S: Napa Valley Trip 2011
BC: Best Friends Forever we will be - this was another fantastic trip together and there will be many more to come!
FC: Napa Valley 2011
1: Yum! Crepes in the Wharf....we chose a smore's one and it was DELICIOUS!!
2: A trip to San Francisco isn't complete with out seeing the sea lions at Pier 39, in Fisherman's Wharf. They stink but they're so cute!
4: It was a really foggy day in San Francisco so we didn't get great shots of the Golden Gate Bridge. It was perfect sweatshirt weather though and the jeans were warm...we saw many tourists who were not as prepared! We were pretty happy we dressed warm.
5: Pat looked a little like the Unabomber so we had to take a shot of him... | Our charter boat for our trip over to Alcatraz!
6: Welcome to Alcatraz
7: Some of the criminals who stayed at Alcatraz | It's such a historical site to visit but it feels a little spooky, like the convicts are still around watching you!
8: The buildings are very run down but there is a lot of renovation going on trying to save what is left of the buildings. | This is "The Yard" where the convicts got to spend some time if they were lucky and well-behaved. It was also a reminder of what they had lost.
9: The morgue and the mess hall | This was an officer's club back when Alcatraz was still a military post
10: Brrr! We froze waiting to ride the cable car! | San Francisco Cable Cars
11: The Breinarts
12: After meeting our driver for the next two days, Donna, this was our first winery and they set the bar pretty high for the rest of our visits! Donna made our trip so unique and fun! | Terra Valentine Winery
13: We got to witness their first crush of the season
14: Our tasting table was set for us and everything was very elegant. We had several wines to try, along with chocolates and nuts. After the tasting we checked out the view 2200 feet above Napa Valley.
15: Best of friends
16: We picked up lunch at nearby Dean & DeLuca, a general store, and had to get this beverage when we saw it! Too bad we couldn't bring it home to our own Lizzy.
17: Alpha Omega Winery had beautiful scenery
18: Love the grapes! This was at Hopper Creek Winery | Nikki was a fan of the Big Reds...
20: Beer tour on Pat's 40th ! | Cheers! | We loved the safety glasses
21: Happy Birthday Pat!
22: Bouchaine was one of our favorite wineries. We loved the wines, the snacks and the scenery! | The design of a renowned architect, William Turnbull, distinguishes Bouchaine Vineyards, which is the oldest continually operating winery in the Carneros. The property was planted in vines and fruit trees in the mid-1800s by a man named Boon Fly and later by the Garetto brothers who made Grappa, whiskey and sacramental wines. Reclaimed redwood wine tanks were used for siding of the Bouchaine winery, wherein a cozy reception area welcomes visitors to linger by the fireplace and look out into the rolling hills.
23: Acacia - we didn't take photos! One of the leaders of modern wine-making in the Carneros in the late 1970s, Acacia manages to produce Pinots that are darker, richer and more fragrant than those typically associated with this cool appellation. Some of their full-bodied Chardonnays have been described as tasting of fig, butter, apple and hazelnut. The picnic lawn under olive trees at Acacia offers big views of the district, south to the top of the bay. We also visited Cuvaison Estates and were so taken with the wines and our tasting guide that we forgot to take pictures! Cuvaison, pronounced Koo-vay-sawn (a French term for wine fermentation using skins), was founded in 1969 by Silicon Valley engineers Thomas Cottrell and Thomas Parkhill and is known for its production of the lush, round, and very food-friendly white grape. Still its 400 acres and a 63,000-case annual production isn't exclusively reserved to its most famous varietal. Winemaker Steven Rogstad also produces a limited amount of merlot, pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon, and zinfandel within the handsome Spanish mission-style structure.
25: Fleecy willow trees and Chardonnay and Pinot Noir vineyards surround the grand double staircase leading to the Louis XV-style salon at Domaine Carneros, where a portrait of Madame de Pompadour awaits the arrival of guests. Built by the French house of Taittinger, this majestic winery was modeled after the 18th century chateau owned by the Taittinger family in Champagne, France. The terrace is a pleasant perch from which to overlook the hills and vineyards of Carneros while sipping sparkling wines redolent of citrus, melon, even roses and nutty spice. The winery also produces classic Carneros Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays.