Wine

Eleven Eleven Winery

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Welcome to Winery Wednesday!

I am so excited to start kicking off these Wednesday posts again to share more about some of my favorite wineries in Napa Valley! Today’s edition features a gorgeous winery located just 5 minutes away from Downtown Napa! Eleven Eleven Wines is located on Trancas Street and Big Ranch Road, in the Oak Knoll AVA and just a quick drive or walk if you are staying in downtown.

Even with Eleven Eleven being so close to town, this is definitely a hidden gem winery with a total production of around 1800 cases. The outside of the winery is gorgeous with a beautiful drive through the vineyards, my favorite! The winery is young as it was built in 2013 but honestly it looks brand new with the design and architecture. They have a renowned winemaker, Kirk Venge, who was born and raised in Napa Valley and has been in the wine industry for his whole career.

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As if we thought the outside was beautiful, once we walked through the doors, my jaw dropped…literally. If only I could design a space like this in my house, talk about #goals. The interior was honestly breathtaking with an innovative and contemporary design that was so welcoming and comfortable.

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Now let’s get to the wine…as I mentioned, they have a smaller case production. It is my favorite thing to find a winery with a smaller case production that focuses on quality versus the quantity of wine produced. We began our tasting with the 2018 Estate Rose of Syrah…let’s just say I left with a bottle of this as it was so good. It was so refreshing on the palate and I plan to have this out at the pool in the warm summer weather. Can you say rose all day!

We then moved onto the whites, a Sauv Blanc and a Chardonnay, both of which I really liked. The Chardonnay was very unique as it was more of a delicious buttery aroma on the nose, but in a twist of delight on the palate it did not have an over powering butter taste and was more tropical and light. I really enjoyed the complexity of this wine.

We also had the opportunity to try three of their red wines, a Pinot Noir, a Zinfandel, and to finish the tasting we had their Cabernet Sauvignon with a sea salt dark chocolate pairing. Let’s just say I was in heaven by this point. The Pinot Noir was definitely one of my favorites from Russian River Valley, it was bold and full of rich flavor.

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When wineries still keep the art of winemaking and family environment in the winery, it can really make your experience wine tasting so different. At Eleven Eleven we felt so welcome and had a great time learning all about the history of how the winery was first started. I won’t spoil the story before your visit, but it is a good one! And I love the meaning of “Eleven Eleven,” which is to “make-your-moment.” Such an inspiration!

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If you have any questions regarding my tasting experience or are interested in visiting the winery please let me know or contact the winery to set up your appointment! 

Cheers,

XOXO BB

Join Raw Vino

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I don’t know what could be better than coming home after a long day at work to a package of wine delivered right to your house?! Well wait no longer, Raw Vino has you covered! This amazing wine membership service gives you the option to choose how many bottles of wine you would like to receive in each shipment. It also allows for you to choose which natural wine you would like delivered to your front door step.

Now you may be wondering what natural wine is and thought that all wine is natural, but there are actually a lot of additives that most wines contain. With Raw Vino you will be receiving wine that is free of these additives and fruit that is farmed from organic and biodynamic vineyards. Most of the wines are also small production and family owned which you know I love to support!

In addition to this, Raw Vino is also very environmentally friendly by taking further steps to not include excess packaging materials like pamphlets, stickers, tissue paper, etc.

One other amazing quality about Raw Vino is they donate 5% of the profits to the “California Certified Organic Farmers” foundation. In addition to this, they have a commitment to support and feature female winemakers in the selection of wine you can choose in your next shipment. I think this is such a great feature about Raw Vino with more and more female winemakers creating a path in the industry.

 

Cheers,

XOXO BB

Yountville Tasting Rooms

Happy Winery Wednesday everyone! Today I thought I would mix it up aand talk about one of my favorite places to go wine tasting. No it is not at one single winery, but in Downtown Yountville! If you have been to this cute little town before then you know just how charming it is and how many tasting rooms there are.

Yountville is a town located just north of Napa, but let me tell you it is famous with its world renound restaurants…like the French Laundry for example. In addition to all the amazing, Michelin rated restaurants, there are some great tasting rooms all within walking distance to one another!

