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A Laid Back Shmarbsday in Napa

travelAlex HoodComment
View from Artesa Winery in Napa, CA

Despite having worked in Napa for two years I've never managed to venture out into the valley to do some wine tasting. But! I finally got the chance to plan one for my best friend Barbara. She wanted a laid back birthday outing this year and it gave me the perfect excuse to arrange a fun, easy day of drinking wine in the sunshine.

We started the day outside of Napa, in one of my favorite Fairfield spots called Crepes N More. The place is like a restaurant version of a dive bar. The decor isn't exquisite, the menu isn't printed with modern fonts on fancy paper. But the bacon, oh the bacon, it'll blow your mind.

We ordered a crepe for the table so we could all order our versions of the All American Breakfast special. It's a hugely popular special and is what I order every time...even when I plan to pick something else!

The crepe was deliciously loaded with pistachios, walnuts, mascarpone, marmalade and whipped cream on the side. We kinda devoured it.

Totally stuffed, we drove off to Odette Estate Winery located off Silverado Trail in the Stags Leap district of Napa.

The Odette staff set us up with an outside table in their private tasting area, a perk I'm sure we got because the company I work for also manages the winery. Regardless, we felt like total VIPs and loved it.

We set aside about an hour for the first tasting and it flew by way faster than any of us thought it would.

I don't think any of us were really ready to leave but without much of a choice, we said our goodbyes and drove across town to our second and final winery: Artesa.

Artesa Winery in Napa, CA

The VIP hookup continued at Artesa, where we were greeted with a welcome sign and bubbles AND an offer to tour the facilities. We obviously said yes to the tour, which by the way was amazing and informative and just so cool. Totally worth doing if you have the option. It helped me understand how people take wine so seriously. There's a lot of history and culture and tradition tied up in wine like how it's made and why it's made that way that I knew nothing about. The commitment to all of it made me appreciate the experience even more. Plus the passion winemakers have for their craft is cool. Really, I just love seeing people do what they love to do. It's infectious.

Straw hat: H&M (no longer available), similar herehere // Felt hat: RIRE Boutique, similar here and here

We lounged for hours at Artesa, laughing and joking and truly enjoying each other's company, finally understanding why people do this for vacation.

The staff was incredibly friendly and the wine was good too! Even if wine isn't your thing, the views of the valley are enough of a reason to visit the place.

Before we knew it the tasting room was closing and we had to skidaddle.

But not before snappng just a few more photos!

My outfit -- Top: H&M's Coachella collection, borrowed from my sister (no longer available...#depressed) similar here and here // Skirt: Forever 21, similar here and here

Barbara's dress: Old Navy, in an autumn color here

Andrea's romper: scored at TJ Maxx, similar here and here

I work at the resort just down the road so we stopped by one of the restaurants, The Boon Fly Cafe, to check out the dessert menu.

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We ordered a flatbread for the girls while the guys each got a burger and dove into the desserts.

Plus...

The signature dozen mini donuts covered in cinnamon sugar served with semi-sweet chocolate dipping sauce. The AMAZING Strawberry Shortcake in a jar. Refreshing, just rich enough, completely delicious and my all time favorite dessert I've enjoyed at a restaurant. A slice of lemon meringue pie for the birthday girl and a s’mores brownie served with graham cracker ice cream.

We thanked our gracious hosts and set off for home full of sugar and gluten and some really fun memories of the day.

Can't wait to do it again!