Monday, March 22, 2010

Napa, CA - In Pictures!

Foot Update: Since I am all sorts of frustrated, typing this section in fragments. My english teacher would be so proud of the fragment identification. Not good. Scheduled appt with sports med doc. Noticible pain after 2 weeks of rest followed by a 3 miler. Tried yelling at it and spitting on it which didn't work. The doc hopefully will have a secret ointment that will make it all better. Will yell and spit at him if he doesn't.

Now, on to the wine. Lots of pictures, probably should have split it into two posts. :)

Like I posted earlier, my wife and I spent the last two days tasting wine in Napa, CA trying to pretend like we both knew what we were talking about. We visited 7 vineyards over the two days and tasted at 6 of them. Here is my non-holistic photo journal play-by-play of our experience.

The trip actually started out a little frustrating. As it turns out, the San Fran airport engineers decided to take people renting a car on a (seemingly) 4 hour monorail tour of South San Fran. Of course, I might be exaggerating a little bit, but I was sure ready to get my drink on after the ride:

Once we finally got there I stopped the sobriety induced shakes by doing a little tasting "pre-gaming" with Boone's Farm we headed to Silver Oak Vineyards. I've always wanted to taste their wine but have had a hard time spending the money to do so. $100 a bottle is a tough pill to swallow - literally. My wife and I took the obligatory photo in front of their carved tasting room backdrop and I did end up with a bottle to take home.

The best part about Silver Oak was that in between the rows of vines, they had wild flowers planted. Pretty, but not tasty.

While we did have incredible weather for the time of year, the one thing that was sort of a bummer was that none of the vines had any grapes on them....or leaves...or anything that made them look like they were alive. I guess that just means that a trip back is a must during the summer/fall.

The next stop was to Opus One - a very small, very boutique vineyard whose wines cost $200 / bottle. Let me tell you, if something costs $200 a bottle it had better make certain parts of my body VERY large*. I will likely never buy a bottle, so it was fun to spend "only" $30 to taste. Unfortunately, it was incredibly good. I was hoping that it would taste like crap and I wouldn't ever want to buy it.

On Sunday, my wife "the concierge" had us scheduled to take a number of tours. The first was to the Sterling Vineyard. The best part about this one is that you ride a small gondola up to the main building. My wife is pretty terrified of heights, so I had a good time freaking her out by swaying the gondola car/box/thing. Once she got a little wine in her she was fine (aren't we all?):

Unfortunately though, wine makes me sleepy:

Probably the most fun experience was the tour of the Castello Di Amorosa castle. This is the same castle where the Bachelor was filmed. I don't pretend to watch the show, so I have no idea how many seasons ago it was, but I feel like it was pretty recent**. Hopefully that little Jeff Probst host got to drink some wine while everyone else was sucking face***.

We got the 'extended' tour and toured all 4 levels above and 4 levels below ground. I was continuously on the lookout for vampires, however all that I found were some high school kids wearing white powder makeup. Strange.

Do I even need to caption this one? I think not.

One of the most fun things (for the wine dork in me....and really for ALL of the dorks in me) was being able to do some barrel tasting. As you can see, barrel tasting requires sucking out the wine with some sort of wiener shaped device. Gross.

Castello Di Amorosa holds back a number of bottles of their wine each year. They have them stacked up all over the place - very cool but very dangerous for someone who was named 'most similar to a bull in a china shop' in high school****. I'm thinking of having this one blown up poster size.

Finally, we finished off the trip with a little bubbly, a nice sunset, and a case of dehydration that Dean Karnasas would be proud of.

**Asked my wife, it was this past season w/ Vienna & Gia
***Or getting herps vaccines
****No, not really


Julie said...

Oh my God, I am officially so freaking jealous....I can't stand it!!!! I can't wait to go to wine country again:) You took some beautiful pictures!! Thank you, you did good Adam!! You and your wife are such an adorable young will for sure have some good looking little ones! It sounds like you are having a great time! Thanks for sharing a bit of your Napa wine tasting adventures....I really do appreciate it:)

aron said...

looks like SO MUCH FUN!!! definitely come back in the summer/fall... you can actually smell the grape harvest if you run the healdsburg half marathon (my FAV race, you should try to do it if you can).

Barefoot AngieB said...

Great post! Makes me miss Northern Cali :)

GeorgiaSnail said...

Silver Oak & Opus....quite the combo!!!! That totally rocks!

Rio said...

Nice nice trip! Glad you had a great time. And yes, I am jealous. :)

K said...

Enjoyed your pictures. Looks like a nice trip.

Johann said...

That looks awesome! You must have had a fantastic time! I must go do something like that soon. South Africa have some great wines.

Running Through Life said...

Looks like you had a great time! I am jealous, I would love to go someday.

I hope the doctor finds some magic potion for your foot.

Amanda said...

Personally, I loved the asteriks more than the pictures. And I always write in fragmented sentences. Purely for effect. Not because I had an awful English teacher.

Adam Culp (Crazy Floridian) said...

I wanna live in THAT castle. Cool trip. The wife and I will need to make our trip to the San Francisco marathon in July a bit longer to go to Napa valley. Thanks for sharing.

Lisa said...

Looks like a great trip! I've only been to wineries in northern Michigan (yes, they have them!) and would love to get out to Napa sometime! Thanks for sharing the pics!

RunnuRMark said...

So the big question is...did you actually get to handle the 'wine schlong'??

Those are some great pics...looks like a good time. And hey, at least if you can't run, you can sit and wallow with an expensive bottle of wine, right?

Psyche said...

Makes me yearn for Central CA all over again. Great pictures!

You are such a total crack up:)

Glenn Jones said...

Looks like a beautiful trip! I've lived my whole life in California and have never been to Napa. I hear that the eather is superb - especially given the climate of San Franisco.

I've never been a wine drinker. And having to drink from a wiener shaped device means I probably never will ;-)

Ulyana said...

i want to go to there....

sorry about your foot - crossing fingers, hoping it's nothing serious and the doctor does have that secret magic ointment.