Here is my listed of where to go wine tasting in Yountville:

1. JCB – the first place I ever went to in Napa and it is such a fun, luxurious environment for wine tasting

2. Hope & Grace – my parents love this wine so it was exciting to finally visiting this quaint tasting room

3. Stewart Cellars – relatively new to Yountville and located right next to Southside Cafe (also yum!)

4. RH- many are confused by the concept of this store/gallery/restaurant/wonderland, but it actually has a separate section for wine tasting!

5. Jessie Cellars – this relatively new addition to Yountville has a gorgeous art gallery tasting room and some incredible wine

6. Silver Trident- Beautiful Ralph Lauren tasting room with an amazing food pairing

7. Priest Ranch Wines- a fun and relaxing tasting rooms with great wine

While I have been to all of these great places there are even more that I haven’t been to yet! So many great places in Yountville for your next wine tasting experience. Definitely plan to stop by Yountville for some more wine tasting adventures!

Cheers,

XOXO BB

 

Santa Barbara Tasting Rooms

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Happy Winery Wednesday everyone!

A few weeks ago I traveled to Santa Barbara with some amazing friends to explore the town and go wine tasting. I had an unbelievable time and I really loved every moment of our trip, including the 10 hour car ride! A big “thank you” to Spotify, Taco Bell, and all the Starbucks coffee! The day we left we woke up at 3:00am to leave the house to start driving down the California coast…talk about early!

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Our first stop was brunch at the delicious restaurant, Scarlett Begonia, in downtown Santa Barbara. Our friend Elle (@themodernpour go follow her wine adventures!) recommended we add this restaurant to our list for brunch and I must say it was SO GOOD, just look at the quinoa oatmeal…YUM!. They had a lively outdoor courtyard with some great brunch options, and not to mention all of the puppies that people brought there as well!

 

 

 

IMG_3013.JPGIMG_3014.JPGOur next stop was the Grassini Family Vineyards tasting room in Downtown Santa Barbara. The courtyard where Grassini is located is filled with a lot of tasting rooms! If only we had more time to explore them all (maybe next trip!) The tasting flight we had was the “Estate Flight” that featured their selection of Cabernet Sauvignon, red blend, and Sauvignon Blanc. (Shoutout to Cat from @bythestem for the recommendation!

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Grassini Family Vineyards has the downtown tasting room and also a beautiful winery in Happy Canyon (the eastern edge of Santa Ynez Valley). While we were driving around the valley the next day we had the chance to visit their winery estate. The peaceful grounds of the winery were gorgeous and they even had a small pound tucked away on the side of the property amongst the vineyards. Talk about a great place to sip on some great wine.

 

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IMG_3033.jpgAfter our first tasting we headed over to the Sanford Winery tasting room only a few blocks away. (I loved how there were so many tasting rooms all within walking distance, it reminded me so much of Downtown Napa!) The Sanford tasting room was intimate and a great environment to enjoy some wine. The pricing for each tasting selection is very reasonable and includes some incredible wine. Sanford Wineries also as a vineyard property in the Sta. Rits Hills in Santa Barbara County. This winery has been producing wine from these vineyards for over forty years, one of the most historic wineries in the valley! Definitely check them out when you are in the area! (shoutout to @tonyandthetravelingwineglass for the recommendation!)

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Overall, we had a fantastic trip and I am really looking forward to going back soon to share more wine adventures. Have a great Wednesday everyone!

Cheers,

XOXO BB

 

A 5 Course Experience at

Ram’s Gate Winery521310F2-5B9C-44C6-82FD-2941AE179FB4.JPGHey everyone it’s time for another addition to the Winery Wednesday! This past weekend we had the amazing opportunity of visiting Ram’s Gate Winery in Sonoma. A couple of fellow wine bloggers and I headed to Ram’s Gate Sunday mid-morning to enjoy a food and wine tasting experience.

FDBDE9F2-4B82-48FF-99B0-98E20D0B6A4A.JPGOn the drive in we immediately noticed the amazing views and architecture of the winery. We were greeted by their friendly, welcoming staff and enjoyed a glass of Sauvignon Blanc.

