Thursday, March 28, 2013

Napa Valley Get A Way

I'm dividing my excursion into two different posts, cause I realized that this was going to be waaaay too long otherwise...hehehe!

Happy Thursday Everyone!

Well, as you are all aware, this weekend I was an incredibly lucky pup and got to spend a couple of days in the beautiful Napa Valley! Considering that this was one of my first get-a-ways, I was a little nervous about what to expect, how to behave, and who I would be meeting...luckily all of my fears were completely overrated! :-D This was one of the best experiences that I have had, to date!

Freckles the Dog


Technically, we were in Napa for the Napa Humane Society's second annual PawsportNV event; 20 different wineries all over the valley, opened their doors to both humans and pups alike, giving complimentary wine tastings, treats, and discounts away!

Freckles the Dog

Fortunately, we only live an hour and a half away from Napa (without traffic problems, hehehe!), so the journey was pretty darn easy. We picked up our Pawsport at the Napa Visitor's Center on Sunday morning, where the older ladies who were working fell in LOVE with me!! :-D Then, after a quick sniff, we were off to our first winery!

Freckles the Dog
Care of V. Sattui

Vittorio Sattui began his wine making journey in 1885 in San Francisco; originally selling his St. Helena wine directly to the customer by horse drawn carriage and then transporting the barrels all the way up to Washington state! After a 60 year snooze, thanks to prohibition, his great-great grandson Dario started the family business up again, this time in the Napa Valley!

Freckles the Dog

Now a days, when you visit V. Sattui Winery, you get a full fledged experience...including three different tasting rooms, a deli and marketplace (with excellent cheeses, yum!), and 2 acres of picnic areas!! :-D

Freckles the Dog

There were probably over a hundred visitors on the property when we arrived, some dining al fresco, others shopping, many people tasting, and even a couple with doggies! :-D 

Freckles the Dog

While we were there, we got to meet Baci the winery's Bernese Mountain dog, who was incredibly friendly (excuse the pathetic photo) and the winery's president Mr. Tom Davies, who was hanging with Baci! All of the staff were amazing, everyone kept coming up to me and saying "Hi" and giving me a good tickle! :-D

Freckles the Dog

Domeek was really surprised that I was not only well behaved, but also pretty calm, especially with that many people all around me (ignore the shocked look...this was after meeting Baci for the first time)! :-D 

Freckles the Dog

For those of you who are interested, V. Sattui is dog friendly, all year round and I highly recommend visiting!! They are known for their Madeira and Port dessert wines...that were like "liquid candy" according to Domeek! ;-)

Then it was off to Grgich Hills Estate, hahaha, try pronouncing that one...yeah, like we told the winery staff, "there's not enough vowels!"

Freckles the Dog
Care of Grgich Hills Estate

Mike Grgich started his wine career in 1976 when his 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay earned the world's finest wine title at the celebrated "Paris Tastings" in France! After this incredible start, Mike opened the Estate and vineyards in Rutherford and has continued to fashion amazing wines that have been served at State dinners. Mike is now one of the oldest wine creators in the area at 89 years old...and still works everyday to improve the quality of Grgich wine!

Freckles the Dog

Grgich Hills Estate is far smaller than a place like Sattui, but there is a sense of comfort, familiarity, and knowledge etched in the entire estate! :-D The grounds are quite beautiful and allow for a pup to run around a bit, without getting into too much trouble! Hehehe!

Freckles the Dog

We met a pup (and his family) named Charlie while we were there, who was very nice and well behaved! We also met the winery dog, a rather large, yet lovely, female labradoodle! Hehe! She was all about meeting and greeting all the visitors!

Freckles the Dog

The winery only produces 6 different wines, but each is highly acknowledged and well respected! Since we are only red people, we avoided the glorious Chardonnay and headed immediately for the Zinfandel, which was the most unique wine Domeek has ever tasted! It had jalapenos in it...omd, it was actually incredibly spicy which was pretty surprising! Hehehe!

Freckles the Dog

Grgich Hills Estate is dog friendly all year round, so if you are in the area...make sure that you drop by and say "Hi" to Miss Labradoodle! :-D

After a couple of blocks further down the road, we happened upon the Peju Family Winery! OMD, this was the most beautiful winery that we came across during our entire visit! The grounds are absolutely stunning!

Freckles the Dog

The Peju Family is relatively new to the wine business having only started their journey in 1982, but if we tasted what they are made of...well, they are going straight up and to the right!! :-D Mr. Tony Peju was inspired by the Caspian Sea, France, England, and Los Angeles when creating his family estate and now he is inspiring the youngest generation to continue the legend!

Freckles the Dog

We saw a really cute couple getting engaged while we were sniffing around the waterfall...Domeek got all "aw" and then told me that we needed to give them a little space, I just think that they were being inconsiderate of my vacation plans!!! ;-) There were 2 people hiding in the trees behind them taking photos (kind of creepy if you didn't realize what was going on...hahaha) and one of the winery's heads crying a few feet further away! Hehe, but sweet!

Freckles the Dog

We met three different pups while we were wine tasting, two Yorkies and a Shih Tzu who were incredibly friendly! All of the workers kept giving us treats...how could we say "No", I ask you?!

