To break up the trip a bit, we booked a day of bike rentals through Napa Valley Bike Tours, located in Yountville, the cutest town ever (btw, it’s pronounced “yahnt-ville”). We opted for the non-guided tour and chose what was deemed the “intermediate route” — Rutherford Loop, which was approx 17 miles in total.
Winery 1:: Domaine Chandon — poppin’ bottles of champagne! We biked just down the street to this gorgeous property, and what better way to begin our day than with mimosas…without the OJ? Domaine Chandon is serene and beautiful — I felt like I was walking into a nature conservancy or botanical garden.
We chose a sparkling wine tasting that included 3 glasses each, and we sat out on the tree-covered patio to “cheers” our fun day ahead.
Winery 2:: St. Supéry Estate Vineryards & Winery was an pretty impromptu visit after missing our reservation at Cakebread Cellars due to a wrong turn and a few extra miles of biking. (oops!) As you can see below, the entrance is picture-perfect. The tasting room was pretty modern and quiet, and we once again enjoyed our tasting of 4 different wines out on the patio. According to their website, they are the largest family owned, sustainably farmed and estate produced winery in Napa Valley. I wish they would have offered more information and history on the winery itself during out visit, but perhaps that’s included with other offerings.
Lunch:: La Luna Market & Taqueria is legitimate, delicious, CHEAP Mexican food. It’s located in the Rutherford area, and it was a great stop along our bike trail. Each of our lunches cost about $11-12, and we had enough food to feed a tiny, bike-riding army. I love how casual and “local” it felt. Just ordering at the counter in the middle of a convenience store… and the food was some of my favorite we had while in Napa. Giant carnitas quesadillas with heaping portions of guacamole and sour cream — our favorite Mexican restaurants could learn a thing or two from them about not charging an arm and a leg for condiments. Our picnic lunch made for a great break from biking. I just wish I could bike back over there now!
Winery 3:: Plumpjack Winery was our last stop along our biking adventure, and it was much-needed. Those “little” hills are no joke! This little place is neat in that it is tucked away in the middle of their vineyard, and the atmosphere is casual and inviting. I decided that I really enjoyed the smaller, family-owned wineries better than the crowded, more corporate-feel of some of the larger ones.
We ended our day with happy hour at Pacific Blues Cafe in Yountville and a most delicious dinner at Celadon in downtown Napa (which was much larger than I’d envisioned). Our meal at Celadon was outstanding — from the Macadamia nut crusted goat cheese with port-poached figs to the Endive and pear salad with blue cheese to our entrees. We were too stuffed for dessert, but I’m sure we wouldn’t have hated it.
Biking through Napa for wine tastings was both a great and a bad idea. The weather could not have been more beautiful, especially for November. It was 75ish degrees and sunny outside, and there was a lovely breeze in our hair as we pedaled past rolling hills of yellow grape leaves — and the sunset over the vineyards was something out of a movie. BUT — partaking in wine tastings and then having to huff and puff it up and down hills on a bike to the next winery is not the best idea we’ve ever had. It was a great way to see parts of Napa that I don’t think we’d have paid attention to while in a car, though, and I’m so glad we did it.