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First Day: Napa Wineries

October 14, 2014

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Oh my goodness, where to begin…

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First tasting of the day: Opus One. I say it again – OH MY GOODNESS!
Unusual grounds, very different architecture for Napa. Beautiful! Round building almost buried underground. Green grass. Olive trees line the driveway in & are all around the garden siting area. A rooftop terrace gave a wonderful view of the rising sun. A 10 am tasting is an early start to the day.

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Plumpjack Winery – we had never heard of this small vineyard/winery, but it was recommended by DH’s friend, Jim. Small, boutique winery making lovely wines.


I met the long-furred calico keeping watch over the tasting room. Bright green eyes – she’s gorgeous & liked having her neck scratched.

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Cakebread Winery next.


The first truly great wine I ever tasted was a Cakebread Fumé Blanc back in 1982. It rocked my world! Up until then, DH & I enjoyed Gallo Red Rosé with our dear friends D & J while playing Bridge. Hey – DH was in medical school! We didn’t have any money! But we started what was to become a lifelong love of wine.

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Hint: use the Gallo for wonderful wine coolers! Half a glass of Gallo over ice, then add sparkling water, Diet Sprite, etc. to fill the glass. A slice of lime finishes it!

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Silver Oak Winery was next. OH MY GOODNESS IN SPADES! This is one of the pre-imminent wineries in Napa, so good, in fact, that they do not have a Wine Club. They don’t need one – they sell every delicious bottle, every single season!

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The Silver Oak building is lovely. I took lots of photos hoping to show our builder – can we make our house look like this? :0)

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My tastebuds were fatiguing, but we were determined to visit St. Supery. Lovely wines from a beautiful winery.

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The gardens along the parking lot had large bright blue ceramic pots with dwarf citrus trees. (Envy!) Inside the tasting room, the winemakers Boxer puppy greeted everyone…calmly! That’s remarkable for a puppy!

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Are we there yet? Nope! With only one day scheduled for Napa, we had to visit Chateau Montelena. This is one of the famous wineries that put Napa Valley, California on the map, literally! In 1976, the Chardonnay from Ch. Montelena soundly defeated French wines in a blind taste-test. They repeated the fete in 2006! Woo Hoo! American wines can compete with the best in the world & consistently WIN!

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First I spoke to the little Redwood tree on the property that I first saw 10 years ago on our first visit. My, how it has grown! Then we entered the French-style chateau. This is a beautiful place with dark wood, tapestries & excellent wines. The “bar cat” from years ago was not present, but the wines did not disappoint.

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The second tasting room was quiet, the Chardonnay wonderful – DUH! & exquisite deep red Cabernets. Ahh! So very glad we stopped in!

Tastebuds exhausted, it’s time to head back to the Hampton Inn. Water, rest, supper, wine – are you kidding? No, he wasn’t.


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