a winederful day in napa valley.

snacks & wine were not in short supply. we love you trader joes.
for our trip, carlye found The Black Rock Inn in St. Helena, a quintessential town in Napa Valley. we had looked at the guest house (above), but it was pretty spendy so we decided on renting a couple of rooms inside the main house (we try to never “split up,” but it felt like the right move at the time).
well, get this. when we pulled into the Inn on Thursday night, we couldn’t help but sigh and get super jealous at the site of the vine covered guest home complete with a private patio lit by bistro lights & an outdoor fireplace. we wanted it – bad.
as we were unloading the car, the inn’s fantastic owner, jeff, greeted us and we immediately asked who was staying in the guest quarters. “well, nobody actually. they cancelled.” so i quickly smiled and said, “perfect, so we are?” he kinda laughed but wasn’t taking us seriously. after a little more sweet talking, the spiel about us being together for the first time in two years (and we wouldn’t want to keep the other main house guests up all night) plus some serious puppy eyes, he gave us a quick tour and we were sold. when he agreed (for a small fee), we all did a happy dance and made ourselves right at home for the next three nights. (thank you, jeff!)¬†sometimes things are just meant to be, right?
our first meal in napa at Farmstead, a beautiful farmhouse style restaurant with delicious food.
a bottle of rose and small bites were perfect for our 9:30pm reservation.
The Black Rock Inn’s main house (see the awesome reviews on TripAdvisor here)
each morning, we’d walk over to the main house for Jeff’s delicious home cooked breakfast. so cute!
photos really don’t do this place justice. but you get the point. it was pretty great.
our chic living room. jenny was in charge of getting the mimosa party started.
our patio :)
wine tasting day for six. not the most infant-friendly activity, lisa stayed in san francisco with little sture.
we hired Sonoma Sterling Limos and can’t say enough great things about them. our driver, Len aka Santa Claus, is also a photographer and was awesome about taking photos & videos all day. Plus, he proactively scheduled a picnicking appointment for us at a perfect spot. you can read my Yelp review + the other glowing comments here.
that’s Teddy! our fantastic tasting master and tour guide at Vincent Arroyo. it was the perfect way to start the day… Teddy greeted us with a smile and six glasses ready for toasting. he managed to remember each of our names during our barrel room and vineyard tour!
it was colby’s ACTUAL 30th BIRTHDAY during our wine tasting. how amazing is that for a 30th?
quiz time. we put our resident one hope wine girl, tiff, on the spot each time.

wine education.
carlye doesn’t look like she approves of the grapes off the vine.
first stop = still focused.
we happened to be there during bottling! it was so neat to see the bottles get filled – corked – labeled.
… and the fun begins. colby looking so fabulous as always.
our limo driver, len, coordinated this stop for us to picnic before the rest of our busy tasting day.
we enjoyed the lush gardens at bennett lane winery – highly recommend for picnicking!
snacks. snacks & more snacks. thank you, trader joes.

we have to credit len, our sweet limo driver, with getting us to our appointment at schramsberg vineyards. schramsberg is a serious sparkling wine operation that doesn’t mess around with their pre-scheduled cave tours (when you’re lucky enough to get one). poor len jumped out of the limo and sprinted to the check-in to let them know that we were there… hold the tour! thanks, len!
on the the famous schramsberg cave tour
we watched the guys drum with the champagne bottles to get the sediment moving.
love this birthday girl to the moon and back.
bottles on bottles on bottles
jacob schram
pretty interesting since my maiden name is schramm and my nephew’s name is jacob.
my long lost family perhaps?
my notes included two of the quotes our tour guide said:
1. “the bigger the bubble, the bigger the (hangover) trouble”
2. “….and may the only pain in your life be champagne”
infinity bracelet. forever eight.
i won’t divulge what’s really happening here. but it was goooooood.
the bubbles were a flowin’ & pinnies were a pushin’
not sure the very serious schamberg cave tour guide was loving us. we were kinda jonesing for the tasting.
back on the move & feeling the groove
cruising to our fourth and final stop, lava vine winery in calistoga.
what do you mean you’re out of white wine?! (true story). so we had to end on red.
again, our dear limo driver, len, playing photographer for us crazy girls. bless him.
blurred lines.
oh how i wish i had a photo of the MASSIVE pizza boxes we picked up on our way home.
colby hanging out of the window forced len to swiftly pull the limo over onto the side of the road.
“please remain in the vehicle!”
happy birthday, beyotch!

the party continued back on the guest house patio with snacks & more wine… but not for long!
when the inn’s owner, jeff, came over for turndown service, he found six girls fast asleep!
i guess the sign of a successful day of wine tasting (or perhaps a sign of our 30’s)
we played an impromptu, made up game called “haze” based on us reminiscing by asking each other questions about our past… “what was teri’s dorm room number in college? what is tiffany’s wedding date? what was the name of the place we’d always get late night pizza? what was carlye’s beyond bread order? what was the name of that guy…?” if you didn’t know the answer, you could lean on a friend, but there were (drinking) consequences for all involved for a wrong answer.
shmer and i mastered the outdoor fireplace…
… look at that beauty!

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