Tag Archives: Napa

Francis Ford Coppola Winery

Francis-Ford-Coppola-Winery-Tour

Winery with a pool? Um, yes please.

One of the most unique wineries we visited during our recent trip to Napa + Sonoma was Francis Ford Coppola Winery in Geyersville, CA. Because where else can you day drink sparkling wine out of a pink can, while laying poolside at a gorgeous winery?

Bachelorette parties take note. You’ll want to rent a poolside cabana (from $170) for you and your girlfriends. The rate includes pool access, towels, a private shower, a cabine, lounge chairs, an umbrella and sparkling wine for four. I also found the menu pricing for food and wine to be very reasonable and we had great customer service from the moment we arrived.

Francis-Ford-Coppola-Pool

Here’s the view of the Francis Ford Coppola pool

Winery-Swimming-Pool-Napa

We booked a full day at Francis Ford Coppola Winery and booked a tour, tasting, pool passes and ate lunch poolside. If a cabine rental is too steep for you, consider booking a pool day pass instead (from $35). Do make reservations ahead of time by calling direct. We went on a slow day and were able to get a spot in-person. I had a problem using the online booking system, so just call to see if there’s room even if it may say sold-out online.

Make sure you set aside some time to walk around the grounds and look at all the movie memorabilia at Francis Ford Coppola Winery. It’s part museum, part winery and part resort all-in-one. All it’s really missing at this point is a hotel – which I’m sure will come soon. (more…)

A Glamping Getaway at San Francisco Petaluma KOA

Petaluma-KOA-Deluxe-Cabin-Glamping

We’ve just returned from an awesome glamping getaway at the Petaluma KOA just north of San Francisco near Napa Valley! I had seen a picture of their gorgeous Deluxe Cabins on Pinterest and decided to give glamping a try at the Petaluma KOA, just 6 hours away by car from Los Angeles. Our trip to Napa + Sonoma was the perfect blend of a wine getaway and a summer camping trip.

Can’t get to the Petaluma KOA? The Deluxe Cabin I stayed in is replicated at many of the campsites KOA has across the country, so there may be one near you! Here’s a look inside what I called our tiny house:

Petaluma-KOA-Loft-Cabin

Wine Country Loft Lodge – Our Deluxe Cabin featured a separate bedroom, a sleeping loft (great for kids), kitchenette,  toilet, shower, TV, gas BBQ, firepit, picnic table, towels and linens. The only thing I actually had to pack was this marshmallow roasting stick! I would also suggest bringing campfire chairs that we used for reading on our front deck during the day and around the fire at night.

I also loved having our own private washroom and not have to schlep to the shared facilities. I know it’s a luxury and a premium to pay – but it was totally worth it. One thing to note, there is no bathroom sink. We used the kitchen sink to wash dishes and brush our teeth. But the crew at Petaluma KOA did manage to squeeze in a lot in this small space. (more…)

Robert Mondavi Winery Tour – Napa, California

Robert-Mondavi-Winery-Tour

With over 478 wineries in Napa Valley alone, how does one even begin to choose which to visit? Robert Mondavi Winery gives you a behind-the-scenes look at a recognized brand and a BIG winery. I don’t have a ton of wine knowledge, so I booked Paul and I into The Robert Mondavi Signature Tour (90 min, $35 with three tastings) to learn the basics during our recent trip to Napa.

French-Oak-Barrels

This Robert Mondavi Winery produces close to 3.5 million bottles annually and it was fascinating to see the machinery it takes to produce that volume of wine. I learned a lot about this history of Napa, how wine is made and a chance to see the bottling plant – this is a fantastic tour and I highly recommend making it your first stop.

Wine-Cellar

We even got an up-close look at their $350 million dollar state-of-the-art fermentation cellar and the huge French oak barrels where the process occurs (more…)

Travel Guide: Napa Valley, California

Napa-Valley-Travel-Guide

Planning a trip to Napa Valley, California?

We just got back from an amazing weekend getaway drinking wine, eating great food and lounging around in a cozy cabin next to campfire. I did a lot or research for my Napa Valley trip and it was really difficult to narrow down which wineries to visit and what to do during my visit.

The biggest thing is that everything is pretty spread out, so you have to be a bit strategic about hitting everything in the same area at the same time.

Here’s a look at my itinerary if you’re planning your own trip to Napa Valley + Sonoma Valley, California:

Napa-Valley-Wine-Tour

Getting There – Paul and I opted to make the 6 hour drive to Napa Valley by car from Los Angeles. We ended up stopping in Dublin, CA at around the 5 hour mark of our drive for dinner. It’s a big suburb with a shiny, new Whole Foods Market if you’re trying to eat something healthy on the road before you overdo it on ALL the wine + cheese on your upcoming trip. If you’re feeling sushi, Amakara is a good one to check out or go for Pho at Pho Saigon Garden. Dublin also has a huge shopping mall nearby to stretch your legs AKA get your shop on.

Robert-Mondavi-Napa-Patio-Terrace

Winery Tours + Restaurant Reservations – One very big lesson I learned while planning my Napa Valley trip is that winery tours, special tastings/pairings and restaurant reservations all book up very quickly. So make your itinerary at least a MONTH or more in advance and start booking your reservations for all the places you want to hit on your trip to avoid any disappointment.

Robert-Mondavi-Winery-Review

Things To Do in Napa Valley

Since everything in Napa Valley is pretty spread out, I tried to group things that were close together without having us running back and forth across wine country.

Tour a BIG Winery – We started our day in Napa Valley by booking into The Robert Mondavi Signature Tour (90 min, $35), which is a great big winery tour. This location produces close to 3.5 million bottles annually and it was fascinating to get a behind-the-scenes look at this recognized brand. You can read more about my visit to Robert Mondavi Winery in my post here. (more…)