 3.5 hours total

Locations:  Breakfast in Occidental and Wine Tasting in Healdsburg

Cost:  Irish Eggs Benedict, Coffee & Chai Tea Latte – $25 including tip.  Private tasting (fee waived) and 2 bottles of wine – $64.

Breakfast was delicious!  I stumbled upon Howard’s Station Cafe this past President’s Day when I was exploring on my own, and I had to bring my Beau back!  The first time around I had the Original Eggs Benedict with a side of fruit and a Chai Tea Latte.  YUM!  The second time we had the Irish Eggs Benedict with a side of potatoes.  We had a snack on the drive up (1.5 hour) so we split the dish – which was perfect.  Out server was great, and all the staff helped each other out.  Good experience x 2!

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Alex enjoying MY Chai Tea Latte!

Wine Tasting was delectable!  We go wine tasting quite frequently – and I always try to find new spots.  To be honest – I mostly look for spots with great reviews and great views!  I stumbled upon Acorn Winery in doing a random yelp search – and boy am I glad I stopped in!  Their license requires patrons to make an appointment – which was fine by me.  Betsy – owner and darling lady, was wonderful!  We were the only ones in their small tasting room, and had the most intimate tasting.  We learned so much – and for the first time ever, I enjoyed all of the wine.  They do not mass produce, and they’ve definitely poured their heard into their “second career”.  I purchased Cabernet Franc and my beau got their Dolcetto.  Yum!

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As always, we had a great time!

God is good friends, God is good.