Monday, January 7, 2013


I loved that NYE fell on a Monday this year because it meant we had a whole weekend beforehand to celebrate!  THREE-DAY NEW YEARS FTW! 

We spent New Years Weekend in Napa with two of our friends from college who ventured out from Texas for a visit.  I had never been to Napa in the winter, and was surprised by how beautiful it was, even though it was past harvest time.  The valley was blanketed in bright yellow flowers (I was obsessed), and all the wineries and our hotel were still decorated for Christmas (so charming!).

We stayed in a hotel called the Vineyard Country Inn in St. Helena, and I would totally recommend it.  All the rooms were suites (with living rooms and fireplaces), and it was conveniently located so that you could walk into the main downtown.  As for wine, we tried to do a mix of mainstream and more boutique-y wineries, so we ended up stopping at Stag's Leap, Robert Sinskey, Mondavi, Opus One, and Rubicon (apparently now called Inglenook). 

My highlights:  Sinskey's wines are always my favorite (and I love that they give you treats made by Sinskey's chef wife, Maria with your tasting); the view from Opus One is amazing (but the wine is expensive); and the grounds at Rubicon/Inglenook are the best place to sit down for a  mini-picnic.

Here are some photos from our time - enjoy!

{Stag's Leap}


{Robert Sinskey}

{Opus One}

{this tree at Rubicon grew BOTH oranges and lemons!!!!}
(Thanks for the group pic Jessie!)

Sunday morning we woke up and went for a walk into the main town in St. Helena (in a desperate attempt to work off some small portion of the feast we ate at Greystone the night before, in preparation for our brunch res at Bottega...). 

The town is really just one little main street with cute home decor, food, and book shops, and a handful of cafes and restaurants thrown in.  Super cute. 
On the way, we passed this beautiful view of a vineyard and all those gorgeous yellow blooms:

I may have taken a picture or two...ha.

In sum:  We ate too much, we drank too much, and we did 2012 proud!

P.S.  In case you are planning a trip to Napa and looking for some recs, Artesa and Hess (which also has an art gallery) are a couple of my other favorite wineries we didn't make it to.


JustMe said...

Oh wow, thank you for the pictures. I absolutely adore Napa. Wait, can I say that when I only went for the first time last month? Well, I fell in love. St. Helena particularly is just gorgeous. My husband and I want to move up there (from LA) as soon as humanly possible.

In the meantime, have you been to Los Olivos? We go every 3 months or so. So much closer, a bit less pretentious, and still has great wine.

Some recommendations in Los Olivos would be - Beckman, Stolpman, Tensley, and Consilience.

Again, thanks for the pics :)

Ashley said...

I'm so glad you share my love for Napa :) The whole area is really really gorgeous and unique. I always forget how close it is to the city, too!

I've been to Los Olivos, but only briefly, and I'd love to go back. Thank you for the recommendations -- I will definitely keep those handy for a future weekend trip!