Napa Valley (10.10)

The hotel I stayed in was in South San Francisco.  I headed North through downtown and over a fourth bridge.  I went over a different bridge each time to see different views.  The picture below was taken as I was heading North into downtown, before crossing the bridge out of the city.

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Napa is quite different from San Francisco.  It’s more of a country setting.  The people I encountered are dressed more like small town folks rather than big city people.

My friend Mike provided a list of his recommended wineries to me before the trip, in sorted order by his preference.  I picked the top six and figured I would visit three on Monday and three on Tuesday.

There is a SuperCharger in Napa, just South of most of the wineries, and in the lot of a Circle K that is not, yet, open.

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I arrived at Cakebread Cellers, first.

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A group of six of us were part of the Select Tasting.  We were lead to a courtyard with granite benches, a table and a water feature.  The woman leading the tasting was originally from Ireland and had a strong accent.  Turns out two of the women participating in the tasting were also from Ireland and now live in Chicago.  They are musicians in Chicago and gave me the name of their pub so that I may visit when I’m back in Chicago. 🙂

I kept the glass from Cakebread Cellers.  We’ll see if it makes it to Indiana in one piece.

Next stop was Duckhorn Vineyards.  I was lead into a tasting room and sat at my own table.  Ann conducted my tasting and was very friendly and knowledgeable.  She gave me a bit extra a few times to help me compare tastes and try new things.  Very appreciated!  She also gave me some breadsticks to eat while tasting.  I was surprised to find my favorite at this location was a Merlot.  My favorite is usually a Cabernet Sauvignon.  I said as much and Ann said the Merlot was what they are famous for.  I took a picture of the name in case I ever find it in a store.

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Last winery of the day was Frank Family Vineyards.  Another excellent tasting!  I stood at a tasting bar with two other couples, one from Texas and the other from Phoenix.  Turns out they live about 20 minutes from me.  We chatted a bit while tasting.  Frank Family Vineyards has some very large wine bottles scattered around the tasting room.  I asked and found out they are 9 Liter bottles!  I grabbed a pic that includes one of those bottles.

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After the tastings, I had hoped to find a quiet spot to read for a while.  I tried a campground just down the street, but they wanted $35 to park my car for the night.  I wandered around a bit and finally went into town and ate some Thai food.  After that, I returned to the SuperCharger location, put the car into sleep mode, and laid down to read in the back of the car.  I slept there for the night.

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