Ever since I went to Napa after my 21st birthday with my older brother Matt I have been dying to get back, so when we first decided to go to California for Christmas this was the first trip we planned. When I met Alex he did not have the same love for wine as I did, but as luck will have it (and lots of bottles of wine later) he is now a wine tasting expert.
We went to Napa with no serious plans but had a few wineries that we wanted to make sure to get to. The first being Castello di Amorosa which as you will see in the pictures looks like it was shipped over from Italy. This is kind of true since it took 20 years to build and only used Italian stone- and if I remember correctly they even had Italian builders. So pretty authentic. It took my breathe away when we finally drove up and saw the sheer size of this Italian Castle.
This was the only spot we did a full tour and I am so glad we did. This place is massive and has so much to see. The have recreated an armory room and a torture room- yeah with the real stuff in it. We even got to try wine straight out of the barrel which is always such a cool experience. Apparently this place also throws some killer parties- halloween is supposed to be especially great because they do a haunted house in the cellars. Spooky! We tasted some fantastic wine here and couldn’t leave without two bottles to share with the family and a little bottle of garlic olive oil to bring home with us to Australia. Plus our guide was hilarious and really knowledgeable which always helps to make a winery experience wonderful.
It was a rainy and gloomy day but we did not let that deter us from having a blast on our first day. Of course a day full of wine tasting means you need to fill your belly up with some really good food and oh man did with find it. A little spot called Gott’s Roadside and ate some amazing burgers before hitting up our second winery.
Our next stop was to one of the oldest wineries in the Napa Valley Beringer Brothers. The story behind this spot is really interesting so if you have time look at their website and check it out. I won’t get too into it but this place cost $28,000 to build back in the 1800’s and $6,000 of that was solely spent on stained glass. The wine here was a bit more pricey and Alex and I decided we simply do not have the palate for wines that cost over $100. Alex was also really impressed with whoever cut the bushes here.
Our last stop for the day was to Francis Ford Coppola Winery (also known as Inglenook Winery), Alex wanted to go for the male reasons- you know because he directed the Godfather movies and won a few Oscars (5 to be exact) but I wanted to go because I used to drink Coppola Wine when I was in college and it was exciting to see where the wine had come from. Again this place was just filled with things to look at because Francis was an avid collector. We walked around for a while before getting a coffee and heading in for the night.
Our first day in Napa was beautiful. We couldn’t wait to get to our cute little bed and breakfast to relax for a while before heading out for dinner. I had been looking forward to seeing this B&B since the day I booked it and it did NOT disappoint. It looked like it was straight out of a fairy tale. It was called the Candlelight Inn and any couples looking for a romantic place to stay in Napa this is the spot for you! We stayed in the Lady Heather room which included a fireplace and a sauna so yeah it was very romantic. We ate out at an Italian restaurant because well I love pasta and I love wine and Italian spots usually can make both of those things happen. The spot was called Bistro Don Giovanni and was perfect because it was so close to our hotel and the food was fantastic. I am kind of in a full on gnocchi phase right now and theirs was delicious.
We finished off the night by popping some Prosecco and watching Liar Liar in our cute little room with the fireplace alight. Bubbles and comedy what a way to close out a perfect first day in Napa?