time for Part Duex of Evs and K's Full Napa Review!
(Part One, here)
The Small Wineries
we visited bunches of little wineries and overall, they were our favs! major highlights below, but if you're curious about the whole line-up, we tasted at:
Hall was an obvious favorite and we took being nerdals to a whole new extreme taking pictures with different "Hall" signs and bottles. and then of course, i took Nerdaldom one step further upon a surprise appearance by (the other) Kathryn Hall - the woman is fabulously gracious and i gave serious thought to swiping her freakin' adorable Cavelier King Charles Spaniel Coco. we also unknowingly visited Hall the day before the release of their 2006 Kathryn Hall Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (rated a 96 by Wine Spectator) and recieved a covert taste of the goods after sweet-talking the barista and signing ourselves up for the quarterly wine clue (how could we not?). with only 500 bottles in production, we are now the proud owners of two! Hall's motto is Crazy Good Cabs and they ain't lyin'.
Frog's Leap was both of our favorite wineries overall - wine, grounds, personality of our server, etc. we were able to taste on a huge wrap-around porch looking out over a fruit and veggie garden boasting the biggest squash and pumpkins i've ever seen in person. Frog's Leap is a certified LEED organic winery and the goods from their garden are sold every week at the farmer's market (leftovers come back for an employee free-for-all... ie: working there might just be my dream job).
Turnbull was a very quaint little winery with excellent wine and the best freakin' mustard i've ever tasted. seriously, we demolished the entire sample bowl with pretzels - i can't wait for our jar to make its way to Texas with our wine!
Duckhorn just had overall fabulous wines. and, again, beautiful. like Frog's Leap, you could taste on a huge porch but, alas, it was all full. we did snap one of my favorite trip pics of the two of us on the patio... actually, to be precise, some lovely ladies who worked for GAP Corp. took it for us... and i promptly told them that i was a GAP Brand Enthusiast... and then we talked about how i was wearing Real Straight Born to Fit jeans... and how i loved my navy striped favorite fit tee... obviously, the entire porch was enthralled.
Cakebread - love their wines / was not a huge fan of our tasting... mostly because our "wine enthusiast" was a complete toolbag, and also a little bit because there was a man in our group who i would bet my bottom dollar was a pedofile. oh, and Cakebread believes in "responsible tasting," so the pours were less than 1 oz. not to be a total lush, but come on dudes, its Napa!
Hope & Grace - H&G was the site of our first and only tasting in one of the tasting rooms (sans vineyard) in town (Yountville). it was also our very first tasting and we had a superb experience with iwishicouldrememberhernameshewassupernice. then KY Couple (the state, not the jelly) joined us, decked out in Tommy Bahama and boasting a wine cellar spreadsheet... and the ambience went a bit South.
Peju - please refer to the photo of the girl molesting the bronze sleeping lady. there are others. of Evs. but i'm not that mean.
Alpha Omega - good wine, pretty new tasting room, nice fountains.
Ceja - see v.1
being the super-smarties that we are, we decided to take the Red Eye home to Dallas (12:30 am departure time) so that we could enjoy a full day exploring the Bay City. actually, since i didn't post the statue-molestation-photos, i am going to go ahead and say this was all Evs' idea. good in theory / not-so-good when it rains off and on all day and you have no plans besides walking down the bay and no hotel room to seek shelter in.
we started out on a good note - brunch at Perry's with great views of the Bay Bridge. we explored the Ferry Building with all its fabulous smelling and tasting and looking market stalls (cheese and bread and herbs and fungi, oh my!), and then walked the miles down to Fisherman's Wharf to watch the sea lions (i freakin' love the sea lions).
right about the time we discovered a chocolate festival winding down in Ghiradelli Square (big-time bummer), the drizzle began. and continued. we sought dry respite at a "wine bar" back in Fisherman's Wharf... um, yeah, no. i think the cab they poured Evs was a cousin of battery acid. i got the better end of the deal with overpriced crappy bubbly. dinner at Cafe Kuleto served us better - we went home damp (on a delayed flight) but with tummies full of good food!