Freckles the Dog

They had the greatest goodie bag too, including a bag of homemade trail mix for Domeek, some cookies for me, and a split of their famous Merlot for Domeek too! Can you believe it?! They were so amazingly generous!! :-D

Freckles the Dog

The Peju Family Winery is dog friendly all year round, so make sure to put this beautiful and friendly establishment on your list of "must sees"! Oh and try their bold and delicious Syrah (Domeek might have bought a bottle or two)!! ;-)

Our last winery for the day was in the middle of Yountville...well, it's really a tasting room, but after walking through the doors, we didn't mind!

Freckles the Dog

The Hill Family Estate is truly a family affair! After farming the grapes for a lot of Napa's finest wineries, Doug Hill decided that he too should jump on the wine making train and get into business for himself! His entire family now helps produce, bottle, and sell all of the wines that they create both in Northern and Southern California!

Freckles the Dog

Their tasting room is completely different from any of the others we visited; first off, instead of a high bar and lots of standing room, the Hill Estate has a family room appeal with couches, chairs, and dinning sets. :-D We were ushered into their VIP (that's Very Important Pet) section where we enjoyed lounging on two lush leather couches and a gigantic leather ottoman!

Freckles the Dog

There were two other dogs here when we arrived including a beautiful King Charles and a funny and super hungry Puggle! The Estate gave us a goodie bag with lots of Fruitables and some yummy looking dehydrated food in it! :-D Both families were incredibly nice and gave each of us lots of treats and love!!

Freckles the Dog

We spent quite a long time talking, sipping wine, and eating nummies here! If you are visiting the area and need a little more relaxing place to hang out, I'd definitely suggest the Hill Family Estate (again they are dog friendly all year round)! If you are a bit peckish  you can also choose their Table Pairings tasting where they serve you an assortment of cheeses, meats, and bread along with their wine!

Well, as you can see...we visited lots of incredibly beautiful and pup friendly wineries on our journey through the Napa Wine Valley (and this was just on our first day)! Come back tomorrow for a look back at our hotel, restaurants, and the sights! :-D

As you can tell, I've also changed my layout and header...time for a change and I added a new page including all of the dog friendly wineries that we came across, thanks to the PawsportNV event (just in case you need some recommendations, especially since most of the websites out there only list a few "select" dog friendly (and pretty expensive) wineries)! :-D

Have a great day everyone!


14 comments:

  1. OMD. There was something for everyone. You are so lucky....all those new dogs to meet. SHE loves red wine, but isn't too sure about jalapenos in it.

    And several are dog friendly all year....that's fantastic.

    XXXOOO Daisy, Bella & Roxy

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  2. We are soooooooooo jealous! What a totally paw some trip we are telling mom we need to move to the napa valley to live even though mom doesn't like wine ( shameful since she comes from a long line of French wine makers) mom spent a lot of hr youth working in the barons a valley in Australia which is like the napa and knows a lot about wine too. Maybe when mom and dad retire back there they should set uo a passport event there too.

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  3. Dog friendly, cheese, wine, sun, picnics, what more could anyone want? Pawsome tour of dog friendly Napa Valley. Nice layout change Goose. Thank you for the tour. Have a terrific Thursday.
    Best wishes Molly
    PS Look forward to the next post.

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  4. Goose you have the life! WOW is all I can say. I am speechless. What an incredible trip. Did you bring back any cheese? Do you have any to spare?
    Blessings,
    Goose

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  5. OMD what an awesome trip so far! Very lucky indeed!

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  6. Wow what a great family day... did you get some tasty cheese? I love the Napa Valley, your so lucky Goose to be so close.
    Maggie

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  7. OMD!!! What a wonderful trip! We are jealous you got to go to all those wineries. I LOVE the new look of your blog, by the way!
    *high paws*
    Oz

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  8. I can't think of a more fun way to visit wineries, with best doggie friends and like-minded human companions, beautiful places and weather...oh yeah, and wine!
    Sherry
    And cheese!
    Alanis & Miro

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  9. You sure get to go to some interesting places! Thank you for sharing your pictures, they are wonderful!

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  10. Traveling dogs...YES YES YES! Piper and I go everywhere with Mom and Dad. Pet Friendly rocks :)

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  11. Very cool Goose!! WOWS!! Looks like you and your peeps had one heck of a time there!! (good thing you went last weekend...this weekend is gonna be all rainy!! Nice plannin' Domeek!! hehehe)
    Oh I do LOVE your new look! It is great! Kudos!!
    Kisses,
    Ruby

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  12. Sure looks like you had a blast. Napa Valley sure looks beautiful from the pictures you took. I love the last picture. It looks like you're waiting for your share of wine :)

    The owners sure were nice to give you a goodie bag of treats. Can't wait to see more of your Napa Valley adventure tomorrow.

    Also, the new layout looks good!

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  13. Looks like you had a super time, and what a gorgeous place!

    slobbers

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  14. So glad you had manners and did well cuz now you can go other places! Mom said she and dad ran a half marathon there a few years ago and it was very beautiful.

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

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