Although I have been quiet lately, I haven’t disappeared. I have just been caught up in the whirlwind of having twins that will graduate from high school next month. It has been very busy around our house lately but very … Continue reading
The weekend is finally here and the weather is beautiful. Why don’t you grab the family and do something unique this weekend and visit the new baby Zedonk in Dahlonega at the Chestatee Wildlife Preserve?
If you are asking yourself….what is a Zedonk? Well, it is a really cute offspring from a donkey and a zebra. In 2010, Pippi the zedonk was born at the Chestatee Wildlife Preserve. You might have seen Pippi in the AJC or featured on one of several TV news shows. This past August, Pippi’s little sister was born. As you can see in the picture she has striped legs and ears like her zebra dad.
The Preserve features other animals too. On our recent visit there we saw white Bengal tigers, bears, monkeys, alligators, turtles, birds and more. It takes about an hour for a leisurely stroll around to get a close-up view of all the animals at the Preserve.
After your visit to the Preserve, you can always have lunch in Dahlonega or visit a winery or even pan for gold! They are located at 469 Old Dahlonega Hwy.in Dahlonega and they are open everyday from 10 – 4pm.
Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!;
Heading to the beach for a long weekend and I can’t wait to get packed!
Next week I will let you know about one of 25th Hour Gal’s favorite travel products. It is a wonderful time saver and a huge help in packing. So stay tuned for that but in the meantime, let me know about your favorite packing tips.
Hmmmm, I wonder if I will see any white shoes or white pants still lingering at the beach. I will keep you posted!
Hug your loved ones this weekend and remember what a great country you live in! Thanks to all of our military and their families for their sacrifices and their continued commitment to keeping this country safe.
“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.” – Ronald Reagan
We spent the last day of our trip in Healdsburg. I love this town for a lot of different reasons. The town square is wonderful for dining, shopping and entertainment. Healdsburg is also centrally located to over 100 wineries! What’s not to love!
After breakfast at the Vintner’s Inn we headed to J Vineyard & Winery. Sunset Magazine named J Vineyard & Winery the “Best Tasting Room in the West!” The vineyard was founded in 1986 by Judy Jordan (yes, the famous Jordan name). The winery began as a producer of sparkling wine. Now they feature Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in addition to sparkling wine. The facility is beautiful and they serve a full lunch if you are hungry. We opted just for the tasting since we had other plans for lunch. WOW! We are their newest fans. It didn’t take us long to decide that this was our favorite new winery and we had a case of wine shipped back to enjoy.
For lunch we visited one of our favorite stops, Oakville Grocery Co. The location in Healdsburg is located right on the historic square. It is a great place to pick up picnic supplies or have them make you one of their fantastic sandwiches and dine on their patio. It is always on our “To Do List” when we are in the area. Their original location is in Oakville on the Napa Valley side.
We had a 3:00 pm reservation for a tasting appointment at Jordan Vineyard and Winery. I was very excited about this tasting as we have been a fan of Jordan for years. They do require reservations and they only have 12 people per tasting so it is a very enjoyable way to spend an hour. Claire Holloway with Jordan was our host for the tasting and she was extremely knowledgeable about the Jordan history and their wines. We started the tasting with their Chardonnay in the library and it was very good. I have always known Jordan for their Cabernet Sauvignon so the Chardonnay was a nice surprise. We then moved through a secret passage way to an adjoining room for the Cab tasting. They poured three different Cabernet vintages and we really enjoyed all of them to the last drop! As you can see in the picture above, they offered a food pairing with the tasting that was perfect. We took a few bottles with us and also plan to order a bottle of their olive oil that we tried with the food pairing.
After taking lots of pictures of the beautiful estate of Jordan, we decided to drive over to White Oak Vineyards & Winery. We are in their wine club but haven’t visited in about five years. We were the only ones at the winery since it was so late on Sunday but it was a fun way to end our trip. They have a great tasting room and a lot of great tasting reasonably priced wines ranging from $16 – $50.
Our dinner reservations that night were at Scopa in Healdsburg. We definitely saved the best for last. Scopa is a fun intimate restaurant with some of the best Italian food we have ever had. We were so lucky to get a reservation…Make sure you call early in the week to get in for the weekend. I had the grilled peach salad followed by the spaghettini with a braised short rib meat sauce. “Amazing” is the best word I can use to describe this meal. Mr. 25th Hour had a cremini mushroom salad as his starter and then the veal Bolognese over tagliatellle pasta I typically can’t finish a pasta dish but I was determined to not let a forkful go to waste. The service was energetic and perfect for the restaurant.
We had a wonderful trip and we can’t wait to plan our next adventure!
Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend and for those on the east coast stay safe! My thoughts are with you this weekend. ~ 25th Hour Gal
This trip we stayed at the Vintners Inn in Santa Rosa. This is a convenient area on the Sonoma side. We loved this location and the Inn was very beautiful. The John Ash & Co restaurant is on the property and it also has a great bar.
We had planned our Saturday starting with an early lunch at Bouchon in Yountville on the Napa side. We put the top down and took the scenic route over through Sonoma. It was a beautiful day! We arrived early at Bouchon and we were very glad that we had a reservation. I wasn’t sure if we needed one for lunch but it was a necessity. The restaurant is a lively french bistro. Their dinner menu is the same as their lunch menu so the prices are more inline with dinner offerings. We finished our lunch with “bouchons” or chocolate corks. It was a great dessert served warm with raspberry sorbet. Think warm chocolate brownies!
After lunch, we headed to our first winery of the day: Plumpjack. This is a great small winery. Plumpjack is owned by former San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and by Gordon Getty of the Getty Oil fortune. The winery is very approachable without a lot of the Napa snobbery that can be found in many places. Their cabs were wonderful. We had an excellent server that spent a lot of time with us explaining the wines. We always like to ask the servers where they like to go tasting on their day off. She recommended Miner Family Vineyards which was about a 1/2 mile from Plumpjack.
Next stop Miner Family Vineyards! Unfortunately they had several large and loud parties that were there for tastings including a bachelorette group. So, it was a quick taste for us. I should mention here that we usually visit Napa during the off-season when the crowds are few and the tastings are really nice experiences. Ok, back to Miner. The standouts here were the Viognier and the Oracle. Wine Enthusiast awarded the 2007 Oracle 95 points. I would love to go back in the off-season.
Honig Vineyard and Winery was our last stop of the day. This winery does require an appointment but we called and they were able to fit us in the last tasting of the day. They have a beautiful outside tasting room. It is a garden type setting with patio tables and umbrellas overlooking the vineyards. It was a very peaceful way to end our day. The tasting is not rushed and they encourage you to enjoy your time there. They pour an award-winning Sauvignon Blanc and a yummy Cab. Unfortunately we didn’t get to meet the Honig wine dog. Apparently wine dogs get the weekend off! Highly recommend a tasting at Honig on your next trip to Napa.
Two more tastings planned to Sunday. More About That later…
My anniversary gift this year was a trip to Sonoma and Napa Valley. My wonderful husband knows me well and knows that this is one of the best gifts he can give me…or us since he came along as a package deal! We have been many times before and always discover new favorites as well as revisit old favorites.
We flew into San Francisco and drove out to Napa. It was a beautiful day. Our first stop is always Gotts Roadside for a white and black milkshake & one of the best hamburgers I have ever had (yes better than In-N-Out Burger). It is always important to have a good solid meal before wine tasting and I can’t think of a better place to do it other than at Gotts’. We usually go to their location in St. Helena but this time we stopped at the Oxbow Market in downtown Napa. They do serve wine and beer here but I prefer their fantastic milkshakes as my beverage of choice. Their hamburgers are big so sharing an order of fries is my recommendation. Their shakes are fantastic so I don’t recommend sharing one…keep it all to yourself!
After we finished our late lunch at Gotts, we knew we had time for one wine tasting but we wanted to squeeze in two stops. We didn’t have any tours or tastings pre-arranged so today’s stops were just random. Our first stop was at Whitehall Lane Winery. I had tried their Sauvignon Blanc before and it is still very good. What really got my attention was their new glass closure system for their Cabernet Sauvignon – Vino-Seal. It looks like a glass cork. It will be interesting to see if Vino-Seal starts showing up at more wineries as cork shortages become more of a problem. I really don’t have a problem with screw-tops but I know that there are a lot of wine snobs out there (and you know who you are) that just can’t drink from a bottle without a cork!
We lucked into finding a winery that was open until 6:30 pm. So, we got to squeeze in a second tasting of the day at Merryvale Vineyards. Merryvale was the first winery built in Napa Valley after the repeal of Prohibition. I highly recommend stopping here just to see the Cask Room. Two stories of 2,000 gallon casks line the stone walls. It would be a beautiful room for a special event. The tasting here was a lot of fun. The staff was playing Led Zeppelin and seemed ready for a relaxed Friday evening. The highlight was when our server decided to offer us some of their Profile wine. It was amazing and a great finish to the day!
From here we headed to the Vintner’s Inn….More later about our Saturday in Napa !
Welcome to More About That!
For years, my friends have come to me for recommendations on new projects, travel or just a new way of doing things. I decided to start this blog so I can share my thoughts and recommendations easier. I have a sick obsession about doing research on just about anything I plan to buy from a new blender to a new car. Hopefully by sharing this research it might help you too!
This week I am planning to share the highlights of our recent trip to Napa and Sonoma.