Here are a few final shots of hubby’s and my travels through Napa and Sonoma. It was an amazing trip, and we hope to return sooner rather than later.
The tasting room at Grgich Hills, a biodynamic winery that is doing some magical things with their grapes:
These grapes outside the Grgich Hills winery look pretty healthy, don’t they?
Grgich Hills wines aging in French Oak barrels… soon to be consumed by hubby, no doubt! This was his favorite of the wineries we visited all week.
Grapes being crushed at Cakebread. I’m not sure hubby and I were supposed to be hanging around this area, but nobody told us to leave, and it was extremely cool to watch.
Grapes growing on a trellis. I’m pretty sure this is what Heaven looks like.
Rubicon Estate. This was another of hubby’s particular favorites.
A picturesque fountain on the hill behind Rubicon:
This is Cliff Lede Winery. They pride themselves on their Cabernet Sauvignon, which was delicious… but they were also making the best (and least expensive!) Sauvignon Blanc that I tasted all week. We brought three bottles of it home.
Clearly, I’m not the only one who likes Cliff Lede Sauvignon Blanc. It was served at a White House luncheon in 2006. Bill Clinton has served Cliff Lede wines as well, and wrote Cliff a nice letter about how much he enjoyed the wine.
(The winery was founded by a Canadian – O Canada! – so it’s the obvious choice to serve when the Canadian Prime Minister is visiting!)
Cliff Lede had a beautiful tasting room, too. I pretty much wanted to move in there. I mean… it’s a place where people love both Sauvignon Blanc and Canada! My kind of people!
Finally – the long anticipated visit to Domaine Carneros! This was what I was most looking forward to on the trip, and it didn’t disappoint.
The view from the deck of Domaine Carneros…
Unfortuntately, the lighting wasn’t great below ground (duh), but they had a wonderful collection of vintage champagne-making equipment, as well as views into the cellars where their own bottles of sparkling wine were being turned. We tasted some amazing sparklers there, including La Reve (“The Dream”), a magnificent brut rose, and their standard brut (which is supposed to be widely available, so we didn’t buy it, but now I can’t find it in NoVA! If anyone knows who may carry it…). Domaine Carneros also does great Pinot Noir, which hubby especially loves. We joined the wine club, so now every two months we get a bottle of red and a bottle of bubbles. Works for me!
Oh, my goodness, I want it all!
Hubby and I had a fabulous time in California. San Francisco was a beautiful city, and the wine country was everything I had imagined it to be – and more! I’m sure we will be going back, but in the meantime, we have plenty of amazing wine that we brought home, so we can continue our California dreaming for quite some time. Stay tuned for reviews of some of our souvenir wines in future “Wine Notes” posts!