It’s been a week since we returned from Napa and I can’t tell you how much I’m still missing it everyday!
Let’s be honest – – who wouldn’t want to ring in their birthday with a 5-day span, consisting of waking up and eating your body weight in cheese & wine?!
. . . Just me?
Alrite then…. 🙂
To me, there was no place quite like it – incredible views, breathtaking landscapes, endless rolling hills, relaxing spas, delectable pairings & tastings on every corner, indescribable restaurants with wine lists longer than I’ve ever seen, consisting of wine types I’d never even heard of, and the list goes on…
Day 1 of our trip (was my birthday – WOO HOO!!!) began with a first quick stop at Rodney Strong Vineyards and a tour, tasting and pairing at J Vineyards & Winery.
First plus – they’re right next to each other. And, when I say “right next to each other,” I don’t mean the Napa version of, “right next to each other, which we learned could mean quite literally 40+ minutes apart – haha! These two are about a 2-3 minute walk from tasting room door to tasting room door. Could it get much easier than that?!
We learned all about Judy Jordan, the founder of J Vineyards & Winery, and her road to fruition in the world of sparkling wines, beginning at just 25 years old !!! Can you even imagine starting your own winery and vineyard at 25 years old…? Insanity. We had a wonderful wine ambassador & tour guide named Taylor who guided us through the storytelling of all the successes and challenges July encountered – including losing her entire crop in her early years due to flooding from the Russian River Valley. Judy had to start. all. over. from. scratch. BUT – check out the photos below to see the beauty that exists today!
I love wine.
I love touring the uniquely built facilities, filled to the ceilings with wine varieties that will be aged well beyond even some folks’ lifetimes.
I love learning the intricacy and process behind each carefully crafted ‘wine-recipe.’
I love the warmth and intimacy a bottle of wine brings to friends who enjoy it together.
I love the complicated analysis of stressing the vines juuuuust the right amount, in time for harvesting in order to get more boldness and flavor from the fruit.
It’s literally the coolest thing to me!
Moving on from our tour at J, we ventured out to Healdsburg to explore a private tour of MacMurray Estate Vineyards! Traditionally not open to the public, I felt extra special as we had the privilege of walking their gorgeous 284-acre ranch, in the heart of the Russian River Valley. And, super cool – we were also able to tour the home on-site, previously owned by a once movie legend – Fred MacMurray! The home has since been pristinely restored to the state it was when he and his family lived there. I felt like I stepped back in time 60 years – old school refrigerator and all!
Leading to the most incredible part of our day – a tasting atop the highest hill at the vineyard, overlooking the entire winery and Russian River Valley.
What. An. Incredible. Day.
BUT – – it doesn’t end there! Birthday dinner was still in store!
Having stayed in the quaint surrounding of Sonoma Square, where, “It’s sweet to be slow,” we had the convenience of a leisurely stroll through the park to the 21-year-famous, farm-to-table, longtime favorite – the girl & the fig. They had an awesome, seasonal menu with vegetables and herbs from their very own farm right in Sonoma! Rated one of the top ten best restaurants in the United States by Bon Appetit, I’ll end here on saying I truly felt like the most special, most spoiled, and luckiest birthday girl in town.
However… our adventure didn’t end here. Can you believe this was O N E D A Y ?!
Stay tuned for more following our journey of eating and drinking our way through Napa!
P.S. Here’s a video of all the fun in action 🙂