Napa Valley, Califorina: the only place in the U.S. where drinking at 10 am is not only accepted, but encouraged! I’m not joking when I say I was drunk by 2 pm everyday. Wine truly is the adult grape fruit juice and breakfast seriously only consists of gluten, dairy, and an assortment of nuts. Although my body isn’t happy with me, feelin’ like I got #HitByABus, my 3 days in Napa were some of the best 3 days of my life. I’ve grown up with parents who adore their wine, so to be honest, I’ve always really loved it. However, after this trip, I find myself having more of an appreciation for it and forming my own wine preferences. We went to a total of 8 wineries and honestly, there wasn’t one that I didn’t like. Totally a result of my parents refusing to go to a winery they didn’t like. Still, it made it hard to narrow down my top 3, but I think I did and I’m going to share them with you. If you ever get out to Napa, or just want to try new wine, these are 3 wineries and bottles that must be at the top of your list!
Location: East side of Napa Valley. Almost between Atlas Peak and Oak Knoll.
Wines: Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Chardonnay
Favorite Wine: My hands down favorite wine of the entire trip was V-12’s Malbec. It was light and smooth with the most beautiful floral notes. I’ve never had Malbec before this, but I fell in love after the first sip. I felt like I needed to be sitting outside of a French Chateau wearing a sun hat and listening to Florence and the Machine. Not to mention, the Malbec is extremely affordable at only $60 for a bottle. To all my college friends, $60 may seem steep when you’re used to dropping a whopping $10 on Yellowtail. But this is no Yellowtail, my friend. Do yourself a favor and drink quality wine; this is on the more affordable side of good wine, so it’s more than worth it!
Location: Atlas Peak
Wines: Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Proprietary Red Wine, Proprietary White Wine
Favorite Wine: Abby and I both really loved the 2016 Proprietary Red. I’m a red wine girl, but I don’t love dry, heavy Cabs. This one’s a Merlot Cab blend and I found it delicious, bright, and bold. Super strong notes of raspberry and cherry, which gave it a fresh flavor! Jack was founded by major league baseball players Chris Iannetta and Vernon Wells, and they’ve partnered with Grant Long and Steve Distler to create wine that hits it outta the park! I had to throw a baseball pun in there. It was too easy.
Location: Tasting Room in Downtown Napa
Wines: Sparkling wine, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah
Favorite Wine: Honestly, John Anthony made the top 3 list because all of the wines I tasted were spectacular. We started with the La Dame Michele Sparkling wine and I was obsessed! I love me some champagne, but this sparkling wine beats champagne any day because its bubbly, yet incredibly smooth at the same time. My favorite wine would absolutely have to be the 2014 Reserve Cabernet. It was rich, smooth, and filled with dark, deep blackberry notes. This was the first winery we went to, so the words that came out of my mouth after the first sip were, “this is the best wine I’ve ever had in my life.” But I used to drink good shiz from my parents fridge growing up, so thats saying something!