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!
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!
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!
|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!
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
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
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
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
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!"
|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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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?!
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
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!
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!
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!
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!!
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!