|The Fab Four at Jericho Canyon|
We woke up and rolled straight out of bed to an awesome breakfast! Our B&B Wine Way Inn features a great breakfast spread every morning. We had a dutch pancake in a castiron pan, blueberry muffins, yogurt and granola, roasted peaches and French-press coffee. Yum!
After breakfast, I went into town to pick up some picnic treats and fill up the car. Don the Driver came over shortly thereafter and we were off to the tastings!
Our first stop was Jericho Canyon. It’s a small, family-owned winery that cultivates 40 of its 100+ acres. We met our guide Brittany and headed up the hill to view the spectacular view from the top. The vineyards were a gorgeous green and golden hills, trees, scattered buildings, cliffs and vineyards made for a very picturesque viewing point. We took in the view for a bit while Brittany explained some of the history of the place. Then we headed back down and into the cave where we looked at all the barrels before sitting down to a tasting. There were some great reds and we all liked the wines a lot. The tour was just the four of us and it was really awesome to have such a focused experience.
We had to go a little earlier than we would have liked but we were heading down the road to Nickel & Nickel, a single-vineyard per wine winery that SMS and I really enjoyed a bottle from recently during a fancy celebration dinner. We arrived a few minutes late but we joined the group in the parlor of the main house and listened to the rest of the overview. We toured the grounds and saw several restored barns that had been brought in from other parts of the US. We walked past the equipment used in the production process before ending up in the barrel cellar, which is different than a barrel cave even though they look about the same inside. I think it has to do with whether it’s dug into the ground vs. a hillside.
Then we went into the dining room and had a wonderful tasting of 4 cabernet sauvignons and 1 pinot noir along with 3 delicious cheeses. The wines were exquisite and we had a really great time. I joined the wine club a few days prior, mostly to offset the cost of the tastings but after the tasting, I’m really looking forward to the wine now too!
|The porch of Venge|
After Nickel & Nickel, we headed to our picnic lunch, which we had in a park in Calistoga. Then we went to our last vineyard of the day, Venge. Venge had a beautiful porch overlooking the vineyard and we had a nice time kicking back and enjoying the wine. Our pourer was a pretty funny guy, some of it unintentional on his part. Some his adjectives weren't the best ("disgustingly big") and he sort of botched the story about the wine being named in honor of the owner's dead dog. I referred to it as Dead Dog Wine from then on out, which I think was missing the point.
Afterwards, we returned back to the B&B. We stopped in at the Tank tasting room so SMS could try out the pinball. Then we had a glass of wine back at the inn before heading to JoLe for dinner, which was another hit! I had scallops with grits and okra, which was pretty delicious. We headed home after sharing dessert and wishing Linda a Happy Birthday one more time. It was a great day and we really had such a great time!