Wine Country Extravaganza – A Month In Napa and Sonoma Is Simply Paradise
We are so excited to finally be able to spend some quality time in one of our favorite places. Both the hubs and I have been coming to Napa Valley and Sonoma for several years (me for over 30 years), and we usually were only able to spend a few days due to not having much vacation time. NOW, that we are retired, we decided to take the “leap” to spend some time to enjoy all that wine country has to offer.
We flew from Fort Lauderdale on October 1st to San Francisco and will return home on the 31st. What we are already enjoying is slowing down the pace and not feeling obligated to fit in multiple tastings each day. Just trying to enjoy the area like the locals, who, by the way, are so kind and gentle. Must be that living in all this beauty makes you happy and content.
So far, we checked in to our beautiful home away from home in St. Helena. This house is so charming with fireplaces in both the living room and master bedroom. The decor is world class with collections from around the world. We were so lucky to find this slice of paradise. The garden is exceptional with a long Tuscan style dining table and several sitting areas to enjoy. We plan to enjoy any meals where we stay at home on this beautiful patio. The neighborhood cat has become friends with the hubs (might have something to do with the treats that he is providing).
The first day we got settled in after our trip and got a few “basics’ from Costco (bottled water, paper products, etc.). Then, since the house that we rented is within walking distance of so many restaurants and tasting rooms, we ventured out for a glass (or two) of wine and a snack.
We had heard about Clif Family Winery, and they just happen to be right around the corner. We “bellied” up to the bar and met the gracious and lovely Amy, who proceeded to set up a sweet tasting for us. They are well known for the Clif Bars and offer cycling excursions…AND they have a famous food truck that specializes in a variety of bruschettas. This food truck was actually rated as one of the best in the country and is featured in Sunset Magazine. I had the mushroom, and the hubs had the porchetta (pork). Both were delicious and went very well with the selected wines. And, the wines were really great. Loved the labels!
Clif Family has now become OUR FAMILY! We actually went back last night, as Wednesdays, the food truck pulls out all of the stops and offers a menu designed to pair with specific wines. Last night was Cabernet night. The patio in the back was vibrant with several families and couples, and they had the fire pit going.
Day three involved a visit to McEvoy Ranch in Petaluma, a visit to a bee farm nearby and a stop at our favorite winery, Pride. We saw Nikki at Pride who hosted us last year, and she provided us with a “splash” of their excellent Merlot. We arranged for a Summit Experience Tasting later in the month. It is located in the Spring Mountain area, and part of the winery is in Napa Valley and the other in Sonoma. More to follow on this later on. Also, I will do a separate post featuring McEvoy Ranch. They offered an excellent experience and great family history of the owners. We also loved their natural skin care products.
Today we took a trip to the famous Model Bakery which is known for their delicious English muffins. Oprah featured these in her Favorite Things 2017 Full List. I totally understand why these made the list. They are so buttery and served with soft cream cheese and fresh preserves – heavenly! I probably will not attempt to make these, but I think I know someone named Jill that might attempt this. What a fantastic treat. See the link below which includes the yummy recipe for the muffins.
After visiting the bakery, we did a walk around St. Helena and a drive around to get reacquainted with the area. More fun is yet to come. We are loving life and “luxe du jour” does not even cover it!
Later in the month, some of our friends will join us for a few days. As it happened, they had a business trip not too far away and decided to drive over to join us for a few tastings and to enjoy this slice of paradise. Can’t wait for J&J to arrive!