Visiting California: A Trip to Swanson Vineyards

Last week I traveled to San Francisco for the very first time, and it was truly amazing! Before my trip I asked for recommendations on places to visit while in California, and nearly everyone I spoke with said that Napa Valley was an absolute must. I'm so glad that I took the advice, and now I'm going to tell you the same thing ... if you're in the area, I promise that you will fall in love with Napa!


Before traveling, I spent some time looking into which vineyards to visit while in Napa. When I came across the website for Swanson Vineyards, I knew I had found the perfect vineyard for my BFF and myself to visit. My instincts proved to be correct as soon as we arrived in Napa and pulled into the vineyard. The building was absolutely adorable, and we were already in heaven before we even stepped inside.


We were greeted in the yard by Lin, our fabulous salonniĆ©re for the day, and then the fun began. The family-owned Swanson Vineyards consists of two tasting rooms, The Salon and The Sip Shoppe. Our tasting was being held in the Sip Shoppe, but Lin gave us a quick tour of the gorgeous Salon before we got started. The tasting room was furnished with beautiful pieces from all over the world. My favorite being the unique chairs and the ornate chandelier. The amazing pink/coral walls were covered with paintings by California artist Ira Yeager and they really added to the Paris flair of The Salon. Can't you just imagine how fun it would be to have a wine tasting here with a group of your girlfriends??



When we finished up in The Salon, Lin brought us over to the Sip Shoppe, and I was charmed instantly. Described as "a candy store for adults", there was so much to love about this space. The family heritage radiates through The Sip Shoppe with it's New Orleans style, inspired by fifth generation New Orleanian Elizabeth Swanson (wife of founder Clarke Swanson). We were pleasantly surprised when Lin pointed out that the walls of the Sip Shoppe weren't walls at all, and that we were actually inside a faux circus tent! Continuing with the theme, the jazz music playing throughout the tent provided the perfect atmosphere for sipping wine.




During our tasting we sampled 5 different wines: Rosato 2012 (from the Sip Shoppes secret stash), Chardonnay 2012, Merlot 2010, Alexis Cabernet 2010 (served with delicious Alexis Bon Bons), and Tardif 2007. I can honestly say that I loved each one of them, and even though I typically prefer white wine, I thought the merlot was to die for! My absolute favorite though, was the Tardif 2007, a late harvest chardonnay. It has the distinct taste of sweet honey which I learned was caused by noble rot, a form of botrytis cinerea, a type of mold that affects white grapes. These grapes are then handpicked at a specific time and used to create this sweet wine! If you like sweet wines, the Tardif comes with my highest recommendation!


We had such an amazing time at Swanson Vineyards, and if I'm ever back in the Napa Valley area, I wouldn't hesitate to stop in again. If you find yourself in Napa Valley, and really why wouldn't you, be sure to visit and tell them Amy sent you!



6 comments:

  1. JEAL. This looks and sounds so amazing!! Dying to get out to SF and do something like this.

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    1. It really was, Emily! I bet you would love it!!

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  2. I love California and I love wine tasting! It's so much fun and these pictures your posted are gorgeous! Makes me want to go back for a third time! Thanks for sharing!

    Marianne
    www.goodgirlgoneglam.com

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    1. Thanks Marianne!! It definitely seemed like the kind of place that would be amazing to visit over and over again! You really can't go wrong with wine and California weather!

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