A Day of Bubbly Tasting in Napa/Sonoma and a Dinner at Hess Collection

When we were up in Napa recently for the 2013 Napa Valley Film Festival – Jane had her film Citizen Hearst in the festival, we decided it would be fun to do a day of bubbly tastings at well known wineries (Mumm Napa, Domaine Chandon and Domaine Carneros) that specialize in sparkling wines.Napa River Inn

First, we had breakfast at the Napa General Store next to our hotel Napa River Inn.


We have to give a shout out to the Napa River Inn: what a beautiful and comfy room – with a fireplace too! It was really hard to leave our room each day as it was sooo relaxing.

On to breakfast at the Napa General Store! Steve had corn pancakes and Jane had eggs benedict. Both were very good and prepared us for the bubbly day ahead of us.

Napa General Store-Exterior1

Napa General Store-Menu1

Napa General Store Interior1Napa General Store-Jane1

















We decided to go to Mumm Napa, Domaine Chandon (Napa) and Domaine Carneros (Sonoma) because they are all well known and located relatively close to each other. If we had more time, we would have included Schramsberg which is located in northern Napa – we will definitely make a point to visit Schramsberg during our next visit.

We had tried Domaine Carneros in the past – it’s a favorite stop for us on our way into a Napa/Sonoma excursion. They have a wonderful patio with a beautiful view of rolling hills in Sonoma. We have also tried Mumm, but had never visited their tasting room. And it would be the first time trying and visiting Domaine Chandon.

Our first stop was Mumm Napa.

Mumm Napa-Sign








Mumm Napa-The Daily Drinkers Mumm Napa-Tasting Room View











There was a beautiful view of the vineyard from the tasting room. They had their patio doors open allowing in a lovely breeze. Steve did the Classic tasting and Jane tried the DVX tasting, comprised of the winery’s best offerings. And our favorite Mumm bubbly came from Jane’s tasting. The 2006 and 2007 DVX were our top picks.

Next, we made our way over to Domaine Chandon, another Napa winery specializing in sparkling wine.

Domaine Chandon-Tasting Room Chaos Domaine Chandon-Tasting MenuDomaine Chandon-Bottle Art

Enjoying Domaine Chandon

Domaine Chandon had a nice and crowded tasting room – almost too crowded. Despite the crowds though, we found the best bubbly of the day at Domaine Chandon. Their Reserve Blanc de Blancs was the day’s winner! And it’s reasonably priced at $30 for being such a good bottle of bubbly.









To fortify ourselves for the third tasting, we decided to stop in Napa and grab burgers at Gott’s Roadside. Yummy!

Lunch at Gotts Roadside Napa

We wrapped up the day at Domaine Carneros in southern Sonoma. We adore the view from their tasting room, which is part of a building that looks like a smaller version of France’s Palace of Versailles. We tried their bubbly tasting and found their sparkling wine to be on the sweeter side. We tend to prefer drier sparkling wine, but it was a nice end to a great bubbly day!

Domaine Carneros-The Decision
Domaine Carneros-The List


Domaine Carneros-The Stairs










After all this amazing bubbly, we were invited to a filmmaker dinner with patrons of the Napa Valley Film Festival at Hess Collection winery. It was a wonderful dinner in the dining room off their museum-worthy collection of art. If you want a wine/art experience, put Hess on your list. Their art collection is very impressive and their wines are delicious.

During dinner, we had the honor of sitting at the table with the winemaker Randle Johnson, who was such a gracious host. Here’s a copy of the scrumptious menu from the event. Our favorite wine of the evening was the 2009 Mount Veeder 19 Block Cuvee.


And that wraps up our fun day tasting bubbly wine and enjoying the Hess Collection during the Napa Valley Film Festival. Til next time!

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