With the winery being about only a 30 minutes from both San Francisco and Napa it has the perfect location no matter where you might be traveling from. We began our tour sipping on wine walking through the property and out to the vineyards, then some behind the scenes in the wine tank room and barrel room.

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In the main tasting room we saw groups of people laughing and enjoying great wine and also trying some delicious bites of food. This was definitely the place to be for locals and people traveling to wine country area to visit.

 

 

 

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After we finish our tour we headed upstairs to their private library tasting room which was truly stunning, and as I mentioned on my Instagram stories I was ready to move into this gorgeous space!

 

We sat down at our large tasting table with a full menu list of what we would be trying and noticed the personal touch of all our names at the top of the menu. Love it!

 

 

The food and wine tasting we had was truly incredible and I have never had this experience at any winery before. It was a 5 course menu with a gourmet food selection perfectly paired with each corresponding wine. The way each food complimented the wine was delightful and not to mention delicious!

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The tasting experience that we had was at a very reasonable $130 price per person for those who aren’t members of the winery (this does not include any tax/gratuity).  If you are a member of Rams Gate, this experience is $68 per person. Being a member at Ram’s Gate truly has some great benefits including some amazing discounts, complimentary tastings and more! If you are looking for a one of a kind food and wine pairing, then Ram’s Gate is definitely the place to go.

1DEF172C-A6C0-4CE4-BCC3-3173A1B2A99B.JPG One of my favorite wines we had this day was their 2014 Syrah which you can get here. It is from the Hyde Vineyards and aged 18 months in two-thirds new French oak.

I really enjoyed all of the wines we tasted that day and I admire the small production of only 13,000 cases per year. They really promote the quality of their wine versus the quantity.

434885F9-B787-4C2A-ACA1-16E5DA432BB4.JPG I hope you enjoyed following along this  wine adventure and you can add visiting Ram’s Gate to you list for your next trip to wine country!

Cheers,

XOXO BB

095FDDAE-ACF7-40FD-89AF-13A2CF486323.jpegWell hey there fellow wine lovers! It’s another edition of “Winery Wednesday” and man oh man do I have something exciting to share…a brand new winery in Napa!!!

A6DAB48C-416A-4C05-BE1E-2E6B65C75192.jpegA couple of weekends ago I headed up Highway 29 with a friend for some more wine adventures. Our second stop of the day was at the highly popular Prisoner Winery! The winery opened only about 5 weeks ago. After driving past the winery for the past year while it was still under construction, I was so excited it was finally open.

We walked up to the gorgeous new building and was greeted with a glass of Chenin Blanc. Perfect for the warmer winter afternoon. While enjoying our light and crisp glasses we headed into the beautiful main tasting room. Since it was a warmer day, we decided to sit outside and enjoy the sunshine.

The outside area was modern, fun, and comfortable with market lights strung above the whole courtyard area.

9D781BC7-EF69-4371-AAC8-ED2057B3F2CB.jpegWe began our tasting with a glass of the 2017 Rosé, again another very refreshing and light taste.

65F65103-BAAE-4512-9A8B-06E15D435B23.jpegSince we were on a little bit of a time crunch, they poured the remaining three reds side by side. We enjoyed the 2016 Blindfold blend, 2016 The Prisoner their flagship red blend, and the 2016 Headlock charbono.

We also received a complimentary food pairing of Butternut squash with pumpkin seeds and olive oil, sell salt crackers. Yum!

35075B65-498C-48DD-BEE9-14557EB7BCB0.jpegThe entire ambience of the tasting area was relaxing and comfortable. The separate spaces allowed for groups to hangout and chat while sipping on some great wine.

I have heard a lot about this winery and now I see why! Next time you are in wine country and want to check out a brand new winery, make sure to set up a time for Prisoner Winery.

Cheers!

XOXO BB

5DEC5AAA-8A86-48FC-9760-1B0490E3F869.jpegHey there fellow wine lovers, Happy Winery Wednesday! This week I’d like to talk about the great experience I had at Inglenook winery in Napa Valley.

