Wednesday, February 22, 2012


No grapes, no leaves, what gives?
So if you've found yourself questioning our visit to wine country in the winter, let me explain...
  • Reason #1 - It's off-season, meaning cheaper rates for vacation rentals! Yay!
  • Reason #2 - It's not that cold. We experienced above normal temperatures while we were there (hello mid to upper 60s, I love you), but even the norm is still a very comfortable upper 50/low 60... just bring an extra layer for the evenings and mornings, because it definitely cools down (to the 30s...eek)
  • Reason #3 -  Mustard flowers! The pretty "weed" is allowed to run amok amongst the vines and makes for some very pretty photos. They're especially prevalent in Napa, which brings me to...
Our day in Napa.

We started out at Katie & Thomas' favorite winery, Frog's Leap, and it was easy to see and taste why it's their favorite. We signed up for a tour and were treated to a brief history on the winery, the owner's preference for dry farming (organic and no irrigation), and tour of the property with wine glass in hand - the sauvignon blanc is sublime. Also, the mustard flowers are EVERYWHERE and gorgeous.

 Hats for the outdoor portion of the tour... they think of everything 
A greeting by the house cat and a warm fire.
 Didn't realize that my yellow shirt would also serve as camouflage that day...

 LOVE this door. Probably best barn door ever.

Handsome hubby.

After Frog's Leap, we headed to Duck Horn for a tasting on the porch, where we had a view of the vine burnings in the distance (luckily we couldn't smell the smoke). 

Then it was time for some food. We had lunch at the appropriately named Mustard's Grill where I had probably the best chicken sandwich ever (no exaggeration, promise). The Food Network doesn't lie.
Then there was some more driving when we stumbled across a sign with Charlottesville and the Outer Banks listed... two of my favorite places on earth. It was a sign (literally), so we stopped in for a tasting at Elizabeth Spencer, where we learned Elizabeth and her husband (Spencer) had honeymooned in the OBX, and he was a UVA grad, hence the sign. Such a small world.
After our final tasting of the day, it was time to prepare for dinner at home. We stopped by the Oxbow Market, a one-of-a-kind place where you can pick up local produce, meats, antiques, lotions, cupcakes, ice cream... the list goes on. We settled on steaks, fingerling potatoes and brussel sprouts, with cupcakes for dessert and also picked up a few of their famous English muffins for breakfast the next day.

A great end to our day.

{Raleigh, NC Photographer, Napa Valley Photography, Frog's Leap Photography, Mustard Flowers Photography}

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