Strangers in Wine Country

I love meeting new people. So it was that a couple happened to be standing next to us at Silver Oak Cellars’ tasting room while we were all sipping on their delicious Cabs. They had flown in from Manhattan for work in Palo Alto the following week, deciding to enjoy a little wine country beforehand.

Outside of the Uber they took from SFO to Napa, they literally had no plans to what vineyards they would be visiting and how they would be getting there. They asked the wine steward for advice when Derek offered for us to take them to Plumpjack.

Earlier in the day, Derek and I had gone to Artesa, one of my favourite vineyards, with its postcard heavy landscape and the most delicious Pinot Noir I’ve ever enjoyed. After having our fill of wine from Plumpjack, our group went to Stag’s Leap where we were greeted by a cheery waiter telling us stories of his times in wine country, adding colour to what we had already been telling our guests all afternoon.

We left them to their evening; and drove away thinking to ourselves, “what a thoroughly nice and fun couple.”

A couple days later, I joined one of my favourite couples Mindy & Dan, visiting from Chicago, along with her sister Holly & hubby Brandon, and their friends visiting from Kansas City at Kunde. There we were treated to the best wine tour I’d been to since moving into the Bay Area, visiting the vineyard, sampling its wines, from all of its varied sections. We even got to see the original vines that populated the vineyard.

Wine country in Northern California is a must see. Napa and Sonoma are among the most beautiful parts of the world, with some of the best vineyards. Over the past year, I’ve gone a few times, and in addition to the vineyards below and the wines that I have bought, I also highly recommend Matanzas, Viansa, and Ravenswood.

  • Artesa – 2011 Cabernet Franc
  • Artesa – 2011 Pinot Noir
  • Silver Oak – 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon
  • PlumpJack – 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Adaptation
  • Stag’s Leap – 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Kunde – Dessert Cuvee
  • Flanagan – 2009 Serenity Way

We should live every day with the thought we are on vacation. Life’s opportunities have a way of finding you, and whether it does or it doesn’t, life is just much more fun that way.

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