24 Hours in Napa

Last weekend I was able to spend a day in Napa. While Napa is known as most-visit spot for any foodie, this was my first trip to the valley and certainly won’t be my last. Spending a day here with my brother was the perfect getaway from the city and one that will be repeated very soon. We were only there for a short period of time, but I thought I’d share my top picks for 24 hours in Napa.

We began our day at the Inglenook Estate and Winery. While there are many tours available in the valley, I chose Inglenook for it’s specialty in estate and it’s signature Rubicon wine. Owned by Francis Ford Coppola, this winery produces the top-shelf wines in the Coppola wine family. Once a month the estate offers a specialized experience, called the Elevage experience. This was the tour and tasting we chose due to the hand-on nature of the blending of the Rubicon. Our tour included tasting 4 various wines and started in the field learning about viticulture, the gravity process of winemaking, the dedication to using french oak barrels and fermenting tanks, and concluding in a wine cellar tasting room. The last portion of the tour was my favorite. We were given various barrel samples of different grape varieties and were encouraged to blend the grapes in a robust red that was the most pleasing to our palette. Provided with a glass of the 2013 vintage Rubicon as a standard, we blended to compare our palette to that of the winemaker’s selection that year. Complete with beakers and graduated cylinders, it felt a lot more like science, than solely a tasting.

After walking around the winery for a bit, we headed to Rutherford Grill for lunch. Dining on farm-to-table fare, I had a fresh rock shrimp caesar salad and my brother had the steak and enchilada platter. Both entrees were delicious and hit the spot.

For dessert we headed to the famed Bouchon Bakery. Run by legendary chef Thomas Keller and located in Yountville, this bakery is worth a stop. Featuring delicious French pastry and dessert, it is one of my favorite places to pick up some food gifts and boxes of various macaroons to enjoy back at home. Right down the street from The French Laundry, the bakery also offers a few delicious savory options that won’t break the bank.

At the end of the day, my brother and I parted ways. He on a flight to Seattle, me back on the road to Redding. I have a feeling Napa will become one of our favorite shared spots in the future.

What are some of your favorite spots in Napa?

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