Mumm Napa and other Napa Wineries We Love – also family friendly and pet friendly.
Napa and Sonoma Wine Country has so many different wineries and we have visited them on many different occasions for over 20 years, ever since we moved to California in 1996. Well, maybe not that MANY times..hehe, I think we may have visited on the average about one to at most two times a year.
As I was thinking about writing this post about Napa wineries, I came to realize that I have been taking a lot of pictures of Napa and Sonoma Wineries over time but I never shared them with you because they were kind of unrelated to Korean food. But, I thought – ‘Why let all the photos and experience go to waste??!!’ And since it is also related to my previous post on Napa Valley Korean Fusion.
One of the things that I really LOVE about Napa and Sonoma wine country is that there are endless wineries and restaurants to discover and taste. We always discover new things every time we go. Back in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, when my daughter was in elementary school, V. Sattui was always a must visit for us–mainly because we could picnic outside with their wine. And their market had the best cheeses, breads and salami!! 😝
We were not big wine drinkers back then and I have to confess, we knew very little about wines and so tasting wine was almost stressful. We began liking the sweeter wines like their sweeter Reisling or Guwerzstraminer. We usually bought a bottle of wine, cheese, salami, sun dried tomato pesto and a baguette – then sat outside in the grass or on their picnic tables and enjoyed the beautiful California summer.
In more recent years, Napa wineries became so crowded, especially on weekends that we decided to explore the Sonoma Wine Country side. In Sonoma wine country, Ledson soon became my daughter’s and our most favorite place. Why?? Because it had a castle and a dog 🐶 (actually neighboring winery dog). For a few years, the dog (sorry I forgot his name, he was a black labrador, the sweetest dog ever) came over every time we visited (to get snacks of course). And then one year, the dog never came… we later found out that the dog had passed. 😢
We visited Ledson a couple more times after that – this time with our dog Coco. Ledson was one of the few dog-friendly wineries around at that time. I wish there were some good pictures to share but this was too long ago for me to find the pictures easily.
During a more recent girls getaway trip, I was introduced to some really cute Napa wineries that have fabulous wines. Thank you to my wonderful friend Sue for her wonderful introductions!! I will share a full list of all the Napa Wineries we love later. But first, I’m sharing some pics I took during our most recent trip to Napa.
Mumm Napa is a MUST visit if you are a champagne lover and also if you like to sit down and do a leisurely tasting instead of standing while tasting. This was also a great place to take my mom because they served a really yummy grape juice drink for non-alcohol drinkers.
BTW, Champagne vs Sparkling wine.. aren’t they the same thing?? What’s the difference?? Why don’t they just call it champagne?
Well, if you don’t know, it’s basically the same thing but not always. The following statement from this article summarizes it well.
“All Champagne is sparkling wine but not all sparkling wine is Champagne!”
A wine can be called Champagne only if it’s produced from the Champagne region of France, is made from a specific set of grapes (7) OR if you had licensed to use the term BEFORE an agreement was reached between US and the EU in 2006. Incredibly, this agreement was based on a Treaty of Madrid that was signed in 1891 that gave legal rights to the French for the word Champagne!
Back to 2017!~
Mumm Napa has both an indoor and outdoor tasting room. This is the view from the outside –
The indoor is also nice with floor to ceiling glass windows that looks out to this view.
Here are all the different Mumm sparkling wines we got to taste between the 3 of us! It was a bit too much..
You can take all the pretty coasters home with all the different sparking wine names so you can remember them after .
Brut Prestige Extended Tirage was my top favorite among all of them. Wine is left on the yeast for an extended period of time for added depth and richness which I thought was just wonderful. “Flavors of green apples, honey and fig, with incredible citrus tones” is Mumm Napa’s description. I just know it tasted the best to me with the most complex flavor and richness.
- ABOUT MUMM NAPA: TOURS, TASTING, GOLD MEDALS, 90+ WINES, VIEW, PRIVATE EVENT, PET-FRIENDLY, ART GALLERY
Castello Di Amorosa
For our first Napa winery visit of our recent trip, our daughter took us to this magnificent 12th – 14th century Tuscan castle + winery place.
