Sonoma Day 2/Road to Napa

Day began very early. I got up around 3am and started blogging about the day before. I was able to catch a few zzz’s in between but basically had an early jump on things. Unfortunately, the TV was busted and the front desk couldn’t do anything about it, so we couldn’t keep up-to-date on the French Open. We took advantage of the jogging course. I couldn’t believe it, but Su actually did 3 fast laps of the .5 mile loop. Anyone who knows Su knows that is a mighty feat. I wasn’t feeling very good as I had an Atkins shake before the run and my stomach was a bit topsy-turvy. But that didn’t keep me from having some breakfast. Since the food sounded good, I opted for the specialty omelette. Pretty hard to argue with Gouda cheese, hash browns and chicken sausage all combined (even with some veges).

Anyway, enough of the fluff….to the wine!

We decided to start the day at Chalk Hill Winery. This place was pretty clever in their advertising. If you check out the web site here, you will see that they have directions that are not to scale. This is because if you realized how far out of the way it was, you probably wouldn’t have driven there. That being said, the place was pretty beautiful. They own a *lot* of land so they can pretty much do what they please(eg dedicate land to horse dancing). Unfortunately, the beauty of the place didn’t translate into the wine. Or stated differently, I don’t think that the wine was as good as the price suggested. For example, their dessert wine was $120 for a half bottle and I thought not as good as $20 competitors. We did pick up two bottles of Syrah to salvage the trip.

Then it was up north to Geyserville to make a return visit (first time was 2 years ago) to the Meeker Winery. Meeker is one of the producers that doesn’t grow any grapes. They just buy the fruit from vendors and do the mixing. I’m not sure if the lack of an estate is what keeps their costs down, but all of their wine costs a lot less than say Chalk Hill. And the best part is that they taste great. We went through a lot of wines and I was able to convince Su to let me get 1.5 cases. At this point (only the 2nd of many more days), we already have ordered more than we can store. What does this mean? Wine Party! Or maybe another bigger stronger chiller!

We headed south to Simi (another return visit). The wine hostess was the same as last time. She was an Australian lady from Melbourne. After joking if she has an animosity to Kiwis, she said there is more of a rivalry against Sydney. Sorry Paul, I guess this means she’s off the market. Wines here were good and thankfully not as pricey as Chalk Hill. I ended up joining the wine club (hard to resist the 20% discount) and we picked up a half case to send ourselves. The hostess was very nice and gave us a styro shipping box (case-size) for free. She also confirmed the awesomeness of our next destination.

And that would be the Bear Republic Brewery. Located in the heart of Healdsburg, I have to say that though I had to actually pay for the beer (compared to Lagunitas), it was tasty along with the bacon(yum) covered cheeseburger (recommended by the wine hostess). Unfortunately, we only had time for a beer each as we had to make our way to Napa (not to mention we were both feeling quite full).

Unfortunately, the fullness kept us out of other Sonoma wineries even though we had time before the closing. And double unfortunately, the drive was long and in the hottest sunniest part of the day. Fear not, we arrived in Yountville around 4:45 and began to chill-out. Stomach fullness continued into the evening, so no dinner for us even though we are in the heart of awesome restaurants in Napa.

Tomorrow is another day. Fresh, with no food in it…yet.

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