Traveling Tuesdays: Napa Valley

Round Two with Rusty: You can’t hardly go all the way to San Francisco and not spend a little time in wine country. Here is part two of my parent’s trip to San Francisco (as told by my dad).

Lodging: We stayed at the Silverado Resort because they offered an amazing golf and spa package. The course is excellent and feels like it sits in the clouds. The ladies vowed that the spa was first-class and loved the day of pampering. We also took full advantage of the private verandas in each room, enjoying cigars and cocktails while overlooking the No. 10 tee box on the North Course.

Wineries: We spent two of the greatest days of our trip in Napa Valley. We drove straight through the gorgeous valley on Highway 29 to St. Helena where we took a tour of and did a tasting at Beringer Vineyards, the oldest continuous winery in the valley with a superb mix of white and reds and the best gift shop we found. After that, we headed to the Del Dotto Caves to visit one of Napa’s newest wineries. Del Dotto had a venetian elegance about it. We drank straight from the barrels, bought wine futures, and sampled some prosciutto and cheeses (and drank a lot of wine). The next day we hit Robert Mondavi’s Vineyard, which had a very classy and artsy atmosphere. Then we headed to Francis Coppola’s Inglenook; a beautiful stop with a great tasting room that is full of story telling and history.

Dining:

We had a late lunch after our first tour winery tours at Tra Vigne where we tried everything from BBQ spare ribs to the fig pizza and grilled mozzarella, which was the perfect compliment to our day of wine. Then, we continued our drive through the Valley on the scenic Silverado Trail that is an absolute must for a trip to Napa. That evening we dined at the Rutherford Grill located in the Silverado Resort. The menu was extensive and the drinks and wine were all excellent. We finished the evening outside in rocking chairs by the fireplace to remove the mid-July evening chill.

The next day we traveled to Yountville where we found the gustorry highlight of our trip at the Mustards Grill. The ingredients are as fresh as the come with a huge vegetable garden on the property. Everything we tried from the burger to the pork loin to the salads were top notch. After a few more wine tastings we explored Downtown Napa and visited the Oxbox Public Market at the big curl in the Napa River. There are dozens of eateries and wine-tasting bars in this area. It was a great finale to our trip and encouragement to revisit. We will be back!

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