Sonoma Valley Wine Tour

I just got home from a weekend girls trip to San Francisco. What a blast! The first day there we did a full day wine tour (8 hours of wine drinking!). I must say, this is one of my all time favorite moments in my entire life. Taking a wine tour has always been at the top of my bucket list, but even with my high expectations of an amazing time, it still exceeded my expectations. The combination of great wine, my best girlfriends, beautiful weather, new adventures, green vineyards, and a nice buzz... wow was I in heaven! 

The tour took us to three different wineries. This was special because each winery was entirely different and unique. Each beautiful and special in their own ways. The first winery we visited was called Roche Winery. It is a smaller, family owned winery, so we had a more intimate experience there. We were the only group there which was nice. Our tasting was at their vineyards instead of their wine tasting room, which was so peaceful and the scenery was stunning, it felt like a fake backdrop. They turned a barn into a tasting room and that is where we tried their wines. The vineyards were unbelievably green this time of year and the wine was delicious... What a perfect way to start the day! The woman talking and giving the spiel was so sweet and totally hilarious! She definitely kept us entertained. We got to sample about 5 wines (can't remember the exact number lol). They gave us a few whites and a few reds to taste. As usual, they had a bucket you could pour your wine into if you did not want to drink it all, whether it be because you did not like the wine or because you just preferred not to drink too much. This winery was the only one of the whole day that took us to look at the vines in the vineyard. She told us quite

a bit about the grapes, how they are grown and what is special about the climate in Sonoma Valley. We were there the last week in April and the grapes were just tiny babies. Here is a picture of them. 

The second winery we visited was the Sebastiani Vineyards and Winery. This winery may have had a vineyard nearby, but we did not see it. The building was much larger and fancier than the first location. The decor inside the tasting room was stunning, my friends and I kept saying it would be a dream wedding location! There were huge wine barrels all around and fancy wood carvings on the barrels. Here is a pic! 

Photo taken at Sebastiani Winery

Photo taken at Sebastiani Winery

At Sebastiani we got to sample four wines. Sauvignon Blanc, Sonoma County Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and a Cabernet Sauvignon. They were all tasty in my opinion but the Sauvignon Blanc was my favorite at this winery. They also had balsamic vinaigrette to sample, and a few dessert wines (one that tasted like a Muscato and I loved it)!

Photo taken at Roche Winery

Photo taken at Roche Winery

The third winery we went to was by far the most stunning property. It was the Cline Winery. This one might have been my favorite, even though I really enjoyed them all. Cline let us sample about five wines, then we were able to walk and explore the property, taking photos in the vineyards and wandering around. This property had so many stunning plants and trees. They had another tasting going on where they let us sample five more wines, that was such a treat! My friend and I actually each purchased a bottle from here. I bought the Mourvedre Rose, and believe it or not it was only like 12 bucks!! It was one of my favorite wines I sampled there. I also really enjoyed their Pinot Gris and Cuvee. Can you tell I'm a white wine girl?! Haha. I took a wine course in college and they said that "beginner" wine drinkers like white wine then as your palate evolves as a wine drinker you will begin to love reds. Well, I'm 26 and have loved wine for about six years now... not sure when my "palate will evolve".  

Photo taken at Roche Winery

Photo taken at Roche Winery

Photo taken at Roche Winery

Photo taken at Roche Winery

Here is a video I have put together of our experience through Sonoma wine country! I hope this post inspires you to get on a wine tour asap or maybe it inspires you to take an adventure that matches your personality, or cross something off your bucket list! Here's the video... Enjoy!! 

 

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Tropea, Italy... A hidden Gem!

For those of you planning a trip to Italy, there are so many bucket list type choices of where to go. Italy is a country full of beautiful scenery, culture, history and of course - FOOD! 

Here is the problem: When you're planning a trip to Italy usually time is limited, and being that there are so many wonderful places to see, it can be difficult to decide where to go. You basically can't go wrong with anywhere you choose in Italy, however here is why I believe Tropea Italy should be at the top of your MUST SEE list. 

Tropea completely stole my heart!! We went there during our honeymoon trip to Italy and spent about a week there. It is in southern Italy, in a region called Calabria. My husband Nick and I loved EVERYTHING about it there. There are these cliffs in Tropea that are at the edge of town and drop down to the beach there, it is breathtaking (picture below). The Mediterranean Sea was the most beautiful blue water I have ever seen in my life. The food was absolutely outstanding, and to top it off, the people were so friendly!

In this post I share a ton of pictures from our trip, but know this - a picture could never do this place justice. When you see it in person it is even more majestic than the photos. Also, I took these pictures prior to being a blogger, so the quality and creativity is just not that great, my apologies.  

The cliffs of Tropea Italy

The cliffs of Tropea Italy

The Sea! 

Count on having many beach days while in Tropea, as it is a beach town! Tropea is a place where the Italians take their vacations/holidays. You will not hear or see many American's visiting there because it is mostly other Italians that are familiar with this location. For Americans, Tropea is the best kept secret of Italy. The best part about that is it makes it more of an "Italian experience". There are many things to do by the sea in Tropea, you can rent a boat, rent floaty tubes, pattle boats, etc. Make sure to rent an umbrella, that way you do not over heat in the Italian sun. 

Pictures of the sea:

 

The Food!

We enjoyed the food here much more than the food in Rome! Calabria, the region where Tropea is, does not cater to tourists like the major cities of Italy do. Therefore the food in Tropea is much more authentic. We ate so much pizza, pasta, gelato, fried foods, different meats... and of course, more gelato! There is a huge price difference between Rome and southern Italy. The food there was extremely cheap compared to Rome, and seemed to have more flavor! You pay less but get higher quality. The main part of town in Tropea is fairly small, so while you are there look for a resteraunt overlooking the Sea! We ate at one place overlooking the Sea, watching the sun go down, it was one of the most magical moments of our entire trip. We ordered a liter of wine, some anti-pasta (appetizers), pizza and pasta; the whole meal was less than 30 euros! In the U.S. we would pay $100 just for the view, we were in heaven ! And of course, we came back for dinner another night too! 

Pictures of the food:

| Comment below with your thoughts on Tropea! I'd love to hear from you. |

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