napa travel | designlovefest

joanie and i just returned from an amazing weekend in the napa wine country. it was my first time ever being there and i can’t wait to go back. there is SO much to see and do. it feels like we barely scratched the surface. all of the food and wine we had was amazing and everything was so green and lush because of all of the recent rain. we stayed at the auberge du soleil and it couldn’t have been more relaxing. it’s perfectly located between saint helena and yountville which was crucial as we didn’t have much time and wanted to cover a lot of ground.

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the service was amazing and we had dinner at their michelin-star restaurant and it was honestly one of the best meals i’ve ever had. the views are beautiful and the whole atmosphere at the resort is relaxing, neutral colors, fire place in our room, huge bathtub, and tons of fun amenities like free mini bar snacks!

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we flew on a tiny (semi-scary) propeller plane from LAX to santa rosa. once we landed and checked into the hotel we headed straight to quintessa winery for our first tasting. the architecture and design of this place was my favorite part…

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it felt very japanese and reminded me a lot of my visit to kyoto. the colors, shapes, windows, everything was really well thought out and made you feel instantly relaxed once you were inside. they only make one type of wine, it’s a red blend, and they grow all of their own grapes right on the property. their wine is delicious but pricey! after that we headed back up to the hotel and visited a winery we could walk to called rutherford hill. we didn’t love their wines but we had fun sitting outside in the sun and the estate was really beautiful. that night we had our dinner at the hotel and it was such a treat. we both agreed that our favorite dish was the octopus salad followed closely by the sweet corn lobster risotto.

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joanie was making me work out and be active (ugh, but felt so much better after!) the next morning we woke up early and went for a walk in our bathrobes followed by a visit to the gym. then it was time for brunch. we ate on the terrace of the hotel which you do not have to be a guest to do, just make a reservation and enjoy the stunning views. after breakfast, we went down to the spa and enjoyed the cleansing ritual of body brushing followed by a cold soak and also all of their dipping pools. i also had a facial which was the best facial i’ve ever had. LOVE their spa.

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following the spa, we hopped in the car and went to mending wall winery which we loved. the people are super sweet and all of their wine was excellent. all of the wineries we went to are by appointment only so be sure to reserve if you want to visit. some of the vineyards get licensed for a certain number of tastings per week so they require appointments to keep track. we could have spent a couple of hours just hanging out and drinking wine (and eating cheese!), it was very relaxed.

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we then headed to calistoga and hit up busters BBQ. we split the tri-tip sandwich on their garlic bread top with hot sauce and coleslaw. so messy and soooo good. our next stop was in saint helena at spring mountain vineyard. this place is gorgeous and off the main drag so it feels really peaceful. their focus is on older vintages (we tried their 2001!) and they age everything for 5-10 years before they even offer it to customers. one thing i noticed is that most people are very laid back about their wines, they aren’t snobby, they are open to all questions even the ones i thought might be dumb and they generally made california wine seem very approachable which i appreciate because wine can be intimidating.

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we drove through saint helena and then headed into yountville for an afternoon snack at bouchon bakery. it was super crowded when we got there, probably best to go in the morning. yountville definitely had a more ritzy vibe then the other places we visited but it’s a really cute place to walk around. lots of cute little shops and places to taste wine. for our final dinner we decided to try out redd wood. the pizza was delicious and the atmosphere was very lively which was a fun way to end our trip. we finished the night with watching titanic in bed with the fire on.

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i kept telling joanie that it felt like our honeymoon and it really did! it was the perfect weekend and i can’t wait to visit again. let me know if you have favorite places in that area that i need to visit next time i’m up there!

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Add your own

    Jedalyn says:

    Hi Bri! Looks like so much fun! Where’d you get your red one piece swimsuit? Been looking for something like that forever! =)

    designlovefest says:

    i actually forgot mine and had to buy one at the hotel gift shop! the brand is La Blanca!

    Marie O. says:

    Love this part of CA. Your images are lovely (as always). Made me really yearn to get back to there soon (maybe in the summer!). I think I may have the same swimsuit (in fuchsia), what brand is it?

    Samantha Lee says:

    I’ve been waiting for you to share about this trip because your photos on Instagram were BEAUTIFUL. I haven’t been to Napa but have been up to Sonoma a couple times and honestly, wine country is the best most relaxing vacation you can ever take. Now I really want to hit up these spots. <3

    Loved reading your experiences! I love bouchon bakery… I always get there bright and early to avoid the crowds. 🙂 Next time you’re here I would love to host you and give you recs.

    Melo says:

    Haha, how sweet! And timely! Thank you for sharing, Bri. I’m taking my little sister to Napa in three weeks (both of our first times!) for her 21st birthday celebration 🙂

    bri says:

    you two have fun!!

    caroline says:

    the speckled lining on the pink suitcases are v amazing. could you let me know where they’re from?

    Hilary Hahn says:

    I have always wanted to visit Napa Valley.

    homeia says:

    Love this part of CA.

    Linda says:

    Thank you for sharing

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