Monday, July 6, 2009

Lake Tahoe and the Napa Valley

We left Sunday morning and drove to the Napa Valley via the scenic route through Lake Tahoe. It was a beautiful sunny day and the views along the lake were spectacular. Here's a photo of Dave by the lake. View of Lake Tahoe
When we reached Napa Valley the temperature was 103 degrees. We had thought about biking to various wineries, but with that heat we stuck to the air conditioned truck.
Our first stop was at Goose Cross Winery where we were treated very well as one of the first investors is related to Dave. From there we went to Hope & Grace in Yountville which is right across the street from Michael Chiarello's Napa Style and restaurant Bottega. We went in for an appetizer and then took a few shots of the surroundings.
We camped at Bothe Napa State Park, which was four miles south of Calistoga. We were glad the temps dropped enough at night that we were able to sleep comfortably, but it was right back up near 100 the following day. Here's a shot of our campsite.
On Monday our first stop was at the Robert Mondavi Winery. We didn't sample anything, but just wanted to see what the place looked like.
Here's Kelly walking past the vineyard at Robert Mondavi.
Here's a few more photos from the Mondavi Winery.
Here's Dave posing by the vines at Mondavi.
After Mondavi we went to Cosentino followed by Girard, both of which are in Yountville. While at Girard we ran in to a couple from Michigan we had met the day before and spent some time tasting with them and their friends. Here's a photo of us in the tasting room.
This photo is of Quintessa, but we didn't stop for a tasting as it was by appointment only.
Our next stop was at Sterling Vineyards. We didn't care so much about tasting the wine as we just wanted to see the grounds. It cost $20 for the tram ride up to the winery which included a self-guided tour and five tastings.
The wine was our least favorite, but the tram ride the winery and the view was worth the price.
Sterling Vineyards
Stainless Steel wine storage tanks.
Large oak barrels
The view looking south of Napa Valley.
Dave & Kelly at Sterling Vineyards.
Oak Casks
We also did tastings at August Briggs and Lava Lane both of which were good. We focused on the smaller wineries as they weren't as crowded and we enjoyed their wines better.

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