LET’S GO: WINE COUNTRY

This last weekend two other couples, Pete and I headed to wine country for a boozy, fun weekend. I had been to the region twice before but it was Petes first time. Since we had a small group we opted to rent a house instead of individual hotel rooms which turned out the the best idea ever and less expensive. We used Air B&B to book the house which was actually located in Sonoma. The perfect in between point of Russian River and Napa. The house was not fancy by any means but the grounds were perfect for a group of people. It had a ping pong table, pool, hot tub, horse shoes, fire pit and a great table for late night wine pong (beer pong).  Below is our three day agenda along with the wineries we visited and based.

Friday we arrived around 5pm and headed straight to Sonoma. Traffic was a little heavy on the way up (nascar was in town) so we took a little pitstop in Sausalito (just on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge) for mandatory oysters and chardonay @ Salitos Crab House and Prime Rib which sits right on the bay (pic above).  Then setteled in to the house and grabbed dinner at Eldorado Kitchen in Sonoma (highly recommend it) to prepare for Saturday.

Saturday: We headed to Russian River for the day. Just a tip for Russian River, most of the wineries are small and require reservations for tastings so we hired a driver from behind the gates tours. They they set up all of our tastings and the driver was super knowledgeable about the region and wines.
1st stop: Benovia Winery. This was the biggest of the wineries of the day.
2nd stop: DRNK. DRNK is not a winery but rather a wine maker. They source their grapes from local vendors and make the wine. And they store it in a cave. Yes a cave. Apparently it’s becoming more popular and you can see caves being created around the entire valley.
3rd Stop: Gamba Winery. The tasting took place in an old barn house where the barrels are stored. This winery produces such a small batch of wine that if you like it you must buy it or it will run out.
Final Stop: Desmond Winery. This location was the sweetest. The owners live on the grounds and the owners actually poured our tasting which took place on their back porch which was super charming. A true small family business. The wines were actually really good too.

Sunday:
Sunday we headed to Napa for the traditional wine tasting experience. We also had a driver for the day.
First stop: Etude One of the couples we were with is a member of their wine club. The grounds were little under whelming  but the wine is spectacular.
2nd stop: Domain Chandon this was a must on our list. All of us girls love champs and they actually have a restaurant on site where you can order food, sit on the lawn and enjoy oysters with your  champagne.
3rd stop: Frank Family Vineyards  By far, hands down the best wine of the weekend. We all went crazy for the wine.

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Back yard of the house
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Benovia Stainless Steel Wine Barrels
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DRNK
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DRNK- Harvest season is very cumbersome for small wineries at times they spend days on site and a place to sleep is required.
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DRNK- Tour of the cave
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DRNK- They hold dinner parties in the cave
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DRNK
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Gamba Winery
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Desmond Wines
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Gamba Winery
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Frank Family Vineyards
For our final night we headed to Farm @ the Carneros Inn for Dinner.
All of the wineries were amazing and we purchased wine from each one. Some whites but, mostly reds. If you would like a recommendation shoot me an email or leave a message below.

Thanks for reading and sorry for the lengthy post.
XxOx, Marisela

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