From the jaw-dropping scenery, world-famous wines, and impeccable fine dining, a trip to Napa deserves to be at the top of anyone’s travel list. It’s hard to believe that Michael & I waited so long to plan a trip!
However, planning a trip as a Napa newbie can inherently create some serious anxiety. On top of that, we booked our trip last minute, on memorial day weekend, and during a Napa music festival. But, with some strategic planning and an open mind, we came away with a weekend for the books! Here’s a few lessons [we learned the hard way] to make your trip to wine country a success!
Avoid information overload. Ask NO MORE than 1-3 people who have been more than once for recommendations. We initially set out to ask our network for recommendations only to find ourselves back at square one. We quickly discovered that anyone who visited wine country in any capacity feels strongly about a handful of places. Take into consideration there are over 400+ wineries spread across a dozen cities and you get A LOT of recommendations across a complex spectrum. Since Michael and I can count on one hand how many wines we didn’t like, we were more concerned about the atmosphere and experience than the actual wine itself! When you asking for recommendations, let them know what you’re looking for.
Set appropriate expectations & be flexible. Unless you have a travel agent planning the entire weekend from start to finish, you can’t expect things to go perfect. You need to be prepared to pivot if a winery is unexpectedly closed, too busy, or further away than expected. It being memorial day weekend, many of the decisions were made for us due to unavailability. We created a general framework for how each day would go, planned our route, and noted back-up wineries nearby just in case. Some wineries require a reservation, while others do not. We found it best to commit to one hard appointment each day and dropped in the rest.
Sharing is caring. Most Napa tasting rooms let you get one tasting to share with multiple people.I’m the type of girl that doesn’t share her desert and takes the last donut, so this was hard for me… but I’m glad we did because day drinking all day was exhausting! Plus, paying $25+ per tasting can add up quickly. Especially when you take that money to buy a bottle to take home!
Of course, this adorable off the shoulder top from Everly Boutique paired with white jeans and sandals made for the perfect wine tasting outfit. Light, comfortable and ideal for a day of wine hopping! Be sure to follow them on Instagram and check out their online boutique for other amazing pieces!