Back in April my three best childhood girlfriends, Kristen (Ka), Jessica (Je), Clare (Cla), and I (Meggo) headed to wine country in celebration of our 30th birthdays. Packing for this trip was stressful… how many wine sleeves to bring, how do I bring one bag + have room for wine, how much will my bag weigh once it has wine in it? Answer: Just be friends with Ka.
Ka is the ultimate traveler. She is actually my travel idol. She has been to almost all of my dream travel locations for extended periods of time. She is also fantastic at planning trips, packing for trips, and generally making sure everyone is over prepared for trips. Case in point she came with eight wine sleeves, a wine budget, and a luggage weight.
Let’s get to the good stuff… the wine. We focused on the Russian River Valley this trip and found all kinds of unexpected treasures. (A shout out to Ronnie Latta for seriously great winery recommendations.) My three favorite wineries:
Matanzas Creek – The architecture and setting reminded me of the Texas Hill Country. This wine was a group hit, and my all around favorite. We all went home with half a case… in airplane ready boxes. (Checked bag #2)
Mounts – Talk about off the beaten path – I initially thought we were pulling up to a meth lab, but don’t judge a book by its cover… some amazing Syrahs awaited behind those doors. This family winery is definitely worth a visit.
MacLaren – When they shared that their Syrah went well with BBQ, I knew I was bringing a bottle of this back to Georgia.
You can tell we were NOT the designated driver on the day we ended up at Healdsburg’s precious town square. “You have hats we don’t need, we’ll take three.”
We spent our final evening in Sonoma and ate at the Girl + the Fig. The restaurant was one of my favorites on my first trip there, and it was delicious the second time around as well. Now for the surprise recommendation of my life… our accommodations in Sonoma. Since the four of us don’t get to see each other often, we wanted to maximize our time together and be able to share a hotel room. This is tough in wine country as most rooms don’t sleep four because there are not many large hotel chains (this is a good thing). We stayed at the Best Western in Sonoma. (Yes, you heard me… Best Western.) It was the best bed of the trip and my best night’s sleep.
It is safe to say we went through withdrawals for several days after this trip ended. Until next year!