San Francisco and Napa Valley

group-sfo.jpg  Wrapping up our city tour of San Francisco before crossing the famous Golden Gate Bridge and a brunch stop in Sausalito- Karen and Terry where are you?  First wine tour was the Gloria Ferrer champagne caves near Sonoma. For a novice about wine operations this was a very informative tour- and great tasting!  Then a short hop to Roche wines and a wonderful setting on top of the hill as we pulled up our lawn chairs for our second tasting of the day. Mara had us in tears as she talked about wine and entertained us with stories of “Darwin dating” and the “running of the Rednecks” and more! And the wine was great, too! With our wonderful and knowledgeable guide Linda, we arrived at the beautiful Napa Marriott just in time for the nightly complimentary wine and cheese party. The next two days found us in both the Sonoma and Napa valleys as we toured Sterling Wineries accessed by gondola with great views of the valley near Calistoga and Simi Winery, from 1896, near the quaint little town of Healdsburg and finally a unique chance to blend our own wines at Ravenswood, “No Wimpy Wines”. But wait did someone say Tin City (Jerry,Terry) and an “Eye of the Hawk” brewski- in wine country no less! Carolyn meets Nelson and……… What better way to wrap up this fun filled extended weekend than to have a fine dining experience at the Greystone Restaurant of the Culinary Institute of America.  Josh Anderson, our chef, prepared a superb grilled Angus hanger steak while others had the just as mouth watering potato crusted Alaskan halibut.  Top it all off with creme brulee or the molten lava chocolate cake and we were ready to call it a day!!  And thanks to Bob for the encouragement ( and the lyrics ) so that we could sing our way home to the tune “Bottle of Wine”- not too bad really! Great wines, wonderful food and good friends-we’re ready to do it again! -John and Joan golden-gate-napa.jpgtin-city-inside.jpgTin City here we come!napa-ravenswood.jpgnapa-view.jpggrapes-of-napa.jpg