60 degrees and rainy.
That was the weather forecast for Napa in the days leading up to my birthday. I even spoke about it with the woman sitting next to me on the flight from Los Angeles to San Francisco.
“It’s too bad it’s going to be so rainy this weekend,” she said to me.
“Hmm, yes...” I mumbled.
“But maybe the weather will change!” She quickly assured me.
After that conversation, I increased my weather monitoring tenfold on my weather app. I even downloaded two other weather apps so that I could compare the forecasts (and go with the one I found most favorable). I can’t explain it, but I became obsessed with checking the weather, as if I could control Mother Nature the more I went to see what she was planning.
To give some context, I am someone who always checks the weather before going on a trip. It’s how I know what to pack and what to expect, but I don’t always like what I see. Before heading to San Francisco and Napa, the weather forecast showed 60 degrees and rainy, and I knew that my trip would still be fun (I can drink wine anywhere, after all), but it would be so much better if it were not raining.
The weather gods must have seen my desperate attempts to will the rainy weather away.
Fast forward to when I was actually in San Francisco and Napa. The first day in San Francisco was a confusing combination of sunshine and fog, ending in clouds – but no rain! The next morning in San Francisco was still cloudy with a few rain drops here and there but nothing substantial. As my sister (my travel buddy on this trip) and I headed out of the city to Napa, the clouds dissipated and the blue skies emerged! Sunshine! You’re here!
The weather gods must have seen my desperate attempts to will the rainy weather away by checking three weather apps every five minutes because once we arrived in Napa there was no rain to be found throughout our entire stay. The rainy day(s) plan was no more!
Generally speaking, I like most wines, but I tend to go for sparkling, white, red and rose wines – in that order. I had all of these and more, and I enjoyed them all. My favorites were the 2013 Ultra Brut, 2014 Brut Rosé and Le Rêve at Domaine Carneros, the Chardonnay 2014 and ERA (their flagship) red wine at Alpha Omega, the Cabernet Sauvignon, Clone 337 at Bell Wine Cellars and the Rosé and Reserve Pinot Noir Rosé sparkling wines at Domaine Chandon.
Each winery was beautiful in its own way, and we loved driving around the region and looking at the gorgeous scenery. February into March is typically the mustard season in Napa, which means that fields of blooming mustard flowers pop up around the valley. It's an amazing thing to see.
As for food, we did not go hungry. Some great meals were had at Hurley’s and Lucy Restaurant & Bar in Yountville, Celadon in downtown Napa and, for those driving through San Rafael on their way to or from San Francisco, the delicious Puerto Rican hot spot, Sol Food.
Here are some of my favorite photos from my time in Napa:
Thank you, Napa and the weather gods for a truly memorable birthday celebration! Until next time (yes, there will definitely be a next time).