The summer of 2014, we were contemplating renting a house in OBX or going back to California. We decided that since we were talking about starting a family, that maybe we should go to California, because once a kid came along, it might be awhile before our next trip to wine country.
We spent some time in San Francisco and walked around the Ferry Building. We had coffee and pastries outside and I bought some fresh lavender. We had lunch at La Taqueria on Mission Street and dinners at Hops & Hominy and Flour & Water. We drove out to Land’s End and walked around the park.
But we really came to California for the wine. We stopped, of course, at Gloria Ferrer and Viansa. We’d been there in 2012 and really enjoy sitting outside with our wine. We made appointments for tastings at Hall, Jordan, and Jarvis. Hall and Jordan were both great tours and beautiful facilities. We signed up for the wine club at Hall and bought a bottle of Jordan 1999 cabernet for my brother and sister-in-law’s 15th anniversary. As we were leaving Jordan, we asked our tour leader if she had any places she’d recommend we check out. She told us to go to Cast. We decided to give it a whirl.
Cast was newly opened and when we showed up, there was no one else there. Our hostess told us that we could do our tasting on the patio if we liked, and she’d just bring the wine out to us one at a time. We loved it. When we finished tasting, we opened a bottle of their sauvignon blanc (and bought some to take home with us!) and hung out for awhile. We were visited by the winemaker, who chatted with us about winemaking and fermentation. We decided to sign up for the Cast wine club.
We had dinner at Michael Chiarello’s Bottega – so good! We even ran into a couple that had been on the tour with us at Hall. Small world, that Napa Valley.
Another night, we had dinner at Ad Hoc. The roasted chicken was so delicious that we’ve even recreated Thomas Keller’s recipe at home!
In the middle of the night/really early one morning, I woke up because I thought I heard what sounded like our patio furniture being pushed around outside… but then I remembered that we weren’t on the first floor. I wasn’t sure what I heard, but I dozed back off to sleep.
That morning, after breakfast at Boon Fly Cafe, we went to Garagiulo Vineyards for a tasting. We were greeted by the host, who asked us if we’d felt the earthquake this morning. It dawned on me that that was what had woken me up. Tommy had slept right through it.
We continued to Cliff Lede Vineyards after that. Cliff Lede named each vineyard block after his favorite rock songs and albums, but that was kind of where the funky rock n’ roll ties stopped. We ended up returning to Cast for another bottle of sauvignon blanc.
Other stops on our trip included Rombauer, Dehlinger, and Lynmar. We did a lunch and wine pairing at Lynmar and absolutely loved it. The food was good, the wine was great, and the gardens there are gorgeous! Definitely recommend it!
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