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 !