• christina menth

A Napa Valley Birthday Getaway

Updated: Jul 26, 2020

Time of Year

- Early March, Friday to Monday

Where we stayed

- Auberge Du Soleil

Where we ate

- Archetype

- Coqueta

- Bistro Jeanty

- Auberge Du Soleil Restaurant

Where we wine tasted

- Colgin Cellars

- Mumm Napa

- Miner Family Winery

- Black Stallion Estate Winery


To begin my birthday weekend in Napa Valley, we left Windsor at around noon to make it to our brunch reservation at Archetype in Calistoga at 1:00 pm. When I made the reservation I mentioned we were celebrating my birthday and before we started our brunch, the server brought us their signature donut holes with sugar and a little birthday candle, which was such a nice touch. We then ordered some sparkling wine to share with some oysters. Other food items that we enjoyed were the fish tacos, breakfast sandwich, and the zucchini noodle bolognese.

The interior of this adorable restaurant was the highlight of our brunch here. It was so charming on the inside. Our table was in the center of the restaurant, but I much rather would have preferred to be seated either by the huge fireplace inside or the front porch that had tons of natural light. Regardless I definitely would recommend this restaurant and I can't wait to come back.

After brunch we stopped in at Colgin Cellars for a private wine tasting. One of my girlfriends knew the owners personally and arranged this private tasting experience for us before we checked into the hotel. Getting to Colgin is a little bit of a drive from the main highway but so very worth it. Their main property is on top of a hill and has breathtaking views that overlook Henessey Lake. Even though they only offer two wines to taste, this was an exceptional wine tasting. Our tasting concierge was very knowledgeable and passionate about the wine and the winery and we even got to chat with the owners for a bit.

After our private tasting at Colgin Cellars we made our way to The Auberge Du Soleil Hotel for our weekend stay which just so happened to be down the road from Colgin Cellars so it took all but 5 minutes to get there after our private tasting.


We took our time waking up the next morning. We ordered some coffee and some pastries to the room, as well as a couple breakfast items. I wanted to make sure that we had some food in our stomachs before we started our day of wine tasting.

We then met our chauffeur in the parking lot of the hotel at 11:00 am. Our driver was referred to us by the concierge of the hotel. I had called them two days before we arrived and they were able to reserve him for us and communicate with him our itinerary for the day.

I had reserved all our private wine tastings a couple of weeks prior to our arrival. I made reservations for three tastings, two of which had cheese and charcuterie plates to go along with the tasting. I wanted to make sure we had plenty of time for each tasting so I spread out the reservations about 2 hours apart. Our first tasting was at 11:15, our second one was at 1:30, and our final tasting was at 3:30.

Our first stop was at Mumm Napa for a sparkling wine tasting. What better way to kick off our day of wine tasting then with some bubbles! This was a very popular idea apparently because they were extremely busy already at 11:00 am on a Saturday. I am so thankful I made our reservation here ahead of time because when we arrived, it was an absolute zoo. There was already so many people there and those who were walking in hoping to do a tasting without a reservation were being told to wait for a while or to come back later.

The weather was a little cloudy and rainy so they had a huge tent set up on their outdoor patio where they were holding all their tastings. It was comfortable and warm in the tent but it was so loud, it was as if everyone's voice were echoing and reverberating off the tent walls. We could barely hear our poor wine concierge who was trying desperately to give us more information on the sparkling wine we were tasting.

There are several different flights you can choose from for your tasting at Mumm Napa. We decided to try the "Classic Spotlight" tasting; our favorites were the Brut Reserve Rose and the Santana Brut. As you can see from the photo above, the pourings at Mumm Napa are pretty hefty, which is great, but I was thankful that we didn't go into this tasting on an empty stomach, and that our next tasting included a cheese board.

Besides the excessive noise, we did have a good time tasting at Mumm Napa. We took home a couple bottles of the Brut Reserve Rose, and I regret not taking home the Santana Brut.

Our next tasting was at Miner Family Winery. When we first arrived I got a little nervous because they were also pretty packed. They had us first check in at one of the tables right by the door and I was afraid that that was where we were going to be doing our private tasting. Our wine concierge quickly reassured me that we were not sticking around in the main tasting room, and that we were going on a quick tour before actually starting our tasting.

We each were given a glass of their Chardonnay then we got a tour of their production facility before heading into their underground wine cave for our "Library Tasting".

We walked through the wine cave and even got to taste some of their wine that they use for their flagship red blend strait from the barrel. We then enjoyed our private tasting in a room just off of the wine cave behind two massive wrought iron doors and with a huge rustic wooden table. Each of us had our own cheese plate to pair with each wine we were tasting.

We tasted five different wines during our private tasting at Minor Family Winery, and our favorite by far wa