Destination I Do
Thursday, December 3, 2009

Three Reasons to Pop the Bubbly at Your Destination Wedding

Words by Autumn Millhouse
Image by Devin Cruz

The holidays are upon us - decorating, shopping and celebrating is in full swing. Celebrating being the key word; Christmas parties, family dinners and old friend reunions, in actuality, is what makes the holidays festive. Hence, the best way to celebrate is by commemorating the moment with a bottle of bubbles.

Below are my favorite bubbles for holiday celebrations (or any celebration, especially a destination wedding). And these beautiful delicious bottles make perfect hostess gifts too. Cheers!

Domaine Carneros
The regal Domaine Carneros chateau looms high above the rolling hills in the center of the Carneros Appellation. Reminiscent of the18th Century Louis XV style and designed after the Chateau de la Marquetterie in Epernay, France, the winery exemplifies majestic wine making from the inside out, fulfilling the founder’s vision to achieve the crème de la crème of sparkling wine. Opened in 1987 by Champagne Tattinger, a well-known champagne producer, Domaine Carneros adheres strictly to the age-old signature wine making methods from France, striving for “elegant, yet intense style” sparkling wines and pinot noirs.
Best-Loved Bubbles: Le Rêve Blanc de Blancs, Domaine Carneros Brut Rosé and Domaine Carneros Brut Cuvée

Created in 1965 by Jack and Jamie Davies, Schramsberg houses their world-class sparkling wine in the first hand dug wine caves in Napa Valley estimated to be built in the 1870s and runs two miles long. They handcraft nine different sparkling wines using the time honored method champenoise process. Tucked away on Highway 29, Schramsberg is a historical property that Robert Louis Stevenson visited and devoted a chapter of his well-known Silverado Squatters book. History continues to be made by Shcramsberg when in 1972 when President Richard Nixon and Premier Chou Enlai enjoyed a "Toast to Peace" in Beijing with the 1969 Blanc de Blancs.
Best-Loved Bubbles: Schramsberg Crémant Demi-sec, Schramsberg 2006 Blanc de Blancs (white from white) and Schramsberg 2004 Brut Anderson Valley.

Domaine Chandon
One of the most popular sparkling tasting rooms in the valley
Domaine Chandon boasts a proud history of being the first French-owned sparkling wine venture in the United States. They were also the first to bring four-star dining to Napa Valley in 1977. Etoile, the four-star restaurant on-site, is the only recognized fine-dining establishment at any winery in the Valley. Named Winery of the Year in 2005 by the California Travel Industry Association, Domaine Chandon offers stylish wine tasting that goes way beyond routine sipping and spitting. In a modern design, complete with a sophisticated tasting room and comfortable adjoining patio seating, the winery offers a variety of tastings and a menu of delectable eats.
Best-Loved Bubbles: Domaine Chandon Sparkling Red, Domaine Chandon Rose and Domaine Chandon Chardonnay Brut

For more on Autumn Millhouse and her book Romantic Napa Valley, An Insider's Guide for Couples, click here.

Autumn Millhouse is an award-winning travel writer who specializes in wine, food and romantic getaways. She is also an international trekker who has wined and dined across the globe from Barcelona to Beijing . A self-proclaimed “hopeless-romantic” and author of Romantic Napa Valley: An Insider’s Guide for Couples, Autumn also has a bi-monthly column called Love Vines published in Napa Valley Life Magazine. She resides in Napa Valley where she cultivates her wine and food relationships with top chefs, winemakers and a slew of other foodies. Besides, sniffing, swirling and sipping wine daily, Autumn is currently working on her next travel book Romantic Sonoma Valley: An Insider’s Guide for Couples.

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