As you read from my previous entry, hubby and I took a mini-vacation to Napa Valley last week. We were on a quest to find good wine and great food. We were on a quest to relax, to eat, drink and be merry – before another week of work and another quarter of classes. We got a whole lot more than we bargained for. And we definitely got plenty of good wine and great food.
So, my pals, sit back and relax. Take it from the Plain White T’s and meet me in California. Imagine yourself in Napa Valley, and I’ll tell you of our adventures. I think this is gonna be a long one, so consider this the first quarter. Grab something to drink – a nice glass of wine, perhaps. I have plenty to share!
Up bright and early to catch the 7AM flight. We had no problems at the airport, and slept all the way to Denver. Little did we know (in our packing, we only checked Napa weather and didn’t think about the connecting port – what did we care?!), it’s snowing in Denver. We were lucky – the last flight to leave before the airport CLOSED! That would have absolutely, positively, sucked the life out of our vacation. So we made it into San Francisco. After what felt like hours of waiting for the rental car, we were on the road in a tiny little Eclipse (my old car – how nostalgic!). The downside was that there was no mp3 port, and Chris had spent a ton of time picking tunes for the drives. That being said, we struggled to find a radio station that wasn’t blasted with Pink or Coldplay. With the extra two hours (thank you Pacific time zone) it was around 2, so we had time to get started with the wineries – nice!! Once we made it into Napa we chose two in relatively close proximity to one another and to the Bed&Breakfast.
Our first winery was Artesa, one of Napa’s “newer” wineries. What a lovely place with the coolest sculptures and architecture! They have an amazing sculpture garden, and the winery is tucked away down a long, country road. The wine wasn’t bad either. Something about that oaky, buttery chardonnay, and we usually aren’t big on whites. Plus they had tempranillo, a really good Spanish wine. We hung out for a while and sipped a flight of wine on the balcony. Wine bottle purchase tally (will further be dubbed WBT with the cumulative total in parenthesis): 2 (2).
Next stop, Hess. My culinary school friend and fellow blogger, Caroline, recommended this one. Great location. Unfortunately an enormous tour bus had just loaded up, which meant the wine hosts were pooped! Plus it was a half hour to closing time. Needless to say they weren’t very enthusiastic, but we didn’t really care. They poured wine, which is all we asked for! Their Mount Veeder 19 Block Cuvee blend was excellent, and was a “92 pointer” on the 100 point scale! It must be the 9% Malbec :). WBT: 2 (4).
Alright – two wineries down. Many to go. But it was time to check in at the B&B. I LOVE B&B’s, so I definitely did some searching to find the right one for us. I came across The Inn on First, which I thought was adorable. While most B&B’s are a little “old-fashioned”, this one was more contemporary and updated than most I’ve looked into or even stayed in. Plus, one of the innkeepers was a culinary school graduate, so I felt certain that breakfast would be tasty to the last morsel. They even emailed us a long list of recommendations for food and wineries, and they offer to make reservations for you. They were a huge help before we even got there! SO, after our winery visits, we went to check in. Just as cute as the pictures! We were checked in and shown around. They had complimentary soda (lavendar and rhubarb – yummers!) as well as decanted port, a computer and free Wi-Fi service. Our room was charming and simple with everything we needed. Chris was especially excited about the homemade chocolate truffles. I think he would have eaten them both if I didn’t see them. Aaaahhh…. vacation had officially begun.