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  • Writer's pictureKelly Franz

Taste of Napa Part III: A Day of Wine Tasting

Going to Napa Valley without partaking in a wine tasting excursion is like going to Target without purchasing more than one item.. it's not happening! So, with that notion, I will share my wine tour adventure with you!

To start, we hired PF Wine Tours for our day-long wine tour. After much research, I found their reviews to be solid and having the option of using our own car really sealed the deal. I highly recommend that you look for tour companies that offer this chauffeuring option because it is the best bang for the buck. We had a rental car for the duration of our stay so it was a no brainer for us! Before the trip, I was able to send my winery wish-list to Anjanette, owner of PF Wine Tours, and she discussed which options were the way to go. She also provided a write-up for each winery and a list of restaurant recommendations. After narrowing it down to four wineries, we were all set and ready to get our tasting on!

First Stop: Sterling Vineyards

As mentioned in Taste of Napa Part I, I chose the various winery destinations based on aesthetics to get some cool wine shots. What I wasn't prepared for was the rainy weather day after day. I mean I should have known as we were there the first week of April and the saying "April Showers, Bring May Flowers" does exists for a reason, but I trusted all of the weather sites stating it's a very sunny time to visit. Let's just say this pick wasn't the greatest because it's a super popular winery because of the views. On a nice day, I'm sure taking the aerial tram ride would be delightful along with sitting on the terrace after the self-guided winery tour, but let's just say we didn't last long there. I was, however, able to get one shot of the view from the terrance before another round of dark, rain filled clouds came hurling overhead. I call that a small win in my book!

Another must-visit for panoramic mountain top views is Pride Mountain Vineyards. We thought this would be a bust too because of the gloomy day, but it ended up being our favorite spot to stop because of the cool {literally and figuratively} caves. Too bad the guide was with us because I would have willingly gotten lost in the 23,000 sq. ft. caves encasing ~2,400 wine barrels! During the tour, you have the opportunity to taste from the barrel, learn about their wine and discover that the winery actually lies on both Napa and Sonoma Counties. I'm always a fan of a two for one deal! After exploring the caves, you are able enjoy the views overlooking Mount St. Helena. We, on the other hand, took in the immediate views as the fog blocked everything else! It just means, we will have to go back for a visit or live vicariously through your sunny photos!

I love a quaint winery, and Frog's Leap is just that. It's the kind of winery that has a cozy, yet sophisticated feel which will have you immediately relaxing back in your chair with no care in the world! Not to mention, it's Napa’s first certified organic winery, which is very admirable so cheers to that! While there, the skies opened just long enough for us to enjoy a tasting on the porch and a wander around the lovely gardens and vineyards.

Last Stop: Mumm Napa

Sparkles will always brighten your day {even on wet, dreary ones} and that is exactly what we craved at Mumm's! Their selection of sparking wine gave us that pep we needed to end the day on a truly high note! After the tasting we walked over to the Fine Arts Photography Gallery to admire the work of the iconic photographer, Ansel Adam. Wine & Photography, what more could this girl ask for, and the perfect way to end our rainy, yet happily fulfilling day!

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