Of all the years we visited, we had never been. This was a great because there were other things to see other than just taste wine. Definitely a fun place to go if you are a family with kids (all kids love castles and there are goats and chickens outside the castle too!!) or with people who are not all about wine. It gets quite crowded on weekends though so be prepared for that and there’s an entrance/tasting fee that every one has to pay to get in.
- ABOUT CASTELLO DI AMOROSA: FAMILY FRIENDLY, DOG FRIENDLY, BARREL TASTING, FOOD PAIRING, TOURS, 90+ WINES
Long Meadow Ranch – farm-to-table restaurant and more
We first visited Long Meadow Ranch 2 years ago in 2015 and then just the Farmstead restaurant again this year for my daughter’s birthday. In 2015, we signed up for their Full Circle Experience. It was a day long tour where we get to see, taste and experience the full circle of FARM to TABLE. It was also an expensive experience (as my husband always makes sure I am aware – haha) but to me it was definitely worth it because I got to see my dream in reality. Because I know something of this scale would probably never happen in my life but one can always dream.. right??
After the farm tours, we then stopped at their Mayacamas estate which is nestled among olive groves, on top of the mountains with breathtaking views of Long Meadow Ranch estates.
We tasted their wonderful wine and also California olive oil pressed from their olive trees. We then returned back down to the Farmstead restaurant area and sat in one of the private dining rooms for a special dinner prepared just for us by Chef Timothy Mosblech.
On the MENU – Spring vegetable salad of beets, grapefruit with olive oil-poached egg, pastured Petaluma chicken with celery root and kumquats, LMR Grass-fed Beef Flat Iron on toasted farro, local asparagus, salsa verde and finally red wine-braised Fuji Apples with crushed almonds, brown butter ice cream and tarragon.
Everything was simply divine. If you have tasted fresh farm produce, you know how heavenly they taste. And when these farm fresh vegetables and meat are cooked together by a master chef, the flavors of each produce comes together so wonderfully. Each dish was, of course, perfectly paired with their lovely wines.
I could not drink it all though – I can never finish all the wines in a wine pairing dinner because it’s just too much!! Yeah, believe it or not – I actually have never gotten drunk in my life. I just drink wine or beer for the taste of it, the pleasure of tasting how the flavors of the drink and the food work together but not the buzz. I actually don’t like the feeling of losing control and so I always stop whenever I am starting to feel a little weird. 😜
At the end of our meal, chef Timothy came to meet us. Oh, what an honor it was to meet the person who was responsible for these wonderful creations!!
Sadly, it seems they don’t offer this Full Circle experience anymore. But you can go on their Mayacamas Estate tour which will take you to the top of the hills (in the pics above) and you can taste wine while enjoying the spectacular view of Napa valley.
This year for our daughter’s birthday we visited Farmstead (the restaurant at Long Meadow Ranch) because it is her most favorite restaurant. So in a way, this whole Napa trip was because so we could have her birthday dinner there.
BTW, if you ever visit Farmstead, you MUST order their Cheese Biscuit. It is simply to die for and is also the reason why my daughter wanted to go back!!
We arrived a bit early at Farmstead so we decided to get a bottle of their 2016 Rosé of Pinot Noir Anderson Valley to drink while we waited for dinner. We are not usually a fan of Rosé but the day was HOT and the beautiful salmon color of this dry Rosé was calling us. It also tasted perfect (my daughter and I also thought the label was very pretty too..😝). Unusual for a Rosé, this was quite full bodied yet light and refreshing all at the same time. We sat under the shade of their big oak tree right outside their general store and enjoyed sipping this pretty wine.
- LONG MEADOW RANCH has: TOURS, FOOD PAIRING, RESTAURANT, FARM, WINE TASTING, SHOP, FARMERS MARKET
Well, I have much more to share but let’s end it here for now. Hope you enjoyed a short Napa Valley trip with me and hope you will get to visit this wonderful area in person someday!
Best time to visit Napa – is actually all year round. In the fall and winter, it can get cold and rainy but I find that the crowd is much less and there’s a very peaceful and relaxing feeling in the air. Here’s a picture that I took in winter/early spring when the trees are still bare but the ground is getting ready for spring!