This group shot is not the best-ever, but we enjoyed our night with Jill and Mike…and we were in “the vault” at Ristorante Allegria in downtown Napa. Trevor, the waiter, took the photo…and takes all the credit for the lousy lighting and red-eye. Bad photo, great food and fine memories. Thanks to Mike and Jill for bringing some Robinson wine and some from their own stash.
Dell Dotto didn’t get much explanation yesterday….just a couple more shots here to explain. They have two caves and are building another. The owners live at the Venetian castle you could see in the background of our group shot. They held a fancy dress ball (Venetian-themed, of course) and have their personal costumes on display in the tasting room. Gauche.
We left after breakfast today to go to Healdsburg in the Sonoma Valley…about an hour away.
Healdsburg’s main square is surrounded by quaint shops and restaurants. The Silvas’ recommendation was to eat brunch at Costeaux Bakery in order to make it back to Oakville to our tasting appointment at 1PM at Detert Vineyards.
We had some time to stroll the town and do some shopping. Here are two of our women who can’t make up their mind which pillow to buy. Tim and I had a strong recommendation…see if you can figure it out.
Let’s stop for a moment and give some more praise to our driver, Mr. Joe Mondelli.
He put on about 150 miles today with all of our stops in Napa, Healdsburg, Oakville, Soda Canyon and back to Napa….curvy roads and some back-seat whining included. The van he rented was very comfortable and you saw in an earlier chapter how it held all of six people’s collective “stuff” behind the back seat.
Tim and Julie’s daughter married a guy whose cousins – the Garretts – own a winery in Oakville…it’s called Detert Vineyards. (DEE-tert). Oakville is back down the Silverado Trail in the Napa Valley. We had an appointment and met Tom Garrett, the winemaker, at 1PM at the family home. It’s surroudned by 18 acres…mostly planted in Cabernet Franc grapes. HIs relaxed and charming explanation of the family’s history and how it fit into the Valley was superb. Then, we went inside to his dining room for a guided tasting experience with 4 different vintages and varietals (are we starting to learn the language of the grape?).
We then high-tailed it to our 3PM appointment at the Caves at Soda Canyon, owned by Ryan and Crystal Waugh of Waugh Cellars. Ryan is the youngest son of our good friends from the real estate business – Bert and Susy Waugh of Berkshire Hathaway Northwest Properties in Portland, OR. (Bert and Susy flew down to be with us…of course, it helps that they have two grandkids here, but we were so glad to see them and give them each multiple hugs).
Ryan is working winemaker and has the purple hands to prove it.
A long day ends with a dinner at the hotel…we can’t make it to our downtown Napa 8PM reservation. Good dinner and early to bed.
The Big Sur beckons tomorrow and we will lunch in Carmel and check in to the Tickle Pink Inn on the coast highway after that. Giant windows from your room into the Pacific gorge with waves crashing on the rocks with a fireplace, romantically placed at the foot of your bed. Wow…I hope Nancy and Julie bought the right pillows.