Road Trip Series: Napa Valley

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This is one of my absolute FAVORITE parts of our trip because I'm a big fan of wine: Napa Valley! The beautiful winding country roads coupled with gorgeous mountain views is something that you truly have to see for yourself. The country sides of California are absolutely breathtaking and make you forget about any troubles or stresses you may have going on in your life.

The first place we stopped at was in the cute little marketplace called the Oxbow Public Market. It's an indoor marketplace where you can food shop, buy little knick knacks, and dine. Attached on the side is a little winery called Cru @ The Annex where we went for a wine tasting and it was the perfect topper for our market day! The wait staff were so friendly and helpful helping us choose the perfect Napa wines to taste and they loved hanging out with Harper! While we were waiting on our wines, a little creativity came over me and I may have personalized their pumpkins, which they also got a kick out of. In addition with the fun experience, the atmosphere was so warm, inviting, and comfortable! If you're ever in the Napa Valley area and check out Oxbow Public Market, I highly recommend making a stop at Cru.

Our next stop on our personal wine tour was the Castello Di Amorosa Winery. This beautiful winery was built in 1994 by Dario Sattui and it was made to look as historic as possible. It's so hard to believe this beautiful castle was built in 1994, since it was designed to look 13th century! Surrounding this castle is breathtaking views of mountains and seas of vineyards as far as the eye can see.

The inside lived up to expectations as you enter the winery with breathtaking Italian architecture of stone, arched walkways, a stunning courtyard, and a grand dining hall with beautiful art work on the walls, it really made you feel as if you were in 13th century Italy!

The wine tasting itself was absolutely perfect, the dining room in which we were seated in was very similar to the above pictures, I felt as if I were back in medieval times (the period not the entertainment company). Our charcuterie board was absolutely delicious with endless amounts of breadsticks and beautifully smoked meats and cheese (this was before we became vegan). The wine was fantastic with our favorite being the 2013 La Castellana. We loved this variety so much, we bought a bottle and brought it back with us to our new home in Virginia, where we finally opened it after officially moving in. Below is a quoted description from the back of the bottle describing this beautiful Super Tuscan:

La Castellana is the wife of the Lord and Master of a castle. Her duties include overseeing the daily domestic functions of the castle. One of La Castellana's obligations would be choosing the castle's finest wine that would be set aside for special, notable guests.

This is such a heart warming anecdote describing more about the times and the inspiration behind this wine, giving the winery more of a story and personality.

I've missed this part of California ever since we had to leave, it was one of the biggest and most memorable highlights of our trip. As we were driving through the beautiful countryside, I kept thinking to myself, "I can see myself here, I almost feel like I belong". However that is just the vibe that California itself gives you, it's such a warm and inviting state filled with friendly people who make you feel at home right away.

We're all California dreaming, and not just on a winters day.

Give me wine to wash me clean of the weather-stains of cares.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

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