My Style


Study Abroad

Domain Carneros & Beringer Winery

dress // bag (similar) // sunnies // shoes (similar)

Juxtaposing our day of hopping from one small boutique winery to another was our day spent at two of the largest and grandest wineries in Napa -- the Domaine Carneros and the Beringer Estate.

Both estates are stunning and well worth a visit (although their tastings and pours are not as generous... just saying). The Domaine Carneros looks like something straight out of the Loire Valley. The stunning and perfectly manicure estate draws a lot of tourists, so be sure to book ahead. Both Emily and I opted for the sparkling wine tasting flight. Because you know my motto, bring on the bubbly! This was probably my favorite tasting of our time in Napa. I love champagne (and rosè), which is exactly what this flight was, but of course they cannot call it that because the Domaine Carneros is not in Champagne, France.

After enjoying some delicious bubbly (and accompanying cheese plate), Emily and I headed north to the historic Beringer estate (you will also want to book ahead). After a guided tour of the estate and history of their wine production, we enjoyed a four-glass tasting paired with four different amuse-bouches to enhance different aspects of each wine. This was by far our most formal and informative tasting. While I was not head-over-heals for any of the wines I tasted, overall it was a very educational experience.

It's the architecture and surrounding grounds of these two wineries that really make them worth seeing. Overall, I enjoyed the wine on our smaller winery tour more (although the bubbles at the Carneros were delish, I just wanted more). Being able to see both sides of the Napa wine industry was great and I am glad we did.

After another long day of sipping wine (life is hard sometimes), we opted for a quick stop at Market (in Saint Helena) for dinner. There we indulged in some good old fashioned comfort food -- mac and cheese and jalapeno corn bread drizzled in honey -- before driving back to our hotel in Napa.

I wore this gorgeous and light weight pink Rebecca Minkoff dress with leopard accents for the day. While the temps were warm, it was a very dry heat, which, for this Florida girl, feels like winter lol. I am obsessed with these leopard flats. Sadly, they are already sold out, but I have linked a similar pair. Pink and leopard has always been one of my favorite combinations.

What is your favorite winery in the Napa Valley? I'd love to hear so I can plan for my next trip!


Exploring Yountville

In addition to fabulous wine, Napa also boasts a lot of picturesque little towns. Take Yountville for example. It is a charming little town surrounded by vines, full of quaint architecture, and brimming with amazing food. In fact, Yountville is considered the culinary capital of The Napa Valley.

While I was expecting great wine in Napa, I wasn't aware that the region was equally famous for food. Yountville is home to several of the country's top-rated restaurants, like the famed The French Laundry, Ad Hoc, and Bottega Napa Valley. Since these are incredibly hard to get into, Emily and I opted for dinner at Solbar, which specializes in fresh, seasonal plates (and it was delish!). If you do want to try to get into these top spots, book early and research the best ways to do so. We were informed that The French Laundry accepts reservations exactly 60 days out and books within 15 minutes of opening reservations! Our wine guide recommended going through your Amex concierge if you have one... which I do not lol.

But before dinner, we spent the day exploring the town. Naturally, our day began with a trip to the famed Bouchon Bakery. There is always a line, but it moves quickly and is worth the wait. There isn't much "to-do" per say in Yountville. It is basically a place you stroll, shop, and eat, which are three things Emily and I just happen to be great at.

I wore this amazing Yumi Kim bell sleeve top, which is fittingly called the wanderlust top. It is so flowy and gorgeous, and comes in several great fall floral patterns. In fact, I loved this top so much, I purchased it in a second pattern (#sorrynotsorry). I paired it with my new favorite skirt for fall, this perfect little A-line corduroy skirt from J.Crew. The final touches were my bright-white accessories, because clearly I don't buy into no white after labor day.

If you are planning a trip to Napa, be sure to add Yountville to your itinerary and definitely indulge in a great dinner while you are there. Also, another tip and something I love about Napa, everyone seemed to always be dressed up. Unless you're planning on hiking, I would skip the spandex and bring your style-a-game to Napa.


Platypus Wine Tour in Napa Valley

hat (also here) // dress // c/o Dagne Dover bag // mules // sunnies

Obviously, wine tasting in Napa Valley is a must, and the real reason everyone visits. But the valley is literally dotted with fantastic wineries. Figuring out where to start and which wineries should top your list can be overwhelming.

Fortunately, Emily had the brilliant idea of going on a wine tour our first full day in Napa. Wine tours are a great option because they are run by locals who know the region, take you to wineries that you may not have heard of (or are off the beaten path), and, the best part, you don't have to worry about drinking and driving.

We took our tour with Platypus Wine Tours. They were spectacular -- organized, well-run, and, most importantly, fun! We shared our mini-tour bus with four fabulous couples, who, thanks to lots of wine, quickly became our good friends. We visited a total of four wineries, all of which were quite generous with their tastings, and the ones at the end of the day were real generous... that's when things get a bit hazy lol.

Our timing in Napa was perfect without even realizing it. I should have know it was harvest time, since I participated in the harvest in Tuscany last September, but both Emily and I forgot until we arrive and found ourselves in the middle of the harvest.

We started our day of winery hopping at the Ruthorford Ranch winery. The best part about this winery is that they offer a wine and chocolate tasting! Oh, it was so yummy. Four wines paired with four amazing types of chocolate. Our next stop was the hipster Casa Nuestra winery, where we tasted tasty organic wines, had a picnic lunch, and played with their adorable goats. Casa Nuestra had a very cool, earthy vibe about it and they specialize in cultivating older grape varieties that are disappearing from the region.

Our third winery was the charming and laid-back Tudal winery. The Tudal estate is full of quaint little seating areas and communal games like giant Jenga and cornhole. After some fun and games, we headed to our last and most generous stop, Hopper Creek. This is where things got weird lol. Everyone was suddenly best friends and we ended up frolicking through the vineyards and taking a thousand photos. We really couldn't help ourselves, the wine at Hopper Creek was everyone's favorite. And we tried them all!

My only complaint about Napa is that the majority of the wineries grow French grapes and make French-style wines. Where are the Italian wines? I learned this past summer, through much trial and error, that I don't love French wines as much as I do Italian wines. Of course, this did not stop me from trying all of the wines in Napa.

In addition to touring smaller wineries, Emily and I also visited a couple larger, more famous estates (more on that next week). I think to really appreciate Napa and its wine, you need to experience both, and a wine tour like this one is the perfect way visit small and truly unique estates.

I highly recommend Platypus Tours if you are visiting Napa Valley (they offer Sonoma tours too)!

And you can read my tips for looking like you know what you are doing when tasting wine here.