Drink Travel

Travel Recap // Napa Valley

Sharing lots of pics and a recap of my trip this past week to Napa! 🍷

I recently returned from my trip to Napa and thought I’d share a recap and some new recommendations with you guys today! I traveled with a group of girlfriends that I met when I lived in LA. We all live in different places now, so it was fun to reunite! It’s hard for me to describe how much I absolutely love being in wine country. Mike and I talk about moving out there later in life all the time – I hope we do it! As soon as we get from San Fran into the valley I get so excited driving by all the vineyards.

vineyards-lr 2.jpg

Here’s a recap of our trip. Get ready for picture overload!

Thursday afternoon I flew into San Fran and we all met up for a fun dinner in the city at Out The Door which I would definitely recommend. We then all stayed the night in Mill Valley with my friend Sara, and her husband Chad, before driving into Napa the next morning.

A shot from Sara and Chad’s place
The hostess!

It was really weird freaky weather in San Fran and Napa and it was cold and RAINY!! Ugh. Of course, we were still so excited to drive into Napa the next morning. Our first stop was Oxbow  Public Market for lunch. Oxbow is a huge market building with tons of restaurants and stalls of vendors in it that shows off the food Napa is famous for.

Oxbow Market, taken on a different day when not raining 🙂
Oxbow lunch.jpg
With my friends Becky and Kristen
Of course I couldn’t resist pizza for lunch. The pizza in Napa is always so GOOD!

After lunch we headed to our appointment at Ashes and Diamonds. I realize you all might be tired of me talking about this winery but it did NOT disappoint! It was the perfect place to hole up and stay a while on a rainy day, with tons of eye candy!

Ashes and Diamonds recently opened by Kashy Khaledi, music exec and son of Darioush Khaledi (most of you may know Darioush wines). At Ashes and Diamonds, they have combined the Californian midcentury aesthetic and the style of winemaking that was popular then with a modern, multimedia approach to the winery. If you want to learn more about Ashes and Diamonds, I recommend this article from Architectural Digest.

Crappy picture taken from the car. Ignore the disgusting weather, but how cool is this exterior?! Designed by Architect Barbara Bestor.
Mid-mod heaven inside!!
They served the best home made focaccia with herbed butter
Our tasting menu
Everyone was commenting on Instagram about these wine labels – I love them too! The graphic designer that did these also designed the album cover for Jay-Z’s Magna Carta Holy Grail.
With all my girls! Kristen, Sara, Becky, and Ellen.

The first night we went to dinner at Solbar at the Solage Resort in Calistoga. The food was absolutely fantastic as well as our entire experience there.

Such pretty cocktails!
I loved these seared day boat scallops with minted sweet pea
buffalo ricotta, fava leaf gnudi, salmon roe, and lardo

I didn’t take this picture, but I also had this Maine lobster and asparagus salad with lime cucumber, arugula, miso-mustard vinaigrette on brioche toast, which was to die for!

The next morning the sun was finally out and I was so excited to wake up and hear the birds chirping! Ellen and I got up and went to check out the hotel since we barely saw much of it through the rain the prior afternoon. We stayed at Indian Springs Calistoga. 

Calistoga is a one of the sub-regions of Napa Valley and pretty far North. It has a really cute downtown and great wine nearby. It’s also known for its hot springs and spas.

A good reference map for proximity of Calistoga to the other AVAs and sub-regions
The view we woke up to while walking to get coffee at the hotel

I would definitely recommend our hotel. It had this amazing hot mineral springs pool that was heated to 100°. It was heaven!

People taking an early swim in the hot springs

The restaurant at our hotel was called Sam’s Social Club and is a must-visit in Calistoga for any meal or drinks.

The mural behind Sam’s bar was done by artist Lauren McIntosh, with elements of nature and history at Indian Springs
I left out the pictures of the other slightly-hung over people at breakfast, but I jumped right back on the mimosa train!
Ellen’s order: Egg in a Hole with Parmesan Crusted Brioche, Mushroom Fondue and Arugula

Our first stop on Saturday was Trinchero Family Estates which I was really excited about because I heard how beautiful it was. It was a wonderful experience and I would definitely recommend checking this out!

Main Tasting Room
In the Member’s Tasting Room
They had these great swings all around the property. So fun!
Me with Ellen – I should note Ellen is pregnant, due in June! Wasn’t she a good sport to tour so many wineries with us?!
I could have stayed here all day!!

Next up we hit Orin Swift. I’m a big fan of Orin Swift wines. The tasting room was a storefront stop in downtown St. Helena, so it was pretty basic as far as the tasting experience does, but I just thought it would be fun to taste their wines.

We all grabbed lunch to go at Sunshine Market and Sara is recharging with Pedialyte 😂 She’s going to kill me for posting this!

Next up was Hall Winery. Hall is really a pretty stop and their wines are great. It’s built with limestone and reclaimed 19th century Austrian bricks, and more than 35 pieces of contemporary art are on display here. Unfortunately we missed a lot of those as it was packed and we were just focused on tasting and eating our picnic lunch at that point.

“Bunny Foo Foo,” a 35-foot tall stainless steel rabbit,  by Lawrence Argent at the entrance
The outside of Hall

Our last stop was Chateau Montelena back in Calistoga. The chateau itself is really pretty, but I would not recommend the tasting experience here. It’s pretty dated.

Chateau Montelena
We did have fun with the tasting manager who was making us laugh hysterically!

That night we ate at Evangeline. It was a really cute restaurant in downtown Calistoga that we could walk to from our hotel.


And the next morning, we grabbed an easy breakfast at Calistoga Roastery before we left town. Really good breakfast sandwiches for a quick stop!


It was hard to leave these girls and leave this view…


Back to reality, and until the next one!

Cheers and Happy Friday to you all!
xx — BB

8 comments on “Travel Recap // Napa Valley

  1. Ellen Gardner

    The pedialyte pic is THE BEST! 😂

  2. Sara Stith

    Such a great re-cap!! I’m not even mad at the Pedialyte photo– it’s like a PSA letting people know that it really helps to hydrate on these trips. I could have used another one of those the next day 🙂 Love your photos and write-up!
    PS: I wish that you had gotten a photo of our friends from Toronto.

    • breebasham

      Haha so glad, you still look cute 😉Maybe the blog can get a Pedialyte sponsorship!

  3. Bree, this post just helped me plan a little getaway!!! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

    • breebasham

      I’m so glad!! Pls let me know if I can help further! xoxo

  4. Pingback: Daily Edit // The Sunday Seven – The Modifica

  5. This was wonderful! We’re going to Napa in a week for Labor Day! We plan on going to Hall Winery! Wonderful post! Feel free to check out my blog if you have the time!

    • breebasham

      Nice! So glad to hear the post was helpful. I will check your blog out! I hope you have a wonderful trip!!

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