DB98FCF3-54B1-42B5-B84E-408496CC3901.jpegMy friend Cassie from @bythestem (make sure to go follow her if you’re not already!) decided to host an event last Saturday at the historic Inglenook Winery, and I am so happy she did!

3F162122-9937-4F5A-91B5-D9A3E579D8A7.jpeg The drive into the winery was honestly one of the most gorgeous I have been to in Napa. Right off Highway 29 there is a magical tall black and gold gate that leads into the long and beautiful drive lined with trees in full autumn colors. The mountains set in the background behind the gorgeous winery. It truly was breathtaking.

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It was so great to meet more amazing women who all have a passion for wine. We enjoyed a tour through the older wine caves into the newer “infinity cave”. Here we were joined by the assistant wine maker himself where we sampled their 2017 Rubicon Cabernet from the barrel! Talk about a Napa Valley bucket list item.

76FF1EF0-658E-4047-890D-8010B982E7C1.jpegTouring the grounds of this historic property which has been in Napa for over 140 years was beyond fascinating. The stories of how the winery was “reborn” after prohibition and the people who helped along the way was great to learn about. All of us wine girls were loving it!

After we finished our tour (and picture taking of course!) we headed to a private area where we had delicious cheese boards and tasted a handful of their wines. This included the 2014 RC Reserve, 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon, and the 2015 Rubicon. All of the wines were outstanding and it was great to compare the 2017 and 2015 Rubicon, the winery’s Flagship wine (97% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Merlot) and just how two years can make such a difference in the wine.

CF4C8A86-62B7-4FEE-A539-B3ABA47328E6.jpegThank you to Cassie and Inglenook Winery for hosting our group for this great experience. I will definitely be visiting again soon and I recommend you do the same! Be prepared to drink some incredible wine, learn some amazing Napa wine history, and be swept away into the Inglenook Winery charm.

 

Cheers,

XOXO BB

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256DB018-A441-4856-BC37-0FCAB4354D44Welcome to another Winery Wednesday! I wanted to share one winery that I visited a couple weekends ago. I joined some fellow wine bloggers for an event at AXR Winery in St. Helena. It was a great end to our fun filled Napa girls day with brunch and some wineries!

4EF9F2AC-A472-4CDB-B94C-7A03E8FB637D.jpegWe all met up at AXR, an amazingly historic winery that has been in Napa for over 134 years. The property has changed throughout the years and has a very interesting story, including some ghost stories! Our wine educator took us on a tour through the property and the historic Victorian home.

The  views of the property are gorgeous, surrounded by vineyards and they have a beautiful outdoor area for tastings and private events. The newly remodeled main indoor space is fun and contemporary. There are semi private rooms for each tasting so your group can have a more boutique experience.

4105d834-61f0-47ac-8f2e-f56baf894941-e1543418490191.jpegNow, to mention the DELICIOUS wine that we tried. We went through our tasting line up and one of my favorites included the 2014 AXR Cabernet Sauvignon. They had potatoes chips covered with cheese out for us to snack on, and I must say, it was hard to stop munching on them!

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After our tasting we headed outside in the beautiful fall colored vineyards to of course find the perfect photo op! If you are looking for a fun and relaxing winery to enjoy with a rich history of Napa Valley, I recommend stopping by AXR of Highway 128!

Cheers,

XOXO BB!

Hey Wine world! I wanted to share one of my recent trips to Napa Cellars Winery located right off Highway 29 in Napa. I partnered with Napa Cellars Winery a couple of months ago and I must say I have been loving their wine. I have really enjoyed partnering together and working with them.

We visited Napa Cellars one sunny fall day here in town on a Saturday afternoon. The weather was perfect and we enjoyed our tasting outside at one of their picnic tables.

Napa Cellars has been in the valley for over 40 years and they make some great wine        and have different food pairings to choose from. We decided to try the chocolate and wine pairing over the cheese pairing, just too try something new (since we always opt to try the cheese pairings!)

The winery is also set up for picnics and you have the option to bring your own food! (GASP!) This is so rare here in the valley to be able to bring your own outside food to a winery. You are also able to just order a glass of wine and enjoy their beautiful outdoor space.

