I’m here today to share my experience planning a trip to Napa and Sonoma for a group of fourteen ladies!! We had such a blast and even though I loved doing Napa with my husband, I have to say that doing it with your girlfriends is equally or more fun!!! We loved sipping on rose champagne all morning and closing out the day with a full-bodied red and some delicious cheese and crackers. You can read our long weekend recap here and then see all the planning details below.
The House or Hotel
We had a group of 14 girls. We knew we wanted to all try and stay together rather than get several different hotel rooms at one place. Thankfully, one of the girls in our group had stayed at this house before and it fit our group size perfectly!! We all loved it so much and wish we could go back in the summer. The pool is gorgeous and all the outdoor space is magnificent. Now, if you don’t need a place this big; but still want a house; be sure to check out the rest of the houses that Luxury Retreats has to offer. They provide wonderful customer service (you get your own concierge basically) and their properties are all beautiful. This house is located right past downtown Sonoma which was great and its still close enough to Napa to enjoy everything there too.
If you are with a smaller group and looking for a hotel, this is your place. The Villagio Inn is centrally located in Yountville and near all the great restaurants and wineries. The rooms are perfectly cozy, surrounding a gorgeous pool and vineyard views. We stayed here several years back and couldn’t speak highly enough about it. Fireplaces in every room, cheese, crackers and wine served every evening for happy hour, and an omelet maker for breakfast in the mornings!
We ordered Amazon Fresh to be delivered to the house for our arrival. This order mostly included breakfast foods, cheese, crackers, and other snacks or drinks. This was such a nice service to utilize (we don’t have this in Pensacola). We cooked breakfast at home each morning and enjoyed cheese and crackers each evening!
The Depot – This was our restaurant our first night. It was quiet and quaint and the food was delicious. Stick with the Italian dishes which were all amazing. We did have one complaint of the fish not tasting amazing, but the rest of the food was great!
Chandon – We ate lunch here our first day touring the vineyards. It worked out well for us because we could enjoy a vineyard and eat some food at the same time. Keep in mind, the lunch options consisted of chicken salad croissant, cheese and crackers and a charcuterie board; so you have to be easy going 🙂
Chef William (707-339-0209) – We hired a chef to come to the house to cook us our second night. We had a long day a the vineyards and it was so nice to come home to a meal being prepared for us. He uses local ingredients any chance he can and is easy to work with. You just let him know your budget and what you are wanting to eat and he cooks and cleans for you!
Other good restaurant recommendations we looked at, but didn’t make it to this trip: Mustards Grill, Bottega, El Dorado (Sonoma), Oakville Grocery, Gotts Roadside
We decided on three vineyards a day which was plenty!! It’s really hard to fit in any more than that. The vineyards open at 10am and we chose to try to stick with places that offered champagne to start with since we were arriving right when the doors opened at 10. It’s nice to give yourself time to enjoy the tastings (usually about 1.5). Then you need to account for driving time and if you need to stop for lunch.
We hit six vineyards total. There are honestly so many good ones, it’s so hard to choose. We were staying in Sonoma, so we tried to keep that in mind when it came to distance.
Our Vineyards : Buena Vista (Sonoma), Chandon, Conn Valley, Schug (Sonoma), Silverado, Stags’ Leap
I used Google Maps to map out our days which was really helpful. Go to Maps, click on “your places” and then Maps to make your own. You can drop a pin at each location to see distance between each vineyard.
This map was really helpful to me when I was planning our vineyards too. Napa Wine Vineyard Map
You can see our full schedule at the end of the post.
We looked into car services for airport transportation, but it really made the most sense for us to rent cars. We never planned to actually use the cars once we got to Napa, but it was still cheaper for us to split the cost of rental cars (approx $120 for 3 day rental/per car) then to pay for a car service.
Once we were in Napa, we took Ubers to dinner and then we hired a car service for our two days at the Vineyards. We went through a guy named Richard (707-580-3867) who I can’t recommend enough. He has a whole fleet of vehicles and they were wonderful to work with. They help put your day at ease. They picked us up at the house every morning and then drove us to each vineyard and any lunch stops we needed to make.
I’m sharing our full schedule here because I think it could help some of you if you are planning for a large group. I included times and even prices just to give you an idea. Obviously those prices can change, but those are approximate prices for our private tastings. Most vineyards require reservations or private tasting if you have a group of 10 or more.
I think that covers everything I wanted to share. You can see our full weekend post here. If you have any questions about planning a trip to Napa or Sonoma, please feel free to email me. There are so many great options out there. We loved our schedule, but you don’t have to limit yourself to this. There are tons of great places to check out.