Amber is the author and editor of A Mused Blog – a place where she shares her musings on personal style, introspective essays, and the beauty of Northern California.
Living in the Wine Country of Northern California is a delight for the senses. About an hour’s drive north of San Francisco, the Sonoma and Napa Counties offer a visual landscape comparable to the Tuscan countryside. Each and every winery here has its own distinct flare and offering. For example, Metlock Ames Winery in Alexander Valley has an organic garden, complete with fresh herbs; Longboard Winery in Healdsburg allows you to sip wine under surfboards collected from all around the world; and Castello di Amorosa boasts a castle made entirely of stones imported from Europe. Yet amidst all the spectacular destinations, it is the rolling green hills dressed with rows of vineyards heavy with grapes, the warm sunny days and crisp cool evenings, and the dramatic sunsets that take center stage here.
Well, that and the food. One of the most popular dining destinations in Napa Valley is The French Laundry in Yountville. Renowned both locally and worldwide for its culinary delights, Thomas Keller has elevated the farm to table experience to a whole new level. To dine here is to plan ahead: reservations must be a made a month in advance. (A local tip: if you can’t make it to the restaurant, be sure to hop over to his local bakery instead: Bouchon)
While the culinary enthusiast may have French Laundry at the top of their list, the truth is that some of the very best dining is available right here on my side of the valley. To live in the Valleys is to be spoiled; I know that dining with a chef who has famously turned down a Michelin star (see my blog post about it at A Mused Blog) in order to keep his restaurant accessible to the locals, or falling asleep to the low hum of the vineyard fans is not something that everyone will have an opportunity to experience. But oh, I hope that some of you will!
What should you wear when visiting Wine Country? My advice is to keep it simple, unfussy, a bit dressy, and down to earth. Californians are known for their relaxed attitude to style, and in the Valleys, that attitude is a full blown lifestyle. Ladies: Think denim or breezy maxi dresses. Men: Think a lightweight button down, and a relaxed pair of jeans.
For my visit to the Castello di Amorosa, I chose to wear my favorite pair of boyfriend jeans, an on-trend off the shoulder top, and the perfectly darling Total Motion Pointed Toe Pumps in blue floral print (so perfect with denim!). I tend to describe my style as “California-relaxed” with boyish influences, and a bit of feminine flare. If jeans aren’t your thing, a light weight tunic with leggings, or a feminine maxi dress would suit just as well. A great wine will relax you and put you at ease; your clothing should follow suit!
Have you visited Napa or Sonoma Valley? If not, I hope you do someday soon!
Find more of Amber’s style inspiration by following her @AMusedBlog on Instagram.
This Port71 guest blogger received shoes from Rockport. All opinions are the blogger’s own. Photos: Sam Delaware