Friday, July 27, 2012

Adventures in Napa: Sparkling Wine Country

A few weekends ago, we got to celebrate our friends' fifth wedding anniversary by spending the day in Napa, touring sparkling wine houses.

Aaron and I decided to meet the happy couple in Napa. Not wanting to be late, we left a little early. Okay, a lot early. We got there an hour and fifteen minutes early. We decided to treat ourselves to a little breakfast.

Several times we have driven by the Carneros Inn, intrigued by its cute outer façade, but never took the time to stop. This time we did. They have a cute little restaurant on campus, called the Boon Fly Caféwhere their specialty is hot, fresh "World Famous Boon Fly Donuts". Of course I had to try one. It was delicious. We shared a tasty big breakfast and hit the road. Having a few more minutes to kill, we took a little drive down Highway 12 to see a bit of the valley before meeting our friends. 

Our first stop was Mumm Napa. Having found a coupon for a two-for-one tour and tasting, we showed up just in time for the 11:00 tour. (The 10:00 tour is free.) The tour was quite nice, giving us a history of the grounds, as well as an insider's tour of the facility. There were several stops along the tour that featured videos to complement the guided tour, as well as three stops that allowed for tastings of Mumm's featured sparkling wines. I especially enjoyed watching BOB, the machine that moved the wine bottles in and out of riddling baskets. And the cute little tasting class that was a complimentary part of our tour. Following the tour, we sat inside the tasting room patio and tried a few glasses. Each of the four of us tried something different: Aaron and I each tried one of the two sparkling red wines, while the celebratory couple shared a glass of Mumm's prestigious DVX.


Tasting wines while enjoying the view of a gorgeous vineyard can really make a person hungry. We made our way to a recommended local brewery for lunch. There we tried some tasty food and local brew from the Silverado Brewing Company. Our friends even went home with a growler box of the house specialty. (Yes, I said box. They thought they were getting a cool growler bottle full of ale, but alas, it was a box. A gallon sized box o' beer.)

We were hoping to hit another beer tasting room on the way to our last tour of the day, but we were just a little too slow. Another time.

Our final tour of the day was a Domaine Carneros. Aaron and I are no stranger to this sparkling wine house; we love it so much we are members! Our tour guide just so happened to be the same gentleman who helped Aaron and me (and my parents) pick out and purchase wine for our wedding. After the tour, he was gracious enough to host us for a little additional tasting out on the Chateau patio. I am sure you can guess that we were there until it closed, and we each walked away with a bottle.

I think you have to call it a good day when you get to sit in the sunshine, drinking the area's best bubbly, celebrating good times with great friends. Happy Anniversary to the Mr. and Mrs!

Bonus picture: our friends decided that it would be fun to share their box-o-beer with us, so they refilled Aaron's growler (we brought with us in case we made it to the second brewery) in the parking lot before leaving.


  1. I've always wanted to go to Napa, looks so beautiful and the wine looks simply delicious.

    1. If you ever get the chance, I highly recommend it! :) It's absolutely beautiful... my photos certainly don't do the area justice!