Wine Country

Failla Winery


This weekend, we drove up from the city to the Wine Country with some dear friends. Their son Riley is the same age as our oldest and the boys are good friends, which means they are thrilled to play together while we adults taste wine. The kids get sunshine, fresh air and space to run around and we get to taste yummy vino – everyone wins!

Today, we started off our morning at Failla. Hubs and I hadn’t yet heard of this winery, but we are so thankful that our friends clued us in. It is fantastic! The tastings are (more…)


More Fun in the Wine Country (Mother’s Day, Part Two)


Last week, I gave you all the details on our fun picnic in the wine country for Mother’s Day.  Today, I want to fill you in on the rest of our fabulously relaxing and fun day!

After our picnic at Rombauer, we drove over to Paraduxx, which is an adorable little winery on the Silverado Trail.  It is owned by the same couple that started Duckhorn Vineyards. Paraduxx has some really good wines and a really gorgeous outdoor backyard space in which to drink them.  They have several “living room” like stations with outdoor couches and coffee tables set up next to the vineyards and also some fun little tables on a porch and some grassy areas for letting the kids run.   (more…)

A Picnic in the Wine Country (Mother’s Day, Part I)


One major perk of living in the Bay Area is that we can easily hop in the car and head to a really cool destination for the day.  When we return, it always feels like we’ve had a little mini vacation and it’s always so refreshing to get out of the city for a bit.  Sunday was one of those days…

This morning, we made some lattes at home and then piled in the car and drove up to the wine country.  It was cool but sunny in the city, but as we drove across the bridge, we could see “Karl” the fog rolling in.  We couldn’t even see the water, much less the iconic orange towers as we drove across the bridge, which is always such a crazy feeling (and our two year old was baffled and kept asking us where the bridge had gone – try explaining that!)  Just on the other side of the bridge, though, it was hot and sunny (another reason to get of the city once in a while!)  We drove up to St. Helena, which is one of our favorite little towns and went into Dean and Deluca to do our shopping. (more…)

A Family Tradition

wine corks

My husband’s father turned 21 while living in California. That’s always the excuse that my husband gives for how his Dad became a wine collector and why he knows so much about wine. He quickly follows up with the fact that his first job out of grad school was in Germany, so he had a lot of opportunity for getting to know small producers – and for importing for his friends.

I love wine tasting with my father-in-law and we’ve been fortunate enough to do quite a bit of it. Since we live in San Francisco, it is pretty easy to take a quick trip to the Wine Country when they visit. His knowledge is vast and he has a pretty large cellar himself. (So large, in fact, that my husband swore he would never help him to move it again after a particularly exhausting weekend doing so!)

One of my favorite traditions that my husband’s parents started was a wine collection for each of their children. Over the years, they collected wine from the birth year of their two children and when they turned twenty-one, they gifted the wine to them. How fun is that?! Each of them has a pretty large selection of various wines and ports from the year they were born. I’ve been fortunate to enjoy a few of those bottles myself and some of them are incredible! Hubs and I love to drink one of the bottles from his collection on his birthday each year. It’s our own little special treat.

Since we have both enjoyed this special tradition, we have decided to continue it for our own children. Of course, you have to pick a varietal that will age well and in some cases, you’re just making an educated guess on what will be good, especially if you purchase futures in hopes of a good deal. So far, it’s been really fun to do, though, and I love thinking about how my boys will enjoy these wines for years to come.

What do you think of this fun tradition? Is it something you would do with your kids? What’s your favorite family tradition that spans the generations – or one you’re hoping to cultivate with your own children?

Wine Country for Kids – Yountville

So, you’re headed to the wine country, but you’re packing some rather active baggage (read: your children) Never fear, the wine country is very kid-friendly!  We go all the time since we are blessed to live just an hour away from this incredible area and take our kiddos almost every time we go.  (Hey, you gotta teach them to appreciate wine at an early age, right?!)  (more…)

Bouchon Bakery


One of the fabulous things about living in San Francisco (and there are many!) is that we are so close to the wine country.  Sonoma is a quick 45-minute drive and Napa is just an hour away, making it really easy to drive up for the day.  The landscape is beautiful, the shops adorable and the weather is usually warm and sunny, which is a nice break from the city fog in the Summer!  There are more wineries than you can possible visit and more great food than is reasonable for anyone to eat and when you visit the wine country, even for a day, you feel like you’re on vacation – a million miles away from the city.  It makes for a wonderful day trip or weekend getaway if you life in SF and a fabulous vacation destination if you don’t!  (more…)