Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Wine Country Hot Spots

I was up in the wine country this last weekend, meeting with a bride and her mom, getting all ready for the big day this upcoming weekend and was reminded that I should post about two of my favorite hot spots in the Napa Valley.

The first is Domaine Carneros. The breathtaking chateau is just off the Carneros Highway (12/121) four miles southwest of the city of Napa and 5 miles southeast of the city of Sonoma.

Grab a table under one of their market umbrellas and overlook the rolling hills of vines. Order the champagne sampler and you will not be disappointed. Throw in the sparkling cheese plate and you have yourself a slice of heaven.

The Pinot Noirs are also amazing, incredibly fruity and full of flavor. They also recently started making a Chardonnay which is very refreshing on a hot summer day. My favorite above all though is the Brut Rosé. A perfectly pink champagne that makes me want to throw a fabulously pink and girly party.

Make sure to bring your camera, the views are great for photo ops.

The second winery high on my list is Silenus Vintners. While driving through wine country along Highway 29, Silenus is near the town of Yountville. I completely agree with the June 2008 edition of Wine Spectator which claims that this "hidden gem" is worth the side trip.

The best part about the winery is that it is a collection of artisan winemakers, so you get to try and compare so many different wines! Silenus currently pours eighteen of the Valley’s most sought after wines. One of my favorites is Due Vigne di Famiglia, especially the 2005 Dolcetto, a big, flavorful red wine.

As soon as I sip this dark rich wine, I have thoughts of a huge outdoor Italian themed winery wedding, with piazza lights, a cocktail hour with an live accordion player, guests playing bocce during the reception, and vintage Chianti bottles with straw baskets covered in melted candle wax on tables flickering under the stars.

I have many more favorite places in Napa, that I am sure I will post about in the future, but these two top my list consistently in terms of friendly service and great wines.


Photo source: Sunset.com, Domainecarneros.com, Silenus.com, Duevigne.com

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