It is such a great location to go with friends to hangout and enjoy wine, food, and the outdoor area including corn hole and other outdoor games.

Cheers!

XOXO BB

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hey wine world!

img_8020.jpgOne of my favorite wineries to visit this past weekend was Alpha Omega, I mean look at the view. I have been to Alpha Omega a couple times since moving to Napa and it is definitely a place to visit when you are in Wine Country.

If you are driving on Highway 29 from Napa and look to your right you might notice a beautiful winery with giant water fountains. Well, make sure you turn right and have your next wine tasting experience at this gorgeous winery.

Walking into their inside tasting room you notice the great modern design and fabulous chandelier. They have a large u-shape tasting bar in the center with private tasting rooms located right across.

This day we were fortunate enough to be seated outside at their breathtaking wine tasting area. Honestly, the views sitting in front of the fountains surrounded by vineyards with the rolling valley hills in the distance, is one of my favorite views in all of Napa.

It is a great winery to spend time outside and taste some pretty incredible wines. This having been my fourth time visiting Alpha Omega, I decided to step up the tasting experience and choose to the “Single Vineyard” tasting. One of my favorites from the tasting is the 2012 Proprietary Red Wine, with a dark red color and scents of dark chocolate.

My favorite wine on the tasting menu was the Alpha Omega flagship wine, the ERA. This wine is a blend of 94% Cabernet, 4% Cabernet Franc, and 2% Merlot. The grapes are sourced from eight Cabernet Sauvignon single vineyards in Wine Country… Yeah, Ill take a whole case.

Headed to Napa soon? Make sure you add this one to your list because you do not want to miss this!

Cheers!

XOXO BB

 

I had the great opportunity to meet up with two fellow Instagram wine lovers this past weekend! I met up with Raquel from @watchmesip and went to the tasting room Silver Trident in Yountville to see Mallory from @vineliving. For those of you who know me well, I love walking around downtown Yountville enjoying the restaurants and tasting rooms. It is definitely a place to visit while touring beautiful Wine Country.

img_7044    Silver Trident is a cute tasting room located right off the main road in Yountville and we were first greeted with a splash of their rosé . The whole tasting room is designed by Ralph Lauren and is truly beautiful inside. It is a smaller tasting room consisting of private tasting rooms where you and your guests can enjoy the delicious wines and food pairings. As I have mentioned in another post, I am really loving these smaller and more intimate tasting room experiences. I think it is so fun to have the opportunity to sit with the wine educator throughout the tasting and get to learn more about the wines. It is a fun environment to learn even more about wine and having the chance to ask questions you might not be able to otherwise.

Each food pairing is perfectly selected with the wine we would be having throughout the tasting. After touring the property we sat down and began the tasting with their 2017 Sauvignon Blanc. The SB was very refreshing, smooth, and a light finish. From there we continued on to a side by side of the 2015 and 2016 Pinot Noir. And we finished our tasting with their 100% 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon.

We had such a great time and it was so exciting meeting these girls IRL and getting hear more about their love of wine. I strongly recommend making an appointment at Silver Trident on your next visit to Wine Country to taste some fabulous wine, and you will definitely walk away with some Ralph Lauren interior design inspiration!

XOXO BB

When pulling up to the private gate for Far Niente Winery prepare to be swept away into one of the most beautiful wineries. Driving through the gorgeous gardens you feel like you are truly in a Sleeping Beauty Fairytale. Walking up to the estate there is a sense of beauty and history behind the property which was founded in 1885. The winery has been apart of the Nickel family for decades now.

The grounds of Far Niente are breathtaking from multiple ponds, one with water fountains, and one with a small bridge leading to a white gazibo.

We also learned they have double the amount of groundskeepers to winery educators for their 13 acres. A truly gorgeous setting, if only they could host weddings!

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I recently had the opportunity to experience a full tasting at Far Niente with some great friends. Once we pulled into the main part of the winery, we were warmly greeted with the last name of the reservation. We headed up to the estate on a private path through colorful gardens. We walked into the estate and were greeted with a glass of their 2016 Chardonnay.

