For our birthdays, Mom and AB sent E and I to Napa. Our trip was meant to be restorative – some time in the country, with very little planned. We set out around 9 – me chatty with anticipation and E barely awake – thankful for the sun and good weather.
We got there too early to do much, so we went for a walk around Oxbow Market. Oxbow reminded me a lot of the Ferry Plaza
After a brief stop to do some shopping at Rancho Gordo’s (beans, beans and more beans), we headed to Robert Sinskey Vineyard for our wine tour. Neither of us had ever been on a wine tour, but we were promised by one of E’s co-workers that this one would be really cool. It was just us and one other couple on the tour – we saw the gardens, the *giant* vats where they processed and stored the grapes and then we went on the tour of the caves.
I’ll admit, I was secretly hoping that they were naturally occurring caves that they just happened to build their vineyard around, but it turns out they were man-made. They had lined the cave with the same material they use in swimming pools and stored all their casks of wine in it. Some casks were on platforms lining the walls of the cave and others were stacked in an alcove behind a gate all Cask of Amontillado style. After wandering the cave for a bit, we came to the wine library, a dimly lit room with a long table down the center. On the walls was a bottle from every batch of wine they had produced. The corks were secured with thin copper wire attached to the wine rack. While we were down there, our tour guide described the biodynamic farming process that they used at the vineyard and told us stories of parties they’d had in the wine library.
Once back above ground, we had a wine tasting paired with some delicious snacks. We bought a bottle of the pinot noir and headed back out to take another look at the vineyards. On our way to the hotel, passing beautiful vineyard after beautiful vineyard and being passed by speeding limos, we wondered if the residents of Napa lived in awe of their surroundings or if they even noticed them anymore.
We checked into the hotel, took a nap and then went to Ubuntu for dinner. Ubuntu is a totally vegetarian restaurant with a yoga studio upstairs. We didn’t do any yoga, but we did eat the fabulous vegetarian fare. The servers seemed a little confused by us – I guess they usually get a lot of questions about biodynamic farming (they have a biodynamic farm that they get their veggies from) and the food and where it comes from and what it tastes like, but even I was familiar with almost everything on the menu, having eaten it in some form or another somewhere in the City. They kept asking if we wanted more time with the menu or if we had any questions and E kept saying no and ordering more food.
We walked back to the hotel, flicked on the TV for a bit and debated whether or not we could eat the plate of chocolate-covered strawberries we found in the fridge. After reading the card that was next to the strawberries and looking at our room bill several times, we decided to go for it and were asleep shortly after.