Visit to Napa Valley and San Francisco

I finally traveled to somewhere else other than Florida for a change. It’s good to step out of your comfort zone, right!? I went with my mother and we experienced the cliché San Fransisco Tourist spots (Müir Woods, Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Fisherman’s Warf, etc) and of course, Napa Valley.

The trip took place in March, so it was cold! I highly recommend bringing a coat with you when traveling to San Fran! It’s California, but it’s not like, that kind of California (warm, sunny, basically LA).

If it’s your first visit (to any city), I would highly recommend seeing these “touristy” spots. Plus you can get cute content for Instagram. 💁🏼‍♀️

Lombard street just about killed me. My mother and I walked completely uphill to get to this spot. All we kept saying was “San Francisco must have some very fit people”! 🤕

However, the views in this city are pretty fantastic and well worth the walk.

For adventure, I tried out a cable car and felt very unsafe, but hey! Atleast I did it! It reminds me of an old wooden roller coaster on Coney Island.

If you’re visiting fisherman’s Wharf, there are a few must sees. One of them being the aquarium:

1) They have an amazing walk through tunnel that enables you to see a completely different perspective! It’s so beautiful and much more enjoyable than a 2D Fish tank. 2) They have a pair of very rambunctious otters who are quite entertaining.

Another spot to check out down there is Pier 39. Don’t worry, you’ll find it easily. Just listen for the Seal barking. They will be barking day and night!

One Place I was leery of visiting was Alcatraz. Sometimes, I get creepy vibes from places but I went during broad day light while it was crowded. I didn’t have any weird vibes. There’s a tremendous bird sanctuary on the island and beautifully maintained gardens which were originally planted by the prisoners themselves. That really captured the bulk of my attention.

On that note, If plant and wild life are more your thing, you should definitely check out Müir woods. Red Wood trees are quite possibly the oldest living organisms on the face of this earth. Some of the oldest can be dated as far back as 900AD.

Ah yes, Food Recommendations. We had breakfast one morning at The Hollywood Café and it was fantastic! All the produce was fresh and flavorful. Eggs were well cooked. If you enjoy Carbs as much as I do you need to try some Sour Dough bread while you’re there. We went to Boudin, also in Fisherman’s Wharf.

One of my favorite places for dinner, which unfortunately is not pictured was Scoulas! It doesn’t look like much from the outside but all the food was great. The fish, as expected, was fresh and well prepared.

This is pretty much the highlight reel from the San Francisco portion of my trip. The only negatives was that there was a huge homelessness problem, kinda sad.

Anyways, we stayed at Hotel Zoe, it was nice for the price. And the staff was friendly. There were a few other activities sprinkled in, Sausalito being one of them, kinda cute town. However, this is a wine blog and I want to talk about wine now! 😂

NAPA VALLEY

I didn’t really know what to expect when coming to Napa Valley. I knew it’s a prominent wine producing area but what surprised me the most is that it only holds 5% of California’s wine market, yet when I go to a standard suburb wine shop it’s mostly California wine! The judgement of Paris is what really put Napa Valley (the Stags Leap District in particular) on the map. This is the land where Cabernet is king and rightfully so.

Clos Du Val

My visit was to Clos Du Val. Raquel from WatchMeSip helped set up the appointment and Nic was our tasting room host.

This is first and foremost, a beautiful property and tasting room. There isn’t a bar in the middle where you’re poured samples. It’s set up more casual with seating in an upscale living room setting.

We tasted through their wines and each one was more wowing than the next. We ultimately ended up taking home the 2007 Cabernet. This is very unlike the fruit bombs you find in the local wine shop under “California Cabernet.” This wine has a full, yet rounded body. The tannins are smooth and well integrated; velvety even, There are notes of blackberry, black cherry, and vanilla. Herbs and wood also dance on the palate a little. This is a fantastic wine which speaks to Clos Du Val’s tradition of legendary wine making.

Napa Cellars

I was more intrigued by the fact that Napa Cellars is owned by the Trinchero family than anything else. Many people have not heard of the Trinchero family. Well, they are the family behind Sutter Home and Menois a Trois wines. They are also responsible for “white Zinfandel.” Yup, the deep pink, sweet wine all the lush aunts used to drink during family BBQs. Did you remember the ice?

Anyways, Napa Cellars is a simple tasting room, with a bar in the middle. The outside has a backyard feel. The wines are pleasant and predictable. We ended up taking home the Merlot. I think Napa Cellars is cute for a casual afternoon with friends. They are also dog friendly, so I guess Snowy will have to come next time.

Luna Vineyards

Planted along the eastern side of the Silverado Trail is Luna Vineyards. What attracted me to this particular winery is that they produce Italian varieties like Pinot Grigio and Sangiovese. The staff was friendly and knowledgeable and I really liked the bottle chair they had out front. I ended up taking home their Riserva Sangiovese. It’s pretty close to its Italian cousin, but a little lighter and lacking some deeper complexity. I’m going to let this one rest a while, and see how it evolves .

Honig Vineyards

First of all, you need to check out their family and staff post cards here.

Now that you’re well, acquainted we can begin.

This is a family run vineyard that realizes how important the health of their land is. They are not only stewards of their land, but to also have a deep love and respect for it. I met Regina Weinstein, the marketing director. She is warm, friendly, and also responsible for the fun postcards (genius). Josh Archibald was our host for the day and took fantastic care of us. Although best known for their Sauvignon Blanc they actually make pretty delicious Cabernet Sauvignon and a Port style. I’d highly recommend this spot! My mother and I had a great time.

Charles Krug

Steeped in Napa Valley history, this is also another must see stop when you visit. I was surprised to find out that the Mondavi family owns Krug. However, it’s not owned by Robert! He and is brother Peter split ways and Robert started his own label. Peter actually lived on the property well into old age before his passing. This was his house.

We had a great tasting room experience and even were shown around the property. My favorite feature was Big Red. This is an oak barrel made out of California Red Wood. No longer allowed to be made, Big Red is pretty special!

As an FYI, it’s very difficult for a tasting room to be allowed to serve food (permits). Krug actually served us cheese which was a nice little lunch! I highly recommend setting up and appointment with Charles Krug Winery. This is also part of the Napa Valley train as well.

Maxville Lake Winery

This place was so epic unfortunately, it going to have to wait for its OWN blog post. It’s a fantastic gem hidden away in the hills of Chile’s Valley. This place is very worth the journey off the beaten path. More to come.

In summary

San Fransisco and Napa Valley couldn’t be more different places. I enjoyed the warm country ambiance of Napa Valley but also the urban hillsides of San Fransisco (my gluts will never be the same). I’m going to have to make another trip out here! Maybe next time Sonoma?

Until then, keep sipping my friends!

Warmly,

The Real Housewine

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