From there we were escorted down to our private tasting outside at a table that was fully set with cheese pairings. Our view was so peaceful looking out to the pond and white gazebo with the Napa Valley vineyards surrounding us in the distance.

img_6834We began our tasting with a side by side of their 2016 and 2014 Chardonnay. Finding the difference in the wines in just two years time and how the taste changes. We continued on to their 2016 Enroute Pinot Noir, followed by another side by side of the 2015 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon and the 2012 Cave Collection Cabernet Sauvignon.

The 2015 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon was very smooth and would be perfect to sip while cooking dinner and relaxing. My favorite was the 2012 Cave Collection Cabernet Sauvignon with the age on this varietal along with a oak finish. I really like a bold Cabernet and this was definitely one of my favorites and would love to pair with a steak dinner.

img_6835To finish our tasting we ended with the 2012 Dolce from Napa Valley. This was my first time ever trying a Dolce wine and I must say it was very unique and unlike anything I have experienced. It is aged in French Oak and has a sweet finish on the palate and a great dessert wine. In fact my friends said they like to pour it over ice cream to match the hints of vanilla in the wine! I am also not typically a big fan of blue cheese, but when paired with this wine it was perfectly delicious.

Our tasting experience was truly memorable and relaxing on the Far Niente grounds. This is one winery I know I will go back to as much as I can for a romantic fairytale setting with some amazing wine. If you are looking for somewhere unique and elegant on your next wine tasting adventure, please make your tasting appointment at this stunning winery.

XOXO BB

Provenance Vineyards

img_6370I first visited Provenance Vineyards a couple months ago after I first moved to Napa Valley. One of my best friends came to visit and we were searching for “dog friendly” wineries as she was bringing her small pup. We pulled up to the gorgeous big red building of the winery on a perfect late spring day. We were warmly greeted and asked if we wanted to sit inside or outside and if this was our first time at the property. Since we had her pup and it was a great weather day we oimg_6371pted for a nice relaxing spot outside.
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The vibe of the winery was unwinding, comfortable, and a great place to try some great wine and chat with friends. They had various outdoors games including giant four square and giant Jenga. Our wine educator was absolutely fantastic and we had a great time trying their tasting selection as well as a delicious cheese appetizer.

img_6372Provenance is also one of the select wineries where you can bring your own picnic for your wine tasting experience. As if that wasn’t enough they also have outdoor fireplace that I will be at for the fall months! I definitely recommend checking out the website for their next events and to schedule your next tasting at this gorgeous property.

XOXO BB

St. Supery Saturdays

To experience some great wine and beautiful gardens, you don’t have to look much further than St. Supery Winery in Napa Valley. My friend tried the Sauvignon Blanc from this winery at a local Napa restaurant and was immediately hooked and wanted to go experience the winery. I must say the SB is pretty delicious, cool, crisp, refreshing, and the price is very reasonable.

 

 

 

 

 

We enjoyed a tasting and the gorgeous scenery and gardens on the property. Walked away with a couple bottles to enjoy later on these hot summer days and had a great experience. I highly recommend visiting St. Supery during your wine tasting adventures on Highway 29.

XOXO BB

A Moment at Mumm

It’s always a great time for bubbles…

Mumm Winery was one of the first wineries I ever visited here in Napa Valley and one of my first wine tasting experiences. They have a great option for indoor tastings with large windows that captivate the stunning views of the vineyards and the valley. I love to be outside as much as possible so I tend to choose their outdoor patio option whenever I can. They have a great patio with an overhang to stay out of the blazing hot sun during the summer months.

They offer different level tasting options that range in prices and the selection of sparkling wine to try. All are fabulous in my opinion, but definitely try to ask for a splash of their exclusive “Cuvee M Red” for a special treat as I have never tried bubbles so rich and with such a beautiful deep red berry color.

Not only do they have the beautiful indoor/outdoor tasting options, but if you are a fan of photography they do have a lovely fine art gallery that is perfect to stroll and sip on a refreshing glass of bubbles. The artwork does rotate and change so it is exciting to see new pieces on display.

