After completing the Napa Half Marathon, we stayed in Napa a few more days to explore the vineyards and enjoy several wine tastings. Three days in Napa is the perfect amount of time to explore several spots without ruining your liver or wallet.
Carb Loading at Allegria
After getting our Half Marathon packets and checking into our hotel we did a quick Google search for Italian restaurants and found Allegria. It’s downtown Napa, had some good reviews and had outdoor seating.
A few raindrops didn’t scare us off the patio. We were all pretty tired; the three hour time change and a day of traveling kicked our butts. A little pasta, a little wine and we were ready to hit the hay.
After some time in the hot tube after the Napa Half Marathon we grabbed an uber to Laird. Ann knew someone that worked there and we got a free tasting! That said, I’d gladly pay because all the wine was fantastic! It also helped to talk to a local to get the scoop on other places to visit.
After a successful first tasting at Laird we headed back to Napa and popped into La Taberna for some dinner. The food was fantastic!
We ordered a few things, then a few more, then a few more. This ended up being our favorite restaurant- both for the food and the wonderful service.
Napa Wine Train
We all got up early the following day to get in a work-out before our trip on the Napa Wine Train. We booked ahead and luckily got the last 4 spots on the Collective Tour. It was expensive, but well worth it for the food, transportation and tastings at three vineyards.
Between each stop we were served some amazing dishes including sparkling wine, breakfast, lunch, cheese and dessert! They were the perfect little bites between all the tastings.
Our first stop on the wine train was at St. Supéry. It had a cool metal corkscrew in the front yard and had a really cool building, but the wine was just so-so.
Our next stop was at Beringer– the same wine we received after completing the Napa Half Marathon. In general I don’t think of Beringer as a high-end wine, but everything we tasted there was very good! Our tour guide Jesus was also great! He was funny, told us just enough of the history and, most importantly, made sure our glasses never got too empty.
Our last stop of the wine train was at Raymond. This was the most interesting of the three stops. I was vaguely familiar with the wine, but not with what to expect at the vineyard. They had the traditional wine-tasting rooms, but there were also spaces that could easily host a burlesque show. All the wine was good and the unexpected decor took me for a funny loop.
Oxbow Public Market
Hog Island Oyster Bar
The train stop was basically across the street from the Oxbow Public Market, so we popped over to check it out. Heidi and I stopped for some oysters and crudo at Hog Island Oyster Bar while Carrie and Ann sampled some cheese. Don’t mind my open-air train wind-whipped hair. 🙂
The following day we snuck in a tiny workout, then headed to Rutherford where we had my favorite tasting at Elizabeth Spencer. This place was recommended by our friend at Laird. They don’t grow any grapes, but buy from several vineyards in the valley. That atmosphere on the patio was very quaint, our waiter gave us some free tastings and they had bread sticks!
Next we headed to the prestigious Opus One. For way of comparison, Elizabeth Spencer was $25 to taste 4 wines. Opus One was $85 to taste two (the Overture and the current release.) The building was very impressive, but I’m not a big enough (if one at all) wine connoisseur to justify the cost.
Lunch at Farmstead
We popped into Farmstead for some much needed lunch. This was my second favorite meal- beef tartare and a burrata plate. See that roasted garlic bulb there- delish! We also shared a grilled artichoke and I basically ate all of Carrie’s side order of mac and cheese.
With some full bellies we made our final stop at V. Sattui, where we each were lucky enough to score a golden ticket to, you guessed it, a wine tasting!
After a few days full of running and drinking my only complaint about this place was the standing bar. That said, our server was great! Not only did she help us pick out what to taste, but she was a fellow volleyball player! So we all instantly connected with her.
Unlike the other vineyards, V. Sattui had a deli-like shop. Outside they had picnic tables, so you could pop instead for some cheese, meat, crackers, cookies, bottle of wine, etc. and then enjoy it outside. We were still stuffed from lunch so we opted to stand at the bar.
In summary, I love Napa. There are so many beautiful roads to run, excellent food to eat and wonderful wines to taste!