Probably Polka Dots Napa Recap Day II | Probably Polka Dots

14 November 2014

Napa Recap Day II

The first Napa recap was so fun that I thought I'd do it again for our second day. Read on for our full review, or skip to the bottom for my 5 Napa Tips. Let's just get straight into it, shall we? Bring on the gorgeousness!

After an amazing day one, we embarked on day two by stopping at Bouchon Bakery for breakfast. If you ever find yourself in the Yountville area, you absolutely have to pencil in a stop here. Pick up a chocolate croissant, a cheese danish, and a ham and cheese croissant (we basically tried it all). Next we hit the road to visit Schweiger Vineyards. It was a bit rainy and a little chilly, but the ride up Spring Mountain road was beautiful. When we arrived, we were greeted by Diana Schweiger and her pup, Hana. The winery dogs roam freely about the tasting room and the property, and I just loved that. By this point we were missing Ryan, so it was fun to love on a few fur babies. 

I have to say that Hunter and I both fell in love with the Schweiger wine. The tasting was informative, the company grand, and the wine plentiful. We joined their Wine Club, and we are anxiously awaiting our first shipment. If you're planning a trip to Napa, please put Schweiger on your list of must-visit places. I know we'll be back! (Thanks to Sara for the incredible recommendation). 

Our next stop was Gott's for a famous burger. It was delicious and just what the doctor ordered to fill our bellies in preparation for more cabernet. I was smitten by their gourmet ketchup display and had to snap a picture. Fanciest ketchup around. 

We traveled onwards to Stag's Leap which Hunter was most excited about, but after five other vineyards of one-on-one tastings, we were unimpressed with the sales-y attitudes and the mediocre experience. NEXT! 

We ventured back to Yountville to our final stop, Ma(i)sonry. People, if I can give you any single piece of advice when you plan your trip to the Valley, this is it: make an appointment at Ma(i)sonry for the best tasting experience you'll ever have. Located in a historic home, Ma(i)sonry is both an art gallery and a wine collective. It's a place where there is a hand-curated selection of some of the smallest family and independent vineyards in the valley.

Because Ma(i)sonry is a collective, you are able to get a tasting experience completely catered to your pallet. Hunter and I tried 9 different wines from 9 different vineyards recommended specifically for each of us. Hunter loves a bold, tannin-heavy wine, while I like a less dry cab that still has flavor. Not super specific, but specific enough for Ted, our tasting guide, to do an excellent job recommending wines for us. It was, hands down, our favorite part of the trip. We spent about two hours here and loved every second of it. Plus the art is incredible, too! Just wonderful. (Thanks to Mandy for the recommendation!)

Just down the road from Ma(i)sonry is Thomas Keller's infamous French Laundry. The history of this space is just as cool as the visual of it. The building is absolutely beautiful, and even though we didn't get to dine here, we enjoyed meandering through the restaurant gardens where a majority of their herbs and produce come about farm to table!

We finished up our day having a pretty stellar nap, a great chat with some Canadians, and the best meal of my life (no exaggeration, I swear) at Ad Hoc

Before I wrap up my recap, I want to offer just a few quick tips if you ever plan a trip to Napa: 

1. Stay in a town like Yountville or St. Helena. We chose Yountville for its foodie appeal, and it ended up being a lot less crowded than some of the other towns in the area. 

2. Splurge on a great meal. There are tons of James Beard nominated chefs and restaurants in the Napa Valley area, and it's well worth it to have at least one fabulous meal while there. 

3. Pass on the reviews that insist you take a driver. We used Uber, and it worked out perfectly. In fact, we had the same driver three times, and one time he just waited in the parking lot while we did our tasting. It was significantly less expensive than a driver/car service and was equally as safe. 

4. It's going to be hard, but limit yourself to 2-3 vineyards per day. We did three, and that was pushing it. We've decide that for our next trip (which we're already planning), we'd rather stay an extra day and do two vineyards per day. That way, we can be a little more leisurely at each one. 

5. Finally, remember to leave space for the oodles of wine you'll purchase. We kind of forgot about this and had to squeeze 5 bottles of wine into our suitcases. There are tons of coolers and safe-packing items out there, so plan ahead!

So, are you ready to plan your own trip to Napa yet?! GO!



  1. Love this and your tips - totally agree with you on all points! This will be super helpful for our next (yet to be planned...) trip, as well :) I love how your pictures turned out even though it was overcast - Napa is just beautiful rain or shine!!
    --Kelly & Meg

    1. Yes, it is indeed. be back there!

  2. I have decided that I need your brown shoes, so send along the link please!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...