After the second time I visited Mumm I signed up for their very reasonably priced wine club. This was my first wine club membership and I am very happy with my choice! I love the benefits I receive, such as the complimentary tastings for me and three additional guests. And not to mention getting to take home my wine club bottles four times per year is definitely a plus!

Anytime my friends or family are in town to visit I always make sure that Mumm is on our itinerary for the day!

XOXO BB

 

“Looks Like a Lady”

Had to have a blast from the past for this post title and with a little Aerosmith from Mrs. Doubtfire. And what a great start with some classic rock before chatting about one of the coolest wineries in Wine Country, Cliff Lede (pronounced “Lady”). I visited Cliff Lede Wineries when I first moved to Napa with some great friends for a private tasting. It was one of the most memorable wine tasting experiences. I recently had the opportunity to visit again for a private tour and luncheon.

Cliff Lede is every music lovers dream winery! Each of the different vineyards are named after classic rock songs/albums such as “My Generation”, “Dark Side of the Moon”, “Stairway to Heaven”, etc. As soon as you walk into the main tasting room you can start to see hints of rock n roll from guitars to Rolling Stone logo t-shirts with “Cliff Lede” on the front.

We continued our tour to their outdoor seating area with a covered patio which I think would be ideal to sit outside and relax during the afternoon. From there we we went to one of my favorite areas on the property, the “Backstage Tasting Room.” This space showcases some pretty incredible artwork, memorabila, and fabulous wine. This room features different art pieces of some pretty legendary musicians. You can also find signed guitars, Aerosmith drumsticks, and so much more. Here you can enjoy a pretty amazing tasting experience while taking a stroll down rock n roll memory lane.

Next we went on a stroll though the vineyards and up to another private dinner space that overlooked the stunning Napa Valley as well as the winery cave and bottling process below. The views were amazing as we had our own private dinning room looking over the vineyards and the property. We enjoyed an amazing luncheon with even more amazing wines to compliment the meal.

Some of my favorite wines included the 2014 FEL Pinot Noir from the Hirsch Vineyard, the 2014 Scarlet Love and of course the 2014 Cliff Lede Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon.

I can’t wait to hopefully visit again soon and try even more delicious wine!

XOXO BB

Hyde de Villaine

This week called for another winery adventure, but one that was different than the previous few experiences I had at other wineries. Living in Napa for eight months now, I am not only learning as much as I can about the different types of wine and varietals, but also the different types of wineries.

This past weekend my go-to wine tasting partner and I headed to Hyde de Villaine winery and tasting room in Napa, not too far from downtown. The tasting room was a little off the beaten trail and tucked back next to gorgeous views of the vineyards and rolling hills behind.

We had our tasting appointment scheduled for 9:00am on Saturday, definitely the earliest I have ever been to a tasting. After hearing that tasting is better in the morning as your palate is fresh, I thought it would be fun to try and experience.

We were greeted for our private tasting and received a splash of their flagship Chardonnay. Typically I am not a huge fan of very rich, buttery Chardonnay’s but this was completely different. There was a light and refreshing taste to this Chardonnay that I really enjoyed. As their flagship Chardonnay and the varietal they produce the most (about 4,000 cases) I must say they have perfected this.

The tasting experience was located in the barrel room just inside a private room set at a table for six. I am still very new to learning more about wine and everything that goes into making that perfect glass to pair with my dinner or cheese and charcuterie board. Therefore, I am becoming more and more of a fan of smaller, quieter and more intimate wine tasting experiences.

Our host sat with us and explain the history of how the Hyde family of Napa and de Villaine family of Burgundy joined and decided to embark on creating their own winery. Learning about the different climates in the valley, where the vineyards are located, and how the region strongly determined which varietals will grow best, is all so fascinating to me.

We had a truly great experience and I feel that not only did I learn so much, but I had the opportunity to taste some pretty amazing wines. I left with a bottle of the Belle Coisine wine, which is split between Carbernet and Merlot, and we received a bottle of the flagship Chardonnay which I know I will be back for more!

If you are in Napa, looking for a private tasting experience not too far from downtown and some great wine, including a divine single vineyard Cabernet, I strongly recommend trying Hyde de Villaine.

XOXO BB

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