If there’s one thing I would change about Napa is the fact that most of the wineries close at 5:30 pm. We easily could have spent all night winery hopping.
We headed to Napa as soon as we picked up the campervan in San Francisco. Due to a few wrong turns, picking up groceries, a good bit of rain, and learning to maneuver our giant new home for the week, we got a bit of a later start than expected on the 2 hour drive from San Francisco to the heart of Napa.
It rained all morning, but as we drove into Napa the clouds begin to clear. Napa is so stunning even when it’s raining!
As soon as we arrived in Napa, we headed to the Castello di Amarosa winery. This is one of the most popular wineries there so it was crowded, but not overwhelmingly so.
The wine tasting is $25 per person which is typical for Napa but so worth it.
Castello di Amarosa was built by a dude who was fascinated by real castles and he wanted to replicate one perfectly so he even included a dungeon when he built it. It felt very authentic!
The wine at this place was literally the best wine any of us had ever tasted. It made me realize there is an actual difference between cheap and expensive wine and my usual $3 bottles from Trader Joes haven’t been as satisfying ever since. Basically this place ruined me and made me understand how people become wine snobs. Success in life = drinking wine like this on the regular.
If you want to take a bottle home, I highly recommend purchasing it at the vineyard. If you don’t and then want to order it online after your trip, just know that you have to order a minimum of 6 bottles for them to ship to you. I wish we had known because 6 bottles of this stuff plus shipping does not fit my grad school budget at the moment.
After enjoying the best wine of our lives, we headed to Sterling Vineyards. But not before stuffing our faces with Cheetos in the car. We were probably the only people in Napa eating Cheetos between wineries but we can’t change who we are 😉
My mom actually told me about Sterling Vineyards because she remembers it from when she visited Napa a long time ago. It’s memorable because a ski lift takes you to the winery! Here’s us going up.
The wine at Sterling Vineyards definitely wasn’t as good as Castello di Amarosa, but if you love incredible views, Sterling Vineyards should be at the top of your list. The tastings were spread out around the winery as you took yourself on a walking tour so it was more of an interactive experince.
After Sterling Vineyards, it was 5:30 pm and sadly all the wineries were closed so we headed to the grocery store, picked up a cheap bottle of wine, and headed to Bothe Napa Valley Campground for our first night in our campervan!
This campground was perfectly located 2 minutes next to the vineyards we went to. We ate a classy dinner of carrots and hummus with turkey sandwiches to top off our super classy day 😉 The campground didn’t have an electrical hookup like we thought so it was the coldest night in our campervan but it actually wasn’t too bad. We slept in our big coats and passed out shortly after we arrived at the campsite ready for the next day at Yosemite!