Sunday, July 4, 2010

Running in Napa...part 2

Our trip to Napa with the Wine Gurus consisted of eating, drinking, eating, and drinking some more!  Mr. Wine Guru was a World Class tour guide.  He had each day's tours planned with a corresponding time frame and map location.  We couldn't have paid for a more informed guide!!  So, here some highlights from a fantastic trip!

Day 1 - Our first stop was at Sterling Vineyards.  The winery is located on top of a mountain, so a tram ride is the way you get to the top!

The view from the tram!

Looking out from the terrace at Sterling!  See the castle in the background?
This was our favorite wine from Sterling - a Bordeaux blend. Yum!

Dinner was at Greystone - The Culinary Institute of Arts - CIA - the tasty one, not the dangerous one!  The CIA offers cooking classes - by the week or by the day.  Sadly, they didn't offer any during the time we were there.


The food was almost too beautiful to eat - almost!
I was feeling adventurous so I ate foie gras (sorry, still gross even when served in a 4 star restaurant) and beef carpacio.  The carpacio (thinly shaved pieces of beef served raw with olive oil) was surprisingly good - I just had to block the "raw" part from my mind!

 Day 2 - Our first stop on this day was the castle that we saw from Sterling's terrace.  The castle is called Castello di Amorosa.  

  The castle is really spectacular - but a little odd.  The owner wanted to make it just like an Italian castle - even down to the dungeon and torture room.  (Sorry, here comes my petty side - but, aren't there better ways to spend your money than to purchase an authentic Iron Maiden and stretching device?)  The tour was interesting and the castle was awe-inspiring, but after a while I was left thinking - what a waste of money.  Come on now, I'll spend good money for a nice pair of shoes, but really, do we need to spend money to have 10 million Italian bricks shipped over to California?  The cost was a little disgusting after a while.  Anyway...

Every castle needs a guard cat and chickens...don't you think!

Our next stop was at Grgich Hills Estate.  Mike Grgich was the winemaker of the famed Chateau Montelena Chardonnay that took first place in the Paris Tasting in 1976 - the movie Bottle Shock was based on this story.

Our favorite wine from Grgich was a red - we're not so much into whites - even 1st place winners!
We've mostly been Pinot Noir drinkers, but those damn those great Wine Gurus have us into Cabs now!

Next stop - Provenance Vineyards.  We found some great Cabernet Sauvignons.

Peju Winery was our next stop.  I hate that "drinking too much wine" feeling, so at this point in the day I took a break from tasting and wandered the property. 

Can you just imagine working around this wonderful scenery?  This man is cleaning out the barrels using the "bungholes" in the wine barrels!  When I hear that term I revert back to being 13 and giggling - sorry!
I found this at Peju - it's made out of wire & metal and holds corks!  
Who doesn't need something like this?

Dinner this night was at Bouchon in Yountville.  Mrs. Wine Guru proclaimed it the finest dinner she ever had!  It was divine!  The service was great and the atmosphere was very casual - not stuffy at all.

During our time in Napa, we met a winemaker who was just starting out.  He had access to a relative's vineyards and decided to try his hand at making a Cabernet Sauvignon.  We decided to try a bottle and we took it with us to Bouchon.  Wow - it was really impressive and we loved the idea of supporting someone who was just starting out.  It was the kind of wine that tastes really good now, and you just know that in a year or so it will be fantastic!  If you're feeling like giving something new a try, consider this Cab - you won't be disappointed.  It's got great flavors and its very smooth on the palate.  Joe Filippini named his winery Filippini Road - the label has a little Swiss flag on it - a tribute to his ancestry.

And dinner would not be complete without a decadent desert at Bouchon.  Look at makes my mouth water just to think about it!  So simple, yet so delicious!

Thanks for joining me on my Napa Valley Wine Tour!  Hope you enjoyed it as much as we did!  I'd love to hear if anyone's been to the wineries or restaurants we visited or if you have any suggestions for our next trip! 

I'm glad you stopped by!


  1. Looks like a great trip...Now I want to go.

  2. I love Napa! And I love Sterling Vineyards too! That was the last place I hit when I visited so I was more than a couple glasses into feeling ok and I dropped like 80 dollars on a bottle I was positive tasted "Like blueberries" (my own words). It ended up being good. Thank god!

  3. Oh wonderful! You didn't tell us what the delicious dessert was! We, as your loyal readers, demand to know! :)

    Our best meal in the Napa Valley was at Bistro Jeanty in Yountville. Nothing too elaborate but just comfortable excellent food. Loved it so much I bought a print of an artist's painting of the restaurant. Going there got me interested in bistro cooking, but I haven't done much with that other than looking at cookbooks.

    Would love to go to Napa again! Glad you had fun!


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