Travel // Part 2: Napa Valley

For someone who loves a glass of wine, Napa Valley was a must on our road trip!
What comes to mind when I think of Napa? Wine, beautiful views, lovely warm weather and more wine 🍷
We spent a lot of time trying to figure out which vineyard we would go to and made sure to book it a couple months before we went. We eventually decided to go to Castello di Amorosa which had been recommended by my in-laws and also kept popping up on recommended lists of vineyards in Napa.

The Castello is an authentically built 13th century Tuscan inspired castle which the owner Dario Sattui started as a hobby. (If only I could build a castle and start a vineyard as a hobby!) You can see all the effort that has been gone into to and it is absolutely amazing! It’s like being in the Mediterranean with the weather and the castle – you definitely wouldn’t think you were in the US.
We decided to go for the first guided wine tour and tasting of the day so we could make the most of the day. It also meant that it wasn’t that busy which meant we could really enjoy the views and take some great pics 😛
The tour and tasting was about an hour and a half and we got to go into a load of different rooms in the castle and then down into the wine cellar.
As you can see from the photos above the attention to detail was amazing. You can tell a lot of care went into building the castle and for a history buff I was in my element 😊
The wine cellars were also lovely and we learnt a lot about the way they produce wine. The wine made here isn’t sold to any restaurants or retailers and can only be brought direct from them.
The tasting was good fun and we tried a load of different reds, whites, rose and sparkling wines. It was definitely a great morning well spent.
We ended up buying 2 bottles of rose and still have 1 to open called Fantasia – waiting for a special occasion but can’t wait to pop it open!
If you do get a chance to go I’d definitely recommend it…
We then got on the road and made our way down the main road in Napa. We stopped at V. Sattui for a bite for lunch. This is Dario Sattui’s commercial vineyard and has a lovely deli where we grabbed a chicken pesto sandwich to share. This was the most expensive sandwich we’d ever had – $14! It was very tasty though and did have a lot of filling. The deli is amazing and has a lot of tasty looking food and wine.
The grounds were absolutely gorgeous…
After a lovely morning and fuelling ourselves up we hit the road to start our first long drive which was to Grovesland for our Yosemite leg of the road trip.
Before we left Napa Valley we stopped off in Napa itself and visited the Oxbow Market which we’d seen on James Martin’s American Adventure tv show. We’d seen him go a stall and get some maple salt which we really wanted to try which we ended up tracking down and buying. We still have some left so will be using it soon!
The total drive time to Grovesland was about 3 hours. If you’re staying somewhere that’s self-catered I’d definitely recommend stopping off on your way to stock up on food. There is a general supermarket in Grovesland itself but we stopped off at Walmart in Stockton which meant we had a lot of choice and the shop wasn’t too pricey. We wanted to save a bit of money so cooked all our meals in Grovesland and made packed lunches for our days out.
Not far from Grovesland we were driving on some windy roads and saw the most gorgeous lake and had to stop to have a look…
We made sure to stop and take a pic of our ride 😛
We eventually got to Grovesland and were so pleased with our Airbnb. It was a little chalet with a huge kitchen, living room and 2 bedrooms! See link here. It was located in Pine Mountain Lake which was an enclosed community and was such a lovely location… 
I’ll give more details in my next blog post…
Until then…
Cathers x
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