Editor’s Note: This is the last installment of Giana’s Napa Valley trip blog series. Learn about how her experience went, in addition to things she would consider when planning her next trip to Napa.
Napa Valley Wine Trip Recap & Review – What I Would Do Differently and What I Would Repeat
And just like that, my trip was over. While there’s no such thing as too much time in Napa Valley, I do wish I had had at least another day. It takes a few stops to settle into the pace of things and know what you’re looking for. Had I had more time, I would’ve liked to spend a day exploring Sonoma to compare the two experiences.
Overall, I left Napa a little wiser about the production and factors that go into wine making while also having a newfound appreciation for different types of wine. Now that I’ve gotten a taste (pun intended) of winemaking and Napa Valley’s history, I am intrigued to learn more. I’ve also become a tad stricter about the types of wines I drink, especially where they come from.
I think it goes without saying that I will definitely be back to Napa Valley, next time with more time to spend and a better idea of what I’m looking for.
Things I would do differently:
Vineyard Tours: While I loved exploring the caves of Del Dotto and the grounds at Beringer Winery, one thing that was missing from this trip was a real tour of the vineyards themselves. I was not able to get a tutorial on what goes into maintaining the vineyards and would have loved the chance to taste a grape directly from one of the vines. On my next trip, I will make sure to book a vineyard tour.
Organized Wine Tours: When you’re planning a Napa Valley winery trip independently, it sometimes distracts from the trip itself. While we were at one winery, I was constantly checking the time to make sure we would make our next reservation. Then, I had to make sure I had the right directions and would get nervous when we’d lose service along the route. While planning and transportation around a place you’re unfamiliar with definitely contributes to the experience, it can also distract you from enjoying a relaxing day. For the next trip, I would consider doing an organized wine tour for one full day, such as the tours offered by Platypus Wine Tours, so that all of the traveling and planning will be taken care of for me.
Things I would do again:
Food and Wine Pairings: One of my favorite parts of the trip was Beringer’s food and wine pairings. The experience gave me a newfound appreciation for how much better wine and food can taste together. On my next trip, I would like to explore more of the food and wine pairing options that Napa Valley has to offer.
Castello di Amorosa: While I was a little hesitant to go all-in on the Castle since it was my first stop, it still remained one of my favorite stops of the trip. Since I only participated in a tasting, I would like to do a guided tour of Castello di Amorosa and learn more of how the Castle came to be. I would also purchase some of their wines and will be requesting Ivan to assist us, given the great experience he gave us during our visit.
I hope you all enjoyed reading about my trip through Napa Valley as much as I enjoyed writing it! If you have any winery or restaurant recommendations of your own, feel free to share in the comment box below. With so many different winery options available throughout Napa Valley, it can be overwhelming choosing the ones you’ll visit on your trip. That’s where recommendations from bloggers and readers can come in handy to help make someone’s next trip more enjoyable.
To view the rest of this Napa Blog Series, see the links below, in addition to other great resources that will help you plan the perfect Napa Valley trip experience!
- Part VI – Wine Tasting at Domain Chandon in Yountsville
- Part V – Visiting Grgich Hills Estate Winery in Rutherford
- Part IV – Touring Del Dotto Caves
- Part III – Wine Tasting at Beringer Vineyards in St. Helena
- Part II – Touring and Tasting at Castello di Amorosa Winery in Calistoga
- Part I – Things to Consider When Planning a Trip to Napa Valley
- Napa Valley Wine Tour Options and Maps
- 10 Lesser Known Wineries That Let You See the Real Napa Valley
- Napa Valley Regional Wine Guide