You can’t go wrong with a trip to Napa Valley. Every time I travel to California I feel as though I have been transported to Europe. The scenery is so vast, the culture so uniquely it’s own (as a comparison to The South where I hail from), and the food and wine culture outstanding. If you fancy a drive through the stunning mountain ranges that surround the valley and capping your day off with a Michelin star-worthy meal, then Napa Valley is the place to go. If, like me, you enjoy the hospitality of the South and the “cool” factor of California, then a visit to Cakebread Cellars vineyard is where you need to spend an afternoon.

Although I was born 20 minutes west of Napa Valley in a town called Petaluma, I am considerably a novice to “wine country.” The only thing I know is that I like Sauvignon Blanc, great scenery, gardens, and a cool estate to tour around in. When it was time to book our Napa Valley excursions it was a no-brainer that we had to check out one of my favorite Sauvignon Blanc houses on its home turf and experience a food and wine pairing.

Cakebread Cellars tasting room
Cakebread Cellars tasting room

When you pull up to Cakebread Cellars, you are greeted by a beautiful reception room made of hand-joined wood and floor-to-ceiling windows. A glass of Miss Dolores Cakebread’s (Cakebread’s Grand Dame if you would) favorite, a pour of Sauvignon Blanc is handed to you while you have the opportunity to snoop at the black and white photos Mr. Cakebread took in his earlier days. One such striking portrait is that of Ansel Adams (one of two known in the world to exist), amongst collections of travel and family photos that perfectly paint the picture of vibrancy and family care that goes into the vineyard itself.

If you are as lucky as we were to get one of the most gorgeous days of spring, you are given a tour of the immaculately kept garden and property before settling in for an exciting wine and food pairing. Their resident chefs source all the vegetables from Dolores’s garden in the back of the estate and prepare a four-course tasting menu for you to enjoy alongside some reserve wines.

Our menu started with a smoked sturgeon pate with pickled fennel (a dream condiment) and preserved lemon peel paired alongside a 2019 Chardonnay Reserve. We moved onto a Curried Provincial pumpkin and apple soup with crème fraiche which was paired alongside a 2015 Cuttings Wharf Chardonnay. Next, a Kale Malfatti (like gnocchi) in a vegetable Bolognese with a 2019 Pinot Noir. And finally, grilled flat iron steak with pickled mushrooms and fermented black garlic alongside a 2018 Suscol Springs Cabernet Sauvignon.

Tasting at Cakebread Cellars
Food & wine pairing at Cakebread Cellars in Napa Valley

Cynthia is the creator of the blog Darling Down South, and is a California native relocated to Atlanta, Georgia who has spent most of her life figuring out whether she was Southern or Californian. She non-ironically uses y’all now, so believes it is safe to say she is southern. Her blog captures navigating modern life with a southern-ish twist. Darling Down South began in 2015 as a southern life well-explored, whether that is seasonal and fresh recipes, a new travel destination, or reinventing personal style through home and fashion.

Write A Comment

Pin It