Why we started this idea????

A passion for food, wine, friends and entertaining is a big part of our life. This is a way for us to document our experiences, passion for food & life and also share it with others.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Finally A California Wine Trip...Day 4

We have to tell you day 4 was so sad... I think only leaving Cabo makes me as sad as I was that day...after wanting to come down to this area of our beautiful nation for so long to have to go after what felt like the quickest 4 day weekend of our life we were surely bumming.
A quaint walkway in downtown Sonoma
When we had originally booked our 8 p.m. flight out of San Francisco we had planned to leave Napa around noon & spend some time in San Francisco. Obviously that plan was initiated prior to ever having been into Napa.

Quickly upon entering Napa Valley we knew we'd want to spend as much more time there as we we could even on the Sunday we had to go home. So we adjusted our plans asking our group if they'd be willing to aim to get out the door by 10:30 on Sunday in hopes of making it all the way up to Calistoga and work our way out of town in route to San Francisco.

Everyone was surprisingly a good sport in this request for many reasons:
1) Saturday was a very full day of travel & tasting. We were all pretty tired.
 2) We did have our own car so we didn't need to disrupt every one's day.
3) The rest of the group was staying one more day than we were so they still had time to enjoy the area at a more leisurely pace.
But as I said everyone played good sport and got up early, although hanging a bit for the most of us.

We hit Starbucks on our way to highway 29. Today we had consulted Wally's Napa Highway 29 itinerary. My goal was to start backward from the list and work our way back to at least 4 wineries on our way outta town.

We drove to Calistoga in search of Chateau Montelena, if you know the movie Bottleshock at all this is the winery from the movie.

But we soon learned pretty much only; the winery, the contest in France,
"the wine" that won over the French wines and the wine makers were factual pieces of the movie.

The grounds were amazing, truly amazing.

A beautiful ivy covered chateau surrounded by a tranquil lake with Asian pagodas (? not sure of the match of this) but regardless it was breathtakingly lovely.

We were actually treated to a private back room tasting because we had a party of 7. The wines were all good...this was the first place we tasted a wine that was priced over $100.

After tasting we enjoyed the grounds a bit before heading out to Sterling Vineyards.

Sterling is a very large winery with a gondola ride included in the tasting price that escorts you up to the winery and their self guided tour.

G & M the Ranger on the Gondola ride
It was a stunning day so the views were amazing.

Sterling is obviously a huge production winery. These barrels were crazy big.
We did the tour in a rather hasty pace and then had to decide what we had time for.

By this time G was starving to say the least, and it was 1:30 (Our goal was to leave town by 2:30ish) so we decided to skip my other desired stops (Castello di Amorosa and Grigch Hills) and go get some greasy food instead.

Which was a good call. R had recommended Gott's Roadside Diner and we had seen it on the food network as well so Gott's it was.

We arrived and the line was crazy long but we were able to get a table.

G ordered some beefy burgers and we all indulged in burgers, fries, sweet potato fries & onion rings.
It definitely hit the spot after these 4 alcohol indulgent days.

It was time for us to go.

 We were definitely sad to leave but also just so satisfied with our trip. It was the perfect first taste of both Napa & Sonoma Valley...we definitely know there will be more trips to come and there is SOOOOO much more to do.

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