So, here is part two of our getaway. I’ll just jump right in.
After getting all of the fabulous opinions, we headed off on our journey. We made an appointment with Vincent Arroyo Winery for 12:30pm, but on the way, we got stuck behind a painting truck. The kind that paints the stripes on the road, so you have to wait. I called the winery (I love cell phones.) to let them know we were going to be late. Closer to 1pm. They said, “No problem. Be safe. We’ll see you when you get here.” That’s so sweet. Right after I hung up, the painting truck pulled off the road, so we used the opportunity to stop at Palisades Market/Deli in Calistoga to pick up some lunch for our picnic. The Big Man got a sandwich, and I got meat, cheese, and chips. They were very nice after I explained why I didn’t want an actual sandwich. And I didn’t get sick, so they did it right.
Teddy greeted us when we got to Vincent Arroyo. Held the door and everything. They don’t charge for tastings at all, and you get to taste all of their wines. I believe it was 11. They were all great. You can only buy their wines at the winery. If you buy wine, then you get on a list. They send you an invoice during the next season. If you throw it away, nothing happens. If you pay it, you get wine delivered to you. There is no other way to get their wine. And it is amazing. So, I would recommend going there if you are ever in Napa. So worth it. We ended up being there for an hour and a half between the tasting and the tour. They even have a wine named after their winery cat called, “Nameless.”
Next was Summers. We had our picnic lunch there because it was such a great view. It wasn’t too bad in the shade even though the temperature gauge said it was 100 degrees F. They had nice wine. They are known for their Charbono. The Charbono grape is from Italy and was widely grown before prohibition. Then came the wars, etc. So, it lost favor. Currently, there are only 80 acres of it grown in the world. And, fourteen of those are at the Summers Winery. Their Charbono is very nice, and we bought a bottle, but after that, we headed down to August Briggs Winery.
Matthew, the Direct Sales Manager was pouring since the regular pourer was busy. He used to own his own wine shop and is one of those people who is just passionate about wine because he loves it. He’s not snobby, but his passion rubs off. He was pouring six different wines that day. And, he happened to be pouring their Charbono. (Their Charbono grapes are older than the ones at Summers, so the wine has a richer, deeper flavor.) Even though it is normally never poured for tasting, he decided to pour it for July because it was bbq month, and it goes great with bbq. We think it goes great with anything or nothing at all. Then, he just happened to run out of the Charbono he was pouring for the day while we were there. (We still got our tasting.) So, Matthew opened a bottle of their Petite Sirah. That was also amazing. He was talking about their wine club, so we asked about it. You can be a member or the big club or the small club. The only difference is how many bottles of wine you get automatically. We became members of the small club. Each spring and each fall, we will get 4 bottles of their best. Then we are given the option to order more. BUT, Matthew informed us that since we are so close, we could sign up for pick-up. They have a tasting party each season at the winery, and we can taste all of the wines and then, decide which ones we want to buy more of. Uh, ok! Sounds great to me.
After that, we tried to go to more wineries, but it was already 5pm, and they close up for the night. Since we were already in St. Helena, we went to dinner. Go Fish! Not the game but the restaurant. It’s supposedly the only seafood restaurant in town. Also, fabulous. Great seafood and great sushi. The Big Man was happy about that. And, our waiter was really knowledgeable about food and preparation. I explained my situation, as we always do in restaurants, and he had all of the right answers. He even knew that the Lobster Bisque was not made with a rue. He did all of this without having to go back into the kitchen. I love knowledgeable waiters. It makes life so much easier.
Then, we headed back to the Inn to rest up from our hard day of tasting wine and food. It was so tough.
The next morning, we packed up and ate breakfast. Scones, again! Oh, yeah! We had an appointment for 12:45pm at Pride Mountain Vineyards, so we headed to Long Meadow Ranch on our way there. Unfortunately, the ranch itself is closed to visitors, right now. It is supposed to open up again in the fall, but due to opening a restaurant and tasting room in St. Helena, they didn’t have the man-power to have visitors at both during the busy season.
In addition, I received a comment from Chaya at Comfy Cook that she has honored me and my blog as her gluten-free blog of the week. Another big WOW! A big thank you to Chaya. She has a few blogs, so go check them out.
Until later, here’s to…Living better, easily!™
PS – If you haven’t already and would like to – you can ‘like’ me on Facebook.
PPS – If you haven’t signed up for Adopt a Gluten-Free Blogger and want to, go ahead in the next day or so. I’ll let the deadline for signing-up slack a bit.