Knowing full well the Napa Valley was an about an hour and a half from where we were staying in San Fran, we decided that we couldn’t let this world class wine making region go without a solid day of investigation. The girls and I headed north at about 10am or maybe later to our desired place of happiness for the day.
Jostling through the traffic in the fog that is San Fran’s favourite tourist site, we moved slowly until we hit Marin County and then the road opened up and we were off. Listening to a great local radio station called “The Bone”. Classic rock at its finest with to many shitty commercials and just enough good music to keep us from flicking through the miles of radio stations available to us.
The sun was out now and we were in a great state of mind, all very excited about trying out some of the wines in this auspicious place. Amelie and I had written a list of the wineries we wanted to check out not only for the wine but also for the architecture. Some of the pictures we had seen were truly stunning and worth going to see just for the building design.
Arriving in the valley we noticed that sign posting as at a minimum and we would have to work hard to find our way around. I wasn’t keen on continuing to use my data plan on my phone but I realised it was no necessary. We found our first tasting and almost ran in the door.
Cliff Lede was the winery and the place was truly stunning. The smell of lavender filled the air and it was like being in a movie scene in Italy somewhere. Just beautifully appointed and super cool. We indulged in one flight, sharing the tasters and discussing the flavours and comparing them to what we already knew. Its great to be drinking wine with two French ladies who really know about their wine.
We went through a series of bad turns and missed signs only to decided we needed to eat by Lake Hennessy. this was a very pretty spot to stop and relax in the shade. It was now about 28 degrees celsius and no breeze was apparent. But is was gorgeous and we loved the quiet and the insects buzzing around us. The lake is full of Wide-mouth Bass and the locals come and fish in kayaks for these tasty critters.
The rest of the afternoon was taken up being denied wine as a lot of the places were by appointment only and they close rather early. According to our source the area is heavily regulated and they cant even serve food if they have tastings. Not even a palette cleansing piece of cheese. After looking at the Cade Estate we headed to Black Stallion where we were welcomed with open bottles and had a nice afternoon of lovely tasting before heading home.
A great day in the valley with good humans.