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.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Finally...A California Wine Country Trip: Day 2

Day two and it was finally time to hit the wineries.

I found a wine trail map on Uncork 29. A Napa Valley wine tasting itinerary blog.They have a ton of different routes to follow. We didn't specifically follow one totally but it did give us a direction and some recommended spots to try. 

Our first stop was at Domaine Carneros a stunning estate known for their sparkling wines.

This estate was magnificently beautiful.

View from patio of Domaine Carneros
 And the tasting was done in a formal way.

We actually sat at a table and ordered from a tasting flight menu. It was very formal and actually quite cool. No elbowing the person next to you for a spot at the tasting bar. The server was incredibly knowledgeable and educated us about each of the 4 sparkling wines that he poured for us.

We tried a vintage brut cuvee with aromas of freesia and baked pear. A vintage brut rose' with a fruit & floral aroma, A vermeil demi-sec/ barely sweet with hints of orange blossom. And finally our fav a LeReve blanc to blanc made with 100% chardonnay that was very nice and drinkable.

It was a great place to start.

Next we hit Artesa Winery.

Artesa was a more modern winery built into the hillside with gorgeous grounds

and interesting sculptures and

water features.

We tasted 4 wines there. A 2010 Sauvignon Blanc, 2007 Tesora: Tempranilo and Graciano, 2007 Cabernet Franc and a 2007 Reserve Cab.
Tasting @ Artessa
G decided to get us a magnum of the reserve cab for our dinner that night back at the house.

Next we were back on the road and STARVING. We hit the recommended Oakville Grocery.

It was adorable with a lush garden and packed with people inside and out. This place was foodie paradise let me tell ya.

We stocked up on the goods for a gourmet picnic

and then we all hit their patio area for a bottle of wine and some great food.

It may have been the most expensive picnic of our life but we were all pretty happy with our lunch & full tummies afterward.

Next we hit Robert Mondavi known for putting Napa Valley on the map evidently.

It had huge grounds and tons of people.
Yeah, we were feeling pretty happy by this point in the day!
We tasted 5 wines but by this point of the day we gave up on our wine journal and we lost track of what we tasted.

I know we purchased a bottle of their PDX pinot noir.

Next we hit our last winery of the day. St. Supery Vineyards & Winery.

St. Supery had grounds with an old farmhouse.

 They had a beautiful table in the lawn all set for dinner. We were hoping it was for us but no such luck.

At 5:00 most of the wineries were closed for tasting. On the way back we stopped off in Yountville we wanted to check out Michael Chiarello's Napa Style store.

It was perfect. I've received their catalog for years but and the store was just perfect.

 As it was officially our anniversary that day I decided to pick up some goodies to toast our anniversary with later that evening.

It was located in this great little "square" or

"village" with a beautiful courtyard.

The boys decided they'd skip the shopping and have a drink instead.

After shopping the gals decided we should try a drink at Michael's restaurant across from the store Bottega. We already had a well established plan for dinner back at the house that night.

We all indulged in an interesting cocktail at Bottega (or 2 I think?)

 I know I had a chipotle vodka drink that was outstanding.

Someone else had one with tarragon..can't really remember the exact ingredients. But remember they were tasty.

Next we hit Whole foods to pick items for our early determined dinner ingredients.

There's a story behind this menu. That definitely became 1 of 2 themes of the trip.Theme 2 comes up on day 3. M had purchased some bacon the day before @ Whole Foods not really looking at the price. But when he checked out he read his receipt more carefully and realized it was a $25 package of bacon. So the joke immediately began...this was the best bacon we'd ever have, it was so good we actually would of paid $50 for it...on and on it went.
"THE" bacon & it's inspired bday gift
So we all thought some gourmet BLT's were in order to put that $25 bacon to good use.

We opened the magnum from

We had bought some crab,

avocado and fresh mozzarella cheese for our BLT's.

We made a great meal and had a fantastic evening.

Finally it was time to enjoy our anniversary treat, it had been a very full and long day.

This was a group trip so it was also a group anniversary celebration. Which was just fine for us. Last year for our 10th we had a very romantic and private wine get away in Walla Walla. So for our 11th we were happy to share it with everybody and their celebrations.

I picked up these great champagne flutes at Napa Style and some beautiful handmade Artisan Chocolates at Kollar Chocolates in Yountville as well.But our real gifts to each other was our trip.

By this point in the evening I was pretty much done. I believe I just checked out and went to bed but I heard that there was some shuffling dance moves going on and some good stories.

It was a fantastic day one that I know we enjoyed fully.


  1. I can only imagine how much fun you're having! We make a family trip out to Sonoma every October - I never want to come home! Bill, Laura, Eric and I have been chumming up the idea of a wine trip (no kids) next year...would be oh so fun if you guys would join us. :)

  2. Katie we'd love that. Jen also mentioned wanting to go next year for her 40th so that might be fun too! We know we need to go back & back. I don't know how you could ever do everthing there is to do.

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