Donna and I began Sunday morning at the Napa Valley Coffee Roasting Company located a couple of blocks off Main Street in St. Helena. The coffee shop has a great old house feel and was full of locals. The late harvest and cool summer seemed to be hot topics of conversation. The coffee was excellent, possibly the best soy latte I have ever had, as were the pastries. I had an oatcake that while it may not sound too exciting was delicious. After Donna devoured her Asiago cheese bagel, we were once again ready to start our day with a 10AM wine tasting. Hopefully, you see what tough duty being a wine blogger can be, being stuck in a beautiful place, with great people and amazing wine. It is not for the weak or faint of heart.
Saturday was intended to be a bit of a down day for us but even so, the calendar began to fill quickly. Today like most mornings began with a 10 AM tasting which brings me to a Donna quote, “one of the best things about wine country is that you can start drinking wine at 10 AM and no one judges you ;-).”
Day 3 – Guilty Pleasures Day
This day the theme was Guilty Pleasures because both Donna and I got to pick out long time favorite vineyards to visit. For Donna the choice was easy as she is addicted to the lush, rich and creamy flavors of Rombauer Chardonnay (The favorite drink of Cougars everywhere). For me, we ventured up Howell Mountain and through the quaint town of Angwin to visit the Dunn family of Dunn Vineyards – Howell Mountain Cabernet fame.
If you look at a map of Napa and Sonoma it appears that the trip between them is just a short hop from one wine country to another. The drive from Napa to Sonoma can take 45 minutes to an hour through beautiful winding mountain roads. The two areas both make great wine but in many ways that’s where the similarities end. One person told me to think of Napa as Las Vegas and Sonoma as Reno. The description isn’t far off. To me Sonoma is very reminiscent of the Napa I first visited 27 years ago. The countryside has much more of a rural feel and the folks seem much more casual and relaxed.Our first stop was Emeritus Pinot.
Each day we will give a summary of the day before. More detailed stories about many of the places we visit with specific wine recommendations will be posted in the weeks to come.
The fall B&B Napa/Sonoma sojourn I must admit had a dubious start. We were up at 5AM to make an 8:30 flight to San Francisco. While standing in the security line Donna received an automated call from Southwest Airlines saying our flight was delayed an hour due to weather in San Francisco. If you’ve ever been to the San Francisco airport and rented a car, you know what an arduous experience that is, including a 50 minute wait in line because Hertz had no cars. Fortunately, we got all the rough stuff out of the way early and had a great rest of the day.