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Doc & Zulay's Wine Escapes

An advantage of where we live is that we’re so close to Wine Country. Doc and I often escape for a day (sometimes two!) to indulge in reds and whites. Here are some of our absolute favorites. 

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NAPA & SONOMA

Alpha Omega

1155 Mee Lane at Hwy 29, St. Helena

Sitting outdoors next to the beautiful fountain at Alpha Omega Winery, you immediately forget all your worries. We were one of this winery’s original wine club members! Their Rose sells out every year, their Chard is incredible. The Reserve Chardonnay tastes close to buttered popcorn, so good! For their Reds – the Tokalon, the Proprietary – are outstanding, crazy amazing! A head’s up that they’re pricing is high. Tasting are between $50-$75. It wasn’t 10 years ago when we first joined. I’d say ask for our buddy, Jesus but he moved to Texas to start a catering business and be closer to his girlfriend. Love him but honestly everyone is terrific. They offer tastings dailyby appointment! 

Raymond Vineyards

849 Zinfandel Lane, St. Helena 

A Jean-Charles owned location, Raymond Vineyards is more vibrant with a mix of a typical Napa tasting room but also a RED room, and a CRYSTAL room where you’re surrounded by over the top beauty! The attention to detail is incredible – it makes the wine taste even better! Start with their Cabs. I believe it’s the Sonoma Valley Cab – that’s my fave – more floral notes than a typical Cab. Their Frenchie line if very nice too! Very dog friendly here, but make an appointment – it gets busy!

Luna Vineyards

2921 Silverado Trail

A new favorite place, Luna features Italian inspired wines that all are very nice. Italy has a soft spot with us. It’s where we got engaged! So anything Italian we love! If you get the chance ask for Tyson. He’s very knowledgeable and fun. You’ll learn a lot about wine in general and it’ll be an experience to remember for sure.

Del Dotto

Another Italian inspired location, Del Dotto also has a soft spot with us. The Del Dotto Estate on the left of 29 is a Venetian Palace with marble everywhere, as well as amazing Murano glass chandeliers! It’s crazy ornate and spectacular! The owner is from Venice and brought everything from there, even a gorgeous mosaic from Pompeii. Every wine there is one you want to bring home. Pricey but I feel worth it! They have another location, on the right side of 29 called Piazza Del Dotto.  It’s described as more of a chic farmhouse but I just see an amazing Italian Chateau. Here they do tastings with a food pairing – like tapas – so tempting and yummy. The staff here are incredibly warm and knowledgeable. 

Chateau Boswell

3468 Silverado Trail N., St. Helena

We happened upon Chateau Boswell driving up Silverado Trail for our first tasting. We went in to find the owner pouring a tasting for 4 other folks. When we walked in he had to go wash 2 more glasses to include us! He told us about each of his wines including the inspiration and process. It was so cool! Our favorite was the Jocelyn, named after his wife, an amazing red blend. Now days you need an appointment to visit. They have caves which we visited for our 5th anniversary – amazing! A tour would be fun, for sure. I think the owner still does tastings here and there.

The Caves at Soda Canyon

2275 Soda Canyon Road, Napa

The Caves at Soda Canyon is actually four wineries in one stop! Your tour – yes go on one – is inside of a hill and an incredible experience. It’s a highly personalized tour where they’re in contact with you ahead of time as they plan your whole visit including what wines you prefer, how much wine education you’d like and how long you’d like your tour. They make note of your tasting so can try something completely different during your next tour or revisit your favorites. My choice is Lobo but each offers a really nice experience.

Buena Vista Winery

18000 Old Winery Road, Sonoma

Longtime family favorite, Buena Vista Winery is where I would go on family picnics when I was a little girl. Lots of fond memories. The tour is amazing if you have the time. It’s owned now by Jean-Charles. He’s invested so much into this location and now it’s ca historic monument! The Sheriff of Buena Vista, their sparkling wine, their Chards, their red blends (what they’re known for) are all incredible. Oh and their port…YUM!

Sebastiani Vineyards and Winery

389 4th Street E, Sonoma

Family and dog friendly, Sebastiani offers easy wines at a reasonable price. Their concerts and events are fun too! Easy wines, reasonable prices. CherryBlock is an absolute FAVE if you like red. If you’re a Chard person, the Sebastiani Patrick Vineyards Chardonnay is amazing. I’m personally not a superfan of the whites from their steel barrels – but if you like a crisper white – you’ll like their Sebastiani Steel Chardonnay. 

Chateau St. Jean

8555 Sonoma Highway, Kenwood

Kelly’s favorite part of working at Loftin Dental? The patients! She loves meeting and getting to know them all. She appreciates the amazing atmosphere at Loftin especially the fun, outgoing and caring team who immediately make patients feel at home. In her time off, you’ll find Kelly spending time with her husband Ben and her 7 year old son Tyler who is starting 2nd grade this year! They have 2 rescue dogs, a chihuahua and a Staffordshire Terrier that Kelly says are spoiled rotten and more like children then pets. As a HUGE dog lover and advocate for rescuing, she wishes she could take them all.

CARMEL

Cowgirl Up

25 Pilot Road, Carmel Valley

Easy drinking wines all around, Cowgirl Winery has fun shopping too!  We found the staff incredibly sweet and kind. Sometimes they have live music. And the chickens are adorable! They have wood fired pizza for purchase or you can bring your own picnic. 

Twisted Root

12 Del Fino Place, Carmel Valley

Established in 1918, Twisted Root was started by a former farmer who developed a passion for wine when reviving his wife’s family vineyard. The Zin is phenomenal They just opened their beautifully remodeled tasting room which is contemporary and comfortable! 

Talbott

25 Pilot Road, Carmel Valley

Talbott offers great Pinots and Chardonnays! Their tasting room has a motorcycle theme and is so relaxing! 

PASO ROBLES

Sextent

For amazing reds, we love Sextant Wines! They’re also known for their delicious lunches at The Gourmet Deli in their Edna Valley location. It has a wonderful rustic nautical feel. The Paso Robles location is more modern and upscale – a different feel than the Edna location with incredible views. 

Kynsi Winery

2212 Corbett Canyon Road, Arroyo Grande

Kynsi is a family owned winery located on a scenic ranch in Edna Valley. Although it’s a super casual and smaller winery they have lots to offer including amazing views and many choices for wine tastings. The Pinots are wonderful!