Who is in charge of this weather? It can’t be better. In Sausalito, we could see the SF skyline as clear as it has ever been…and the sailboats were racing across in a pleasant breeze…it was smooth for the ferry. And, walking around town was so pleasant, even late evenings.
Today, as we did our Beau Wine Tour day, we awoke to another sunny and no humidity sunrise. We hiked up to that big statue on the hill in the vineyard behind the hotel.
The big van, driven by our man, VJ, came at 10AM and he was with us until 5PM with his gourmet box lunches, sparkling wine and loads of fresh water in the Sprinter. Plans were to test Dell Dotto wines in the morning, lunch at Robinson Family Vineyards and then a flexible afternoon as we tried to reach the O’Neill’s friends at Detert Vineyards.
Dell Dotto is a Michael Brock favorite and their tasting building is a bit over the top…a Venetian castle brought over from Italy and put together by Italian craftsmen. Lots of good wine to try…a flight of 7 at 10:30AM is a bit much, but we were up to the challenge – with a little cheese, water and bread sticks to clear our palates.
VJ suggests a stop at Inglenook Castle on our way up to lunch…this is the Francis Ford Coppola vineyards with a history which goes back to the 1800’s…fascinating.
The outside of the place is all restored and quite grand.
And the vineyards stretch all the way out to the Silverado Trail main road right around the castle.
VJ says there’s still time for one more stop on the way…at the famous Robert Mondavi Winery. Mr. Mondavi is a legend and just died recently at 93, still operating with a strong hand. Look at the way they portray him at the entrance.
Moving along, we climb up a hill in the Stag’s Leap district to the Robinson Family Winery. We always seem to have the most memorable times when we depend our friends to help us find the “best places”. Mike and Jill Silvas live in Napa and work here and in Sonoma (Jill’s runs the Pacific Union Real Estate office on the main square there; Mike has his own brokerage – Wine Country Fine Properties. ) They encouraged us to do our lunch stop here and they are best friends with the family. Tom Jinks is a rancher and Susie, his wife, is his partner…her parents were the Robinsons.
Their kids and grandkids help around the place, too. It is up-close-and-personal…and just delicious in every sense of the word. Our lunch was outside on a table next to their house under a tree….with big Lab there to take care of any crumbs.
So, as you do when you find a very comfortable, knowledgeable and affable host and hostess…we nearly over-stayed our welcome. The plan was to hit one more place this afternoon; after checking with our new friends – Jinks and Silvas – to go to Chateau Montana, which was featured in the movie Bottle Shock. (see it if you haven’t; it’s a feel good flick).
VJ steps on it to get there about 10 miles out of the way. It was another treat of history, architecture and viticulture.
Back to the Meritage Resort for some napping before our 8PM dinner at Ristorante Allegria. Ciao.