A few weeks ago I went on an amazing getaway with my girlfriends to Napa Valley, to visit Sterling Vineyards. My friend Caitlyn Chase along with five other girlfriends were graciously hosted by Sterling Wines, for a weekend filled with vineyard tours, grape stomping, a walk through on how wine is made, and beautiful meals. Sterling is one of the most well-known and premier winemakers in the country, so it was an absolute honor to experience the winery and learn more about living your life with more sparkle, a new brand new campaign they call #SterlingLuster.
The weekend begin as the girls and myself checked into The Andaz Hotel in downtown Napa. The hotel is stunning, and we stayed in beautiful suites which included our own fireplace, living room, bedroom, and stand alone bathtub. Sterling hosted our first night, and reception dinner at Carpe Diem Wine Bar, which was only a few blocks away from our hotel. We had a beautiful dinner getting to know one another better, which included pairings of a variety of Sterling Wines.
Early the next morning we boarded a luxury bus to head to Sterling Vineyards in Calistoga. Arriving to Sterling Vineyards was beyond impressive, as the vineyard sits on 70 acres of stunning land. We were beyond lucky to arrive to the vineyard during "crush," when the grapes are harvested off the vines - this happens to be the most exciting and popular time to visit Napa Valley.
Sterling had set up a private tour of the winemaking process, which was so special since the facilities are not usually open to the public. Our group participated in harvesting, sorting, de-stemming, crushing, fermenting, clarifying, and bottling - a great behind the scenes opportunity. After our tour with the winemakers, we took the aerial tram, up to the top of the mountain where the wine tasting happens. The views from the tram and to top of the winery were remarkable - and definitely worth a visit. This is when our wine tasting tour began. We toured the stunning grounds, with the public, and tried the bottled versions of what we just helped make.
Our lunch was served in a private room, where we enjoyed a variety of Sterling Wine pairings along with a stunning lunch that included grilled chicken, steak, salads and pastas to name a few of the yummy bites. My favorite wine that was paired with our lunch was the Proprietary White — light and perfect pairing with our lunch.
After lunch, we had the opportunity to try grape stomping! Grape stomping is when grapes are crushed by foot in vats to release their juices and begin fermentation.. Although the method is no longer used in current times, it was such a fun experience. (remember I LOVE LUCY!!!)
After grape stomping we visited the "Welcome to Napa Sign," where we got to take some pictures and try a group jumping shot that definitely turned out interesting.
Next, we headed to Rutherford House which is a gorgeous private estate used to host special guests, private events and parties. The house is 10,000 square foot, 5-bedrooms, and sits on a gorgeous vineyard. This was another great opportunity to walk through the vineyards and around the estate that was surrounded by overgrown trees, beautiful flowers. Soon after we took a cooking class with Chef Joey Altman, a James Beard Award winner where we were given a specific meal (or portion of the meal) to make, which he assisted of course. I had the opportunity to make Butternut Squash Purèe. I have never participated in a hands-on cooking class, but not only did it get everyone involved in making our meal, but taught us so much about cooking, and meal pairing with wine. (my favorite being the Sterling Sparkling Brut)
I am working in partnership with Sterling Wines and I am being compensated for my participation in this campaign. All thoughts/opinions are 100% my own. Wine is intended for those whom alcohol is legal and appropriate. Please drink desponsibly!