Saturday, March 24, 2007

Calistoga


This weekend my two fabulous friends Linda and Tina took me on a surprise getaway for my birthday. Yes, it was last month but Tina has scheduling issues so it happened this month instead. They told me we were going away and to pack for over night and that was all I was told. I figured it would be somewhere near-ish, but Tina is a flight attendant so it was possible that there was an over night far away. But that would be very complicated so I figured a car ride. Also, Linda mentioned Tina would be driving so she was going to knit. Good hint! That still didn't narrow it down much, there are a lot of places around here that we could have gone. We headed north on Friday morning and ended up going to Napa/Calistoga! It was a beautiful day, very warm and sunny. We hit two wineries on the way up, we went to Trefethen first, a pretty barn like tasting room, the photo above is from there. They had nice wines, I only bought one there, a dry Riesling for the warm summer months ahead. I've now stocked up on enough wine for the summer, this weekend and when went wine tasting in the Santa Cruz mts a few weeks ago!





Then we stopped by Chandon for some bubbly! I haven't been there before it is quite fancy! They have a huge amount of land with water fountains and large grassy areas. There is a big shop with an area to watch a movie and then upstairs is a restaurant and tasting room. Very chi-chi. I think must really over charge on their wines to have something like this. But the tasting room is amazing, there is a wall behind the bar that actually opens so that you can see the hill behind and have cool breezes blowing on your face. AND we saw a flock of quail go running by! They are pretty cute birds as birds go, no wonder they are the state bird. I picked up two bottles there, Riche with a bit of muscat in it and sparkling rose, both yummy. The mushroom pic is from outside, just past the giant sign that's there on the left. I guess they are art, but they look kinda cool.



After the tastings we headed up to Calistoga for some girl fun, lunch, spa and relaxing at THE cutest little inn. It's called Chien Blanc and it was perfect this weekend. It has a little kitchen with everything you would need, a big bedroom and a living room with a day bed/couch. It was comfy for us all to sit and knit on Friday night, and then roomy enough for Tina to sleep on. After we had our treatments we all met back at the place and had light supper of cheese, olives, pumpkin seed bread, and olive fig spread from Dean and Deluca. Maybe a bit fancy and over priced but it was a fun shop! And of course, a bottle of the champagne we picked up earlier in the day. We sat outside and knit and ate our supper and chatted. It was so nice, so relaxing, what great friends I have . The mosquito's started nibbling on us and it got dark so we headed inside for more knitting until we got tired at TEN (yeesh) and went to sleep.



After a good breakfast we headed off to the wineries. We only had two that we had to visit and then rest we just randomly hit along the way, sometimes by just saying okay the next one that we see we are going to. There were some that were good and some, maybe not so good. But we had a great time anyway.







One of the must see places was Prager Port. The first winery we stopped at on Friday mentioned that if we like port (and Linda really does) that we had to go there. What a find! We have decided that the best wines come from tasting rooms in barns, not from fancy ones.Its cute outside, you walk past the barrels on the way to a crazy looking room.
Its not a huge room so everyone had to stand around the room, no actual bar to stand by. The walls are covered with money that people have written on and there is a windowsill that has not been dusted in 25 years! But the port! Holy cow! I like port, I don't love port, but what they have, wow! Everything was really great,some really different ones like White Port and then more traditional ones as well. I was trying to get a picture of the walls, not so much the guy, but you know things happen.








So my must see place was Buena Vista, I wanted sherry! Where Linda loves port, I love sherry, and very few wineries actually make it. Sad. But Linda knew that Buena Vista has some, and its good so we made a quick jaunt to Sonoma and picked some up. We were wined out at that point, we tasted but we did not love anything. Got two bottles of sherry though! So next Settlers night my house, every one can have a glass!

Before anyone asks, yes there was a LOT of knitting in the car, maybe even drunk knitting. I had cast on for my Clapotis on Thursday boba knit so I was working on that in the car. At least its easy, and any alcohol induced mistakes won't really show up.

3 comments:

hannahbee said...

oooooooh.. calistoga.. nice and bubbly.

hannahbee said...

your friends ROCK! :)

cookie said...

Happy belated, yo. I can't wait for Settlers! I will bring some port. I LOVE port.