Wednesday, November 19, 2014

How to Get Around in Napa? Hire a Driver

Driving in Napa is easy, but touring the wine country after sipping multiple types of wine at each winery is difficult without having a designated driver, and who goes to Napa to be the designated driver? Drinking wine is the point of the trip!  

When we were planning our trip to Napa, we knew that we wanted to visit as many wineries as possible in the short time we were there. Hiring a driver was definitely the way to go, so upon recommendation, we hired Napa Your Way to help plan a lovely day of touring wineries.  When we first contacted Brad and Leisl from Napa Your Way, they asked us questions about what types of wine we like to drink, did we want to tour large, medium, or boutique sized wineries, and did we want to schedule a restaurant lunch or a picnic lunch? After collecting our information, they crafted a perfect experience for my group.

On our tour day, we were picked up at our hotel in a spacious Yukon Denali.  Leisl asked us to pick out our lunch requests from Genova Deli, as she would be setting up our picnic lunch during our second winery tour. A short distance from out hotel, we arrived at our first winery, Del Dotto Historic Winery and Caves.  We pulled up to a beautiful ivy covered stone building, that looked like it was straight out of a Napa guide book. 

At this winery, we took the tour of the wine cave and we were able to sample different wines straight from the barrels in the cave, of course with assistance from our tour guide.  After eight different samples of wine, our tour guide brought us to a room for cheese and crackers, where he was also available to answer any further questions we had about the wines. The wine tour and cave experience was a great first start to the day. 
Wine barrels in the cave at Del Dotto Winery
As per Leisl's suggestion, we only signed up to do one wine tour, as the information would get redundant at each winery.  So at the next three wineries we only signed up to sample the "flight," or selection of wines for tasting, which was about four to five different wines at each winery.  Each of the next three wineries that Leisl and Brad put on our itinerary had different wines for us to sample, as well as different views for us to enjoy while tasting our "flight" of wines. 

At Luna Vineyards, we tasted our wines on the porch during the mid day California sun. Then, Leisl had set up our picnic lunch from Genova Deli on bistro tables under a tree right next to the grapevines.  The food and the view could not have been more magical.  

Eating our picnic lunch under a tree next to the vineyard at Luna Winery
Lunch from Genova's Deli

Then we were off to Reynold's Family Winery to taste our next "flight" of wines where we sat outside outside on the patio under an umbrella enjoying the view of the rolling vineyards surrounding us. 

The view from our patio table at  Reynold's Family Winery.

The final destination on our wine itinerary was the O'Brien Estate Winery, where we sat a a big wooden farm table discussing the "flight" of wines with the wine barrels behind us, and the view of the vineyard in front of us through the sliding barn door.  

Wine barrels at O'Brien's Estate Winery
Overall, our Napa Experience was amazing and we owe it all to Brad and Leisl for creating such a unique, informative, and relaxing itinerary for our day of wine touring. Next time we are in Napa, we will definitely contact Leisel and Brad at Napa Your Way to create another unique wine tour adventure.