“Wine is bottled poetry.”

~Robert Louis Stevenson

…began at the Kent Rathbun dinner. If you missed that post, you can read it here.

While having dinner accompanied by some incredible wine, someone brought up the idea of how great it would be to visit the California wine country. One thing led to another and soon plane tickets were purchased and reservations were booked.

Since there were six of us going, we decided to make the most of our visit by everyone making a ‘wish list’. What appealed to each one of us and where or what we wished to experience on the trip.

We each did our research and submitted our list and an itinerary was born.

We landed in San Francisco midmorning and the first thing we noticed was that it was – COLD! Everyone was wearing jackets and after leaving 100 plus degree Texas heat, it was definitely a welcomed change. I was glad I brought my new blue jean jacket as it was a must have each morning and each night.

Baggage claimed (I always have a fear my luggage won’t take the same vacation as me) and rental car picked up, we headed north. We stopped in the quaint town of Sausilito for a quick lunch and then headed to the first winery on the list.

First a quick over view:

The fourth largest producer of wine in the world, behind France, Italy, and Spain, the California wine region produces 90% of all wine in the United States. The Wine Country heartland consists of the Sonoma and Napa counties and has over 7,000 square miles and, according to Spotlights’ Wine Country Guide, ‘it is home to literally hundreds of wineries that are open for tasting, scores of lodging accommodations, dozens of fine dining restaurants, and a myriad of one-of-a-kind shops.’

And the beauty is indescribable.

Domaine Carneros Winery located in the heart of Carneros is considered a regional landmark. We were ushered inside the main chatteau but opted to sit out on the terrace in view of the beautiful vineyard covered hills. D and A had arrived on an earlier flight and opted to hike the Muir Woods before joining P and T and GW and I at Domaine Carneros. I opted for the white wine tasting and GW decided on the red so we could share and experience both. Domaine Carneros provided laminted cards with each wine listed along with a description of each.

I really loved the Vintage Brut Rose Taittinger and GW liked the Estate Pinot Noir so we bought two of each.

Since it was after 4:30 by then and most of the wineries close between 5:00 and 6:00, we stopped at the Ty Caton Vineyard. It was a smaller and newer winery and was met by the owner himself who is shown here signing the dessert wine and chocolates we purchased.

By then it was off to the town of Santa Rosa to check into our hotel, and drive into the town itself for dinner at the Russian River Brewing Company. The town itself was neat although the restaurant didn’t rate very high on our awesome meter.

By then we were all fading a bit. California is two hours behind us and we’d started early in Texas so we called it a day. But already the magic of the country had taken hold and we couldn’t wait until morning.

To be continued…


This entry was posted on Saturday, August 21st, 2010 at 2:06 pm and is filed under Food, Traveling, Wine. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

One Response to “the most incredible journey (part one)…”

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