First American Wine Tasting
For my Dad's birthday gift this year, I got him a wine tasting bike tour with
. They have a couple different options but we went with the 'Savor the Experience' package and it was a blast. It was just me and my dad on the trip so we got to spend lots of time talking to the winery owners/staff and learned a lot. Plus I didn't have to worry about strangers watching me trying to ride a bike while tipsy...you know except for the 100+ strangers in cars that drove by us.
We kicked things off at
(which I don't have any pictures of). The owner was fantastic and had a lot of 'behind the scenes' info for us which was great...and he loves to give big pours so obvi he was my bff quickly. Their chardonnay was amazing (and I usually don't like chardonnay) but I was not a fan of their red...tasted almost tobacco-y to me which I don't like at all.
After some hydrating (of the water and wine variety), we jumped on our bikes and headed to our next stop...it was at this point that I realized what I had gotten myself into. My dad is an avid biker...he's got all the gear and a pretty bad-ass bike of his own (we used NVAT's bikes for this). I, on the other hand, hardly ever bike- the last time was when I did the
in Paris. I quickly realized how hard it was to bike against the wind and holy crap do those seats hurt after awhile!! It took all of my skills as a former Davis student (everyone had a bike at Davis) to navigate the road as I got more and more wine in me.
Our second stop of the day was at
and it was gorgeous! Their chardonnay wasn't as good as Razi's but their Cabernet Sauvingon's and Malbec's were fantastic. I had my first taste of Ice wine and it was actually really good considering I typically don't like sweet wine. I had to try it since they got their grapes from the Okanagan...way to represent Canada!
Their tasting room is pretty small but they also have a dining room set up in their barrel room for private parties (complete with movie screen, vintage motorcycles and Rolling Stones pinball machine). The highlight for me was the Malbec but for my dad, it was the vintage car James had parked in the building...uhh yea even I know that car is amazing.
After James Cole, we headed to our last spot which was the
. Hands down the best tasting room guy all day was here and his name was Neil....hilarious and was rocking his kilt. Their tasting room was packed and they were bumping a pretty rando (yet awesome) music selection...my dad and I were dancing to Eminem and Snoop Dogg. Yes, that would be me AND my dad dancing...looks like I wasn't the only tipsy one eh?
Again, no surprise that the winery is gorgeous! This place is super old and survived Prohibition making it a 'Ghost Winery'. In addition to the grapes, they also have a huge garden you can walk around in and a farm with horses, sheep, goats etc. The wine was really good but nothing really stood out as a 'have to have' except for their Angelo's 2008 Cab Sav...which was $125!! Pass.
They had lemon bushes...smelled amazing
Does this remind anyone else of Mater from the Cars movies?
We had our lunch at Regusci and it was amazing. Yummy cheeses, olives, pickled onions, roasted red pepper, salami, prosciutto, nuts, figs and bread. That plate was pretty much licked clean when we were done. Lunch was served with a glass of wine (of course) and at this point I realized biking home was about to get 'fun' and 'interesting' as I had a serious wine tasting buzz going on...I LOVE wine tasting!
Trixie joined our lunch but we didn't feed her due to the multiple signs asking us not to
Despite said tipsy-ness, I managed to bike like a champ (some might say like Lance Armstrong but I don't want to brag) and even took pictures of the ride back. Luckily my swerves happened when there were no cars on this very busy road (doesn't look busy but there were cars zooming along all the time).
That was my only complaint with the tour-riding along the road was less than ideal...cars were going very fast which is always nerve racking when all you've got is a stupid little helmet on and have been drinking.
After making it back in one piece, we celebrated with more food! I got mini cupcakes from
: red velvet, raspberry, fleur de sel and banana caramel. I ate all of them myself...it was awesome and banana caramel is my hands down fav of the bunch. My dad went with a scoop of ice cream from
instead of a cupcake but seemed happy with his choice.
Once in the car, I immediately took a nap (
) and needed help waking up so we stopped by Starbucks on the way home. My Dad wanted to stretch his legs a bit so I sought shelter from the wind in a giant hollowed out tree trunk...very random to have in the center of a square but totally came in handy.
The weather was perfect (sunny but not hot), the wine was delicious and hanging with my dad was awesome. First American wine tasting was fantastic! Although how can it not be with wine involved?!?
Can't beat driving across the Golden Gate bridge (B&W pic because I'm fancy like that)