Napa and Sonoma: Part Two

Sunday was the last day of our belated two-year anniversary vacation in San Francisco (you can read about the rest of our trip here, here, here, and here). Originally, we had planned on Sunday being our laid back day to explore whatever we wanted to spend some more time on or just hadn’t gotten to yet, like Golden Gate Park and other parts of the city. However, while having dinner Friday night, we decided to use Sunday as a day to go out to Napa and Sonoma one more time. Like I said before, we had a great time out there on Friday with our tour, but were left wanting more and also a little bummed that we hadn’t been able to go to some of the wineries we had read about online and had requested during our tour reservation process.

You’d think it be an easy decision to go out to the wine country again, but we actually did do a bit of back and forth on this decision over dinner Friday and even again part of Saturday morning. Would we be upset we weren’t able to see other parts of the city? Would the day cost too much? In the end we realized: 1. We didn’t want to leave this vacation wishing we had done something different or spent more time somewhere and we already felt that way about Napa and Sonoma, 2. We had been paying for this trip with our travel budget and would be able to cover the costs of a 24-hour small car rental (last summer, we decided to set aside a little bit each paycheck into our travel budget; it’s been such a great decision, we definitely wouldn’t have been able to take this trip otherwise), 3. We would need to take a cab anyways to the airport on Monday so riding out on Sunday to get the rental car would be a sunk cost (and then we would be able to drive ourselves to the airport instead). So with all of this under consideration, we decided to go ahead and plan on spending Sunday in the wine country.

Saturday afternoon then turned into a planning session; we quickly reserved a car online through Enterprise and then looked up different wineries that we had originally wanted to go to and tried to make tasting reservations wherever we could. It took a bit of juggling between different websites to see who would be open for us at this short of notice, but thankfully a lot of the wineries are pretty casual and will take walk-ins for tastings (at least the ones within our budget do this).

We took a cab out to the airport around 8:30 Sunday morning and picked up our rental without a problem (they even gave us a free upgrade since we were one of the first customers of the day). With that, we got on the road! It was fun driving around the city together and making our way towards the Golden Gate Bridge, which we had a much better view of compared to the foggy drive on Friday morning.  Once we got into Sausalito, we stopped at a Starbucks to get some breakfast before getting into Napa. I have to say that the drive through the wine country has some of the most scenic views you can get on the road.

Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge

Driving into Napa

Driving into Napa

Vineyards on all sides

Vineyards on all sides

Our first stop of the day was Frog’s Leap, which was the one winery we had really wanted to go to during this trip. It definitely did not disappoint. We split their garden tasting since their other tours were already booked. This turned out to be the best thing for us. While it is nice to have someone walk you through the different wines you’re trying and the vineyard’s wine making process, we just really enjoyed getting to walk around their grounds and take our time. Their property was so calm and adorable that we could have stayed there all day.

We pulled over to take some pictures before getting to Frog's Leap. Not sure what vineyard these grapes are from!

We pulled over to take some pictures before getting to Frog’s Leap. Not sure what vineyard these grapes are from!

Hooray for grapes

Hooray for grapes

I could totally live on a vineyard

I could totally live on a vineyard

Exploring Napa with Chip

Exploring Napa with Chip

The view from Frog's Leap

The view from Frog’s Leap

Ribbit

Ribbit

Couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day

Couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day

Frog's Leap

Frog’s Leap

Walking around Frog's Leap

Walking around Frog’s Leap

Visiting some chickens on the Frog's Leap property

Visiting some chickens on the Frog’s Leap property

That's one angry eye

That’s one angry eye

Beautiful fall colors

Beautiful fall colors

I love fall and wine

I love fall and wine

We loved the backdrop of the different colored leaves, but no one was around to take our picture. Soooo we strapped my camera to a tree branch and used the timer to take a picture. I'm so bummed this one came out blurry, I think it would have been great!

We loved the backdrop of the different colored leaves, but no one was around to take our picture. Soooo we strapped my camera to a tree branch and used the timer to take a picture. I’m so bummed this one came out blurry, I think it would have been great!

At least this one worked!

At least this one worked!

Frog's Leap

Frog’s Leap

Frog's Leap

Frog’s Leap

Frog's Leap

Frog’s Leap

Frog's Leap

Frog’s Leap

Can I live here?

Can I live here?

A great tasting at Frog's Leap

A great tasting at Frog’s Leap

After Frog’s Leap, we went down the road to Caymus Vineyards. We weren’t too impressed with the staff (they were a little cold when we asked about their tasting options), so while they were talking to a big group that was also in the room, we slipped out and decided to move on.

While at Frog’s Leap, one of the staff had recommended Miner Family Winery, so we went there next since it was also pretty close to where we were. This was another nice, casual tasting which allowed us to sit out on their patio and take in the view of the wine country. There was also a family there with a couple of dogs, so we got to pet them while enjoying our wine and talking about how much Wrigley would have loved Napa. That’s right, we’re those dog people.

The view from Miner Family Winery

The view from Miner Family Winery

Miner Family Winery

Miner Family Winery

After Miner, we went to Gundlach Bundschu out in Sonoma. We had made reservations online for their tasting tour at 2:00 and got there with a few minutes to walk around and take a few pictures out on their property. This was our only tour of the whole trip and we’re really glad we were able to do it, especially at this vineyard. They’re they oldest family-owned winery in California and they had plenty of history to share, like how they illegally brought in Tempranillo grapes back in the day (that was a fun story to hear!).

Gundlach Bundschu

Gundlach Bundschu

Gundlach Bundschu

Gundlach Bundschu

One last picture in front of the Gundlach Bundschu vineyard

One last picture in front of the Gundlach Bundschu vineyard

They have quite the name

They have quite the name

On our tour

On our tour

Gundlach Bundschu

Gundlach Bundschu

We were hoping to go to one more winery after Miner, but by this point in the day most of them were closing. So instead we grabbed a very late lunch before driving back into San Francisco. We then spent the evening having dinner at Coqueta on Fisherman’s Wharf. The tapas were delicious and we enjoyed sharing their seafood paella. Probably my favorite part of our time at Coqueta? Being just tables away from Carlos Santana. That’s right. He was totes at the same restaurant! And yes, I shamefully stared at him occasionally.

Driving back into San Francisco

Driving back into San Francisco

One last view of the Golden Gate Bridge

One last view of the Golden Gate Bridge

Coqueta

Coqueta

Seafood paella

Seafood paella

My wonderful husband and Carlos Santana just behind him

My wonderful husband and Carlos Santana just behind him

Cheers!

Cheers!

We are so thankful for the trip we were able to take to San Francisco!

12 thoughts on “Napa and Sonoma: Part Two

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