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  Napa Valley     [all categories]
  Napa Valley - Wineries to Visit
  November Trip Report, part 2

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Author Topic:   November Trip Report, part 2
Hawkeye
Member
posted 12-17-2010 01:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message
Hi Bigsemi,

Glad to know that you are still with us. Have probably driven past the Wine Garage a hundred time and never noticed it. Will have to make a stop in March.

Have you been to wine country lately?

IP: 68.169.189.111

bigsemi
Member
posted 12-16-2010 06:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for bigsemi   Click Here to Email bigsemi     Edit/Delete Message
The Wine Garage is on Hwy 29, just before you get to Lincoln Ave in Calistoga. It is on the right if you are heading north. If you go past the Shell Gas Station you missed it. We stopped in there a couple years ago. It has a nice selection of smaller producers, with several to taste. We liked it when we went.

IP: 70.242.114.110

yesilovewine
Member
posted 12-13-2010 12:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for yesilovewine     Edit/Delete Message
YAY!!! You are back, damambo. Thanks for the excellent telling about your trip so far.
Hope that the stars have finally realigned so that your karma is back in sync...it is just horrid when things go haywire during the holidays.
Looking forward to your continued tales.

IP: 98.232.221.183

Hawkeye
Member
posted 12-12-2010 01:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hawkeye   Click Here to Email Hawkeye     Edit/Delete Message
Your experience with Kuleto Estate was similar to ours, their taste was not our taste. But, it is a good thing that not everyone likes the same thing.

At Bennett Lane, we came home with the 06 NV Cab. Should have purchased some of their 06 Reserve Cab which was tasting well on the day we were there. But, this was at the end of our trip and with all we had purchased to this point, it was hard to spend another $95.00 per bottle. These Bennett Lane cabs need to lad down for at least a couple years.

We have never been to the Wine Garage. Where is it?

Look forward to your posting over on the Sonoma side for your other two days. Thanks

[This message has been edited by Hawkeye (edited 12-12-2010).]

IP: 68.169.189.111

damombo
Member
posted 12-12-2010 12:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for damombo   Click Here to Email damombo     Edit/Delete Message
continuing...

It had been a very leisurely tasting - we had adjourned to their foyer for truffles and a dessert wine - and by the time we left it was time to head to the Auberge du Soleil Bistro for lunch. We had never been there, and I kept reading (over on TripAdvisor) about the views, so I made a reservation. We sat on the patio/porch/veranda - the outside covered area! The view was lovely, and the day was very cooperative - sun shining, few clouds, and a nice breeze. We started with the “Caramelized Onion Soup, Gruyere Crouton” (otherwise known as French Onion Soup) and IT WAS THE BEST I’VE EVER HAD. Sorry, the caps were necessary - because it was phenomenal soup! Expensive, but we still remember it, so worth it My better half enjoyed the special of the day - mussels - and I had a simple caesar salad with grilled chicken. A lovely experience, and we may just have to go back again for the view and the soup.

We had an appointment at Kuleto Estate next, so we headed that way and enjoyed the beautiful drive up Sage Canyon Road. We got to their gate, punched in the code, talked to the person who buzzed us in, and then spent at least ten minutes winding our way up to the Estate and hoping we wouldn’t meet anyone along the drive. Pretty much a single lane drive up a steep and winding incline - fantastic!! However, one member of a party that arrived before us was so car sick he couldn’t do the tour or the tasting Anyway, we arrived safely and gathered for the tour. The tour was a wonderful walking tour of the Estate and our guide was full of interesting information. Absolutely enjoyed the gorgeous views. Ended up at the tasting room and sat outside to do the tasting. Sadly, the wines were not particularly interesting. We usually will buy at least one bottle (especially if they apply the tasting/tour fee to the purchase), but there wasn’t a wine that was served that we enjoyed. They were all too acidic or too tannic for us. Somewhat disappointing, but the experience of the tour and the views and that drive up and down the mountain were well worth it to us.

From there, we hightailed it up valley to Bennett Lane - and no napping needed Hawkeye! We tasted the three they were pouring: Chardonnay, Maximus and the Cabernet. The hosts were a young woman and a young man - very friendly and amusing, the fellow tending toward sarcasm, but in a non-offensive way, and they did remember you, Hawkeye! But not in a bad way We bought 2 bottles of the cab and add took them with us.

Next stop was the Wine Garage - for more than a minute, Yesilovewine! What a fun place! The lady working there wandered around with me and suggested various zins that I might enjoy, and I think I came away with half a dozen bottles from small wineries that I had never heard of. Plus my port-loving husband found a Prager Syrah Port, which pleased him. Then we saw the jugs! We tasted their Wine Garage Red and it was very nice, so we brought home 3 jugs for our car-nut/garage loving son - we actually enjoyed that wine on Thanksgiving day at the son’s house. Thoroughly enjoyed the Wine Garage and the folks there.

Final destination on day one was dinner at Solbar. It was getting pretty chilly outside, so all seating was inside and we were near the fire, so it was perfect. We tried the squash and pumpkin soup, which was outstanding, the scallops, which were amazing, and the Lucky Pig (description from their menu)” a slow-roasted shoulder of pork, black sesame crepes, pickled pineapple, mongolian peanuts, lettuce cups and more. serves 2, some assembly required.” The description was intriguing and the actual dish was fabulous - the pork was tender and flavorful, and all of the interesting condiments to add to it were little flavor bursts unto themselves! Made for a fantastic combo.

That’s it for day one. I shall now start writing up day two...

IP: 96.8.187.200

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