Our first stop in Napa was at Domaine Chandon. I went back & forth with how I wanted to spend my time there. I heard from friends that it is a great place to grab a glass of champagne and sit outside versus sitting through a formal tasting. However, after looking through their website, I saw that one tour they offer daily is a “Cocktail 101 Hosted Tasting”. The class sounded like so much fun – learn how to make 3 sparkling cocktails – that we went ahead and scheduled.
When we got there, we quickly realized this is a place to go for a Bachelorette party. Oh my goodness, this place is just teeming with brides-to-be and their closest friends, giggling & squealing after one too many glasses of champagne. We did go on a Saturday, which is notoriously the most popular day at ANY winery, but wow. Kyle was the only guy in our class (and he made sure to point that out to me several times ;)).
The host took us to a separate seated area that was laid out with all the proper bar tools. We had different style glasses, shakers, and accessories to get the party started.
We made three cocktails, but my favorite was the lemongrass sparkler. It is made with a lemongrass simple syrup that sounds super fancy & hard to make, but it is in all actuality super simple (hence the name…SIMPLE syrup).
We made 1 rose sparkler & 2 brut champagne based cocktails. It seemed the most popular ingredient to mix with your champagne is lime. The next time you pour yourself a class of Chandon, I recommend adding a little bit (1/3 a shot glass) of simple syrup & squeeze of lime.
After the class, we quickly took a glass (I tried the their Sweet Star) outside to explore their grounds. Overall, it was the perfect start to our Napa trip. I would have been disappointed if we did this a few days into the trip, as it was a pretty “cliche” experience and definitely a Bachelorette party scene.
I can see why my friend recommended just going for a glass. It is beautiful there! Take a snack or small picnic and sit in their lawn, or if you’re lucky, grab a picnic table!
Out of all the places we visited, Domaine Chandon is definitely lower on the list. HOWEVER, it was still a fun place to grab a glass of champagne and learn how to make sparkling cocktails. The winery opens at 10am and is a great place to start your day. I’d bring a croissant from Bouchon Bakery, located not too far away, and sit out with a glass of rose. I would recommend going on an “off” day to avoid the craziness.
Have you been to Domaine Chandon? Would you go again?