Vin voyage- Napa Valley California

Early in May, we decided to get another wine trip going on, and decided to go big.  Napa big.  We Googled, Reddited, and booked a room in Fairfield, California.  We heard not the best things about there, but we were isolated, and had our mastiff, which we can usually get away with her.
It was a great trip, beautiful green hills everywhere and oh yeah vineyards!!  We were in adult Disneyland for sure.  Especially when we saw the wineries that we see here, in Idaho, on the shelves in our stores.
This is part one of two posts, I thought to split it up into two posts, with our first night in California and Napa the next day, and lonely lonely Sonoma by itself, with a few highlights.
We arrived Friday afternoon from Winnemucca.  I kind of remember dozing in and out on the bed, just unwinding, while Fiance looked up something to do that night, our tapas at Fuso, a little Italian American restaurant.  Stuffed mushrooms, and espresso brulee with a Vitus merlot, and some Kenwood sparkling white wine to wrap it all up.

stuffed mushrooms and Vitus merlot

Now day one, Napa Valley.  Before we left Fairfield, we stopped at a grocery store and loaded up on bread, cheese and a salami.  We had a cooler with freezer packs in there, then we threw some ice in and had our snacks for the day.  Heading all the way up to St. Helena, we came back down to begin our tour.
First stop, Clos Pegase.  Great art, and right off the bat, Fiance talks about wine, and the pourer, let us sample the port as well.  That being not on the list he paid to taste.

Clos Pegase


i want to go to there

Next random stop, Charles Krug.  I did not know this, but this winery was finally acquired in the 1960’s by Cesare Mondavi.  And, there is some wine drama!!  Oh yeah!
Taken from the Robert Mondavi Wikipedia page.
“In 1965 Mondavi was fired from the family winery after a feud with his younger brother Peter over the direction of winemaking at Krug. Subsequently Mondavi started his own winery in Oakville, arguably out of spite. Today, the Robert Mondavi Winery is located between Oakville and Rutherford, California (though its corporate headquarters are in nearby St. Helena).”

Charles Krug winery

Then time for lunch.  Culinary Institute of America was recommended, and we are glad we went.  Nice little (pricey) bites, but with a view that you just could not beat.

Culinary Institute of America for lunch


Like eating $$$


still enjoyed it

Even though we just ate, I almost always had a loaf of bread in my lap.  Eating bits and bits.  Off we went to Louis M Martini for some two for one tasting.  My point and shoot camera also died, so I went to my backup.  The Nikon.

Louis M Martini


Sonoma Cabernet

Then we stopped at another ‘grocery store’ wine, Beaulieu Vineyard.   Granted, the bottles here and at stores are different, it was just looking really really busy at Robert Mondavi winery.

Beaulieu Vineyard, or tasting room


More tasting room

Last stop for the day, Raymond winery.  We actually have some of these bottles in our collection, so I had one of  ‘those’ moments.

Last stop- Raymond

We were later told that Raymond is pretty eclectic and has this whole froo froo winery thing going on, and we loved it!  They even let us bring doggie inside.
Here is their Corridor of Senses.

Raymond’s Corridor of Senses

Their wine library… a buh buh buh…

Wine library?? My two favorite words in a sentence… sounds good.

Doggie doing what she does best.

she wasn’t a big nuisance


I was just… random at this point. Camera in hand syndrome.

The entrance into the Crystal Cellar tasting room.

Ah, one of my models

This was just off the side of the Corridor of Senses.

Random Raymond Room

Here is a montage of winery entrances I caught.. from top to bottom we drove by Mondavi, Beaulieu Vineyard, Napa Cellars/Menage a trois and on the bottom, St. Supery.

drive by montage!

Now the wineries are closed or closing, and we are heading on our way out of Napa, back to hotel home, but we need just a little bite before we drive out.  We were recommended Fume Bistro, so we found a primo shaded spot for the car and dog and we headed in.

First it was there…

We split a steak and mac and cheese.  I also could not turn down the blood orange mimosa.

Blood orange mimosa?

So there is day one half and one.  We headed back to our room, made up some paper plate charcuterie and chocolates and had the Chandon sparkling white wine, a pinot noir from the grocery store (yeah, we headed back and got a few bottles) and something else, I’m sure.  Sonoma post coming up!



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