Day Trip from Sacramento to Napa

We decided, rather last minute, to head over to Napa for a bit of late afternoon beauty and aspirational living. Armed with New Order’s greatest hits and not a lot of cash, we followed highway 12 to 29 and made a beeline for St. Helena. We began, by mistake, at the lovely Ristorante Tra Vigne but when the hostess said they were still serving brunch, we were soon directed to the more budget-friendly Pizzeria Tra Vigne (the place with the big tomato out front). If you go here, order the simple pizza margherita ($13/small, feeds 2), you won’t be sorry. I also recommend a scoop of their gelato afterwards.

We had intended to visit Domaine Charbay to do some vodka tasting but got there too late, so instead we went to our old standby the Rubicon Estate. I’ve been going to this winery for years, even got Francis Ford Coppola to sign my grappa bottle one afternoon in 1997. It feels very old world Europe to me and we like to sit outside at the tables with our glass of wine. The tastings are also good and reasonably priced, but I like to go for a 2oz pour of their flagship wine… the Rubicon. It’s a bit pricey for a full glass, but if you get the 2oz pour it’s a more budget-friendly $15 and you can still feel like an heiress.

They also have a cute English phone box, painted blue, outside the men’s room… which might be a bit dodgy as a photo op spot, but it was pretty deserted when we were there.

Finally we rounded out the afternoon at Domaine Carneros. We got a glass of the Brut Rose and a glass of the Demi-sec ($8 each) and just traded back and forth. But the real star of the show is the view from the balcony – as these strangers are enjoying. Such pretty light!

So that was our short but sweet trip to Napa… and now… back home, where things are not quite as glamorous. :)

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