So, it's Monday and I'm back at work. I figure this means it's time to blog about my weekend in Napa. :) Sorry it's so long... but, well that's the way it goes. Feel free to skip to the summary! :P
Friday, it rained off and on as we drove up to Napa. I was kind of hoping it would keep up to suppress any potential crowds at the wineries, but it pretty much let up by late afternoon. We had some time to kill before we could check into the B&B, so we had some lunch and hit up a couple of wineries. We decided to just head up the Silverado Trail and see what looked interesting.
Darioush, is a gorgeous winery that neither of us had heard of before. We pulled in solely because of how great it looked. I was pleasantly surprised by their Cab and bought a bottle. Bad sign, couldn't even get out of the first winery without buying. Heh. Our wine hostess (yeah, I really don't know what they're called) was very friendly and gave us a winery map, since I'd left ours at home, or rather unprinted.
Then, we hit up Silverado. Good wines and an exceptional view. The hostess there was fun and excited about the wines and that's always a plus. We left there and I had my second bottle of Cab in hand. Ok, that's only two wineries and I thought we visited three on Friday... anyways...
We checked into The Daughter's Inn, which is easily my favorite B&B in Napa. Of course, I've never stayed anywhere else in Napa... but that doesn't really matter. :) Like last time, there were fresh baked cookies and delicious creme sherry waiting for us (well, I suppose other people too) in the living room. The owners, Brooke and Perry, are awesome and are, themselves, enough a reason to stay there. Never mind, the kick ass rooms and whirlpool tubs.
After we got settled, we headed down the street to the Beazley House (the oldest B&B in Napa, and owned by Brooke's parents) for a free tasting. The wine was decent, and we got a tip for dinner: Sushi Mambo in downtown Napa. After a trip through the local bookstore (Annette was dangerously close to finishing her current book) we had some great sushi and tempura and even better sake. (MmmmmMmm unfiltered...)
Saturday, during breakfast we chatted with Perry and he gave us an invitation for some free tasting of the good stuff at Mondavi. Allow me a moment to explain that "chatting with Perry" is one of the highlights of staying at the Daughter's Inn. He's got some great stories (both on the innkeeper side and the Elvis-loving, tattooed, rockabilly side).
Then, our limo arrived. We had a list of wineries we wanted to visit and we had grouped them together, to maximize our limo-efficiency. We had not, however, drawn them out on a map or anything like that. Well, as it turns out, our driver was sort of expecting us to do just that... so, he gave us a map and had us mark where we wanted to go. This was so that we didn't waste his time. (Ok, in point of fact... I bought "his" time and that meant it was actually my time and had I wanted him to drive around in circles, he would have.)
However, due to the fact that it was possibly a language barrier issue and we were going to be spending the next several hours with the guy, we decided not to correct him on the matter. Besides, after we got to the first winery and he had a chance to study the map and our list while we had some wine, all was good.
We visited a plethora of wineries on Saturday. Among them were Andretti (yes, owned by Mario Andretti), Mondavi, Beaulieu (BV) and Trefethen... but not exactly in that order. They were all good, but BV and Trefethen were excellent. We tasted both the estate and the library selections at Trefethen and Susan, our hostess in the library (back) room, was great. And generous. :)
After we filled the limo with wine, we had the driver take us to the Dean & Deluca store so we could pick out some tasty bits for dinner. I mention our stop here mostly just to say that this place is like the mecca of cheese. It's got serious cheese for serious cheese fans. I highly recommend the Humboldt Fog. (Note: Not for the cheese-wuss.)
Sunday, we begrudgingly packed up our stuff and bid farewell to Brooke and Perry (after joint photo ops) and headed out. We still had a reservation at Cakebread (that's the only way to do tasting there now, apparently). The reservation included a little mini-tour, which wasn't really why we were there, but was ok. Then we went to Opus One. Really, we only went there because it's one of the most interesting structures in Napa Valley. However, they charge $25 for a tasting. And they only have one wine. My wine-stang contained plenty of proof that I had no fear of pricey wine, but $25 for a taste of ONE wine? Not happening. I guess they had to pay for their architecture somehow.
So, after an abrupt about-face we headed home.
The only bummer was we didn't have time to hit a couple of places we wanted to (Nichelini's and Coppola's) and Hakusan is CLOSED in Napa! As in kaput!
It was a great weekend. Mosty 'cuz of a great woman and the time I got to spend with her.
SUMMARY: The Daughter's Inn rules. Tell Brooke and Perry that Chris and Annette sent you if you ever make a reservation there. Trefethen rules. Limo'ing around Napa rules. The weekend ruled.