Words cannot describe Napa Valley, California. And I learned this weekend that pictures (surprisingly) cannot do it justice either. My sweet, sweet cousins invited me and Alex for three days that proved to be nothing less than perfect.
We spent our hours soaking in sunsets from the hammock, picking figs & heirloom tomatoes for an afternoon harvest, enjoying abundant dinners with family and new friends, exploring Valley towns pastry by pastry (Alex bought me the Model Bakery cookbook after falling in love with their English muffins)...
...And tasting our way through Napa, glass by glass.
Before our sun-filled afternoon at Solage Calistoga Resort (my favorite stay of all time on family vacations), we stopped at Kelly Fleming Winery on Picket Road, which is rumored to be the most beautiful vineyard in all of Napa. The lovely Colleen escorted us through their estate with one-of-a-kind natural stone caves and gorgeous wood-beamed ceilings. We snacked on fruits and olives from their vineyard while tasting four consistently fantastic wines. I most enjoyed their Sauvignon Blanc and blended cabernet, "Big Pour."
Cornerstone Vineyards is founded & owned by family friends in Memphis, so a tasting was a must. Robert, our kind connoisseur, shared six wines with us from Cornerstone and its partner label, Stepping Stone. We loved the Syrah most! And the people behind the company, of course.
Not to mention, the art gallery-turned-tasting room is located in the prime spot of downtown Yountville across from infamous Bouchon Bakery (I died over the salted caramel latte and strawberry almond croissant) and countless gourmet restaurants, including Redd Wood (which I will critique soon!). You must go for not only the wine, but also the location!
The final tasting of our Napa weekend was veritably breathtaking. Stagecoach Vineyards is positioned ten miles into Soda Canyon. We were driven to the "look out" tasting pavilion in the center of the vineyard. While little Jude ran around the pavilion playing with the perfectly purple grapes (which will be harvested later this month), the rest of us tasted truly beautiful wines from 2007 on.
It was an exquisite weekend, to say the least. If only my carry-on had room for a few bottles!