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  1. #1

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    Fishbulb and Dusty's adventures in wine country

    04.04.08
    I have finally made it to one of the holy lands of the vinophile; Napa and Sonoma Valleys. Dusty and I joined our ladies for a long weekend up in California's wine country. We left about 1 in the afternoon on Friday and got to Napa in record time, about 8pm, thanks to lead foot WidowBessler's expert minivan skills.










    We began our weekend of Gastronomical delights with a fabulous Cabernet from Folix a Deux and some rustic food at a cafe called Pacific Blues in Yountville. Great Start.

    We reached our final destination for the evening. El Bonita in the heart of Napa valley. Grammatically flawed, this cute little hotel was once THE place to stay in Napa because of it's great location. As time went on new units were built further from the main highway to accomidate the growing crowds. Our rooms, however, were in the original units and faced the seismic traffic that continued at all hours.

    It was alright though. Once I was out that was it.




    Saturday morning came and we woke up bright eyed, bushy tailed, and ready for a day of tasting. We knew that we couldn't start the day on an empty stomach. We hopped into the rented minivan and drove north to the Main Street of St. Helena. and found a cute little cafe.


    Yummy.


    St. Helena's main street

    Now it was time for tasting.We headed straight to one of our favorites, Provenance. It was 10am and just a little too early. They didn't start wine tasting until 10:30. PRUDES! No worries. We were actually still waiting for our other friends, Tony and Sharon, to join us. We called them but no answer. Hmmmm. Well now what do we do? Find a winery that was open of course.

    Just minutes away was the BV Vineyards winery. They had just started tastings for the day and that is where our journey began
    .




    Widdowbessler in front of BV Vineyards tasting room


    Chilled glasses waiting for visitors


    Dusty in the BV tasting room




    Fantasy55 looks at the legs on a red

    It was so cool. The minute we walked in we were handed a chilled taste of white wine. It was an unremarkable taste but a cool way to start the day.

    Tony and Sharon called and we told them we would meet up with them back at Provenance where we were originally. We left BV, whose offerings were mediocre, and shot straight back up to Provenance.




    Merlot vines at Provenance


    The tasting room at Provenance


    They were open! The tasting was OH SO GOOD! We got to try a variety of their offerings. Some highlights; We compared Merlot from different years and compared the taste, we tried the estate reserve Cabernet, and Zinfandel. But the best was the Oakfield Cabernet Reserve from 2005. It was a silky taste of heaven.


    Provenance barrel room

    Leaving Provenance we met up, finally with Tony and Sharon in the parking lot. Tony brought his convertable Corvette and I quickly kicked Sharon out so I could ride shotgun to the next winery, folie a deux.


    Tony and I in Black Jack




    Dusty and I at Folie a Deux



    This was the winery that produced the we had as out first wine in the valley at dinner the night before.



    We all felt it was time to hit Dean and Deluca for lunch. But we also wanted top go to Flora SPrings winery. We decided that whichever we came to on the road first we would hit.

    Flora Springs won.




    We had a fabulous time here with our excellent server.




    Natalie couldn't think of a pose


    then she got it


    Natalie helped us with our purchases

    On to Dean and Deluca.





    Dean and Deluca

    We picked up some chose, some cold cuts and some bread and headed off to Raumbauer Winery which is known for it's red zinfandel.

    Raumbauer is situated atop a forested hill in the middle of the valley. For some reason this place was PACKED. Although the setting was great, the wine was too sweet. BLECHHHH.







    Picnic


    The caves


    The view





    We went back to Ol' El Bonita for a nap and then got up around 7:30 for a dinner reservation at Stonecrest.

    This place was WONDERFUL! It is this huge stone building built on a hillside facing the road. This place was FABULOUS. None of us had a taste for wine as we were all still kind of fatigued from the day's tasting. We all settled for water and I ordered the pork.


    Dinner was wonderful and we headed back to El Bonita to crash for the night.

    Best wine of the day? The Provenance Oakfield Cabernet.

    We were stuffed and content. But that was just day one.


    More to come...
    Last edited by Fishbulb; 04-07-2008 at 08:58 PM.
    "All my life I've had one dream, to achieve my many goals. Ē
    Homer Jay Simpson



  2. #2

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    Re: Fishbulb and Dusty's adventures in wine country

    What a fabulous TR and gorgeous pictures. Thanks for sharing Fishy



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  3. #3

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    Re: Fishbulb and Dusty's adventures in wine country

    WHat beautiful country. Thanks for putting it together and I'll look for the rest!

  4. #4

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    Re: Fishbulb and Dusty's adventures in wine country



    Yay, you went to the T & A Travel Center!! Yea, that's what I call it.

  5. #5

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    Re: Fishbulb and Dusty's adventures in wine country

    Great stuff Fishbulb. One of these days you'll have to come up to WA and hit some of our wineries. My parents and their neighbors go to Walla Walla (LOL I said Walla Walla) for the fall releases every few years. Wine is not my thing, but I appreciate its value.

  6. #6

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    Re: Fishbulb and Dusty's adventures in wine country

    Great TR, but you missed the wineries of Lodi, which are among the best in the world
    ďAny sequel three or higher..... around number five they get a new cast, thatís when the magic really happens": Modern Family

  7. #7

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    Re: Fishbulb and Dusty's adventures in wine country

    I went wine tasting last fall for the very first time, and it was great! I'm not a huge wine fan, but it was so much fun and so interesting! (And I even found a few I liked enough to buy!)

    Can't wait for the rest of the TR!
    Good morning, son
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    I knew you'd feel the same things...





  8. #8

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    Re: Fishbulb and Dusty's adventures in wine country

    great report and pics. nice country up there


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  9. #9

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    Re: Fishbulb and Dusty's adventures in wine country

    How fun, I love wine tours and tastings.
    Can't wait for the rest of the TR.
    procrastibating

  10. #10

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    Re: Fishbulb and Dusty's adventures in wine country

    Glad you guys got away.

    And you are so right about RomBauer.

    Very overrated.
    1st Amendment-Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

  11. #11

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    Re: Fishbulb and Dusty's adventures in wine country

    Wow, great report! I love the countryside, it's simply stunning out there.

  12. #12

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    Re: Fishbulb and Dusty's adventures in wine country

    Glad you guys had a good time! Great report. As for Rombauer....it's all about their Chardonnay. I'm just sayin.
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  13. #13

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    Re: Fishbulb and Dusty's adventures in wine country

    Fishy, next time you and Dusty get out to the Sonoma Valley I recommend you guys stay a few days at Timber Cove Inn. It's on the Pacific Coast in a town that isn't even on the map called Jenner.

    http://www.timbercoveinn.com/

    I was there in 2002 and it's an escapist experience I won't soon forget.

    Thanks for the photo tour! Terrific as always.

  14. #14

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    Re: Fishbulb and Dusty's adventures in wine country

    Great pictures!!

  15. #15

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    Re: Fishbulb and Dusty's adventures in wine country

    Awesome pictures, can't wait for the rest.


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