Friday, January 7, 2011

Sonoma Surprise

Christmas was good to us.
Ya know as you get older, your Christmas wish list diminishes in proportion with your Christmas Gift list growing.  I like to think it's because I'm maturing and learning the true meaning of Christmas is giving not getting hee hee.  That said, the best gifts given are the truly unexpected completely thoughtful gifts.

 We went to Cali for Christmas,  to visit the inlaws... On Christmas morning, we were presented with a seemingly benign piece of paper entitling us to one night away from the kiddos AND dinner to boot!!!  Thursday morning, we kissed the children and patted them on their little heads then took off before my inlaws rethought their gift :)  The first forty-five minutes of our drive I don't think we said a word.  I think we were just drinking in the silence, and maybe secretly waiting for the phone call saying, PSYCH!  We need you back here!  Imagine our mild surprise when we pulled off to our hotel in Sonoma...with no calls :)
First stop was our hotel; Doubletree, compliments of DH's travels; we left ten minutes later loaded with maps, and lots and lots of buy one get one coupons. (I'd highly recommend this tactic).  Then headed out to get in what we could before they closed cuz ahem, we didn't take into accord winter hours and we blew into town at like three.
Down the 101, to 16 over to wine mecca.  We drive through this little town square, through what seemed to be a neighborhood and just as DH and I were thinking Penny (GPS) had screwed us, we run smack dab into Sebastiani.

After a lil wine tasting, some picture taking, a few of my favorite things...we headed on down the road (literally) to our next venture.
By this time it's like four, we are RACING against the clock.  So we had to make a choice where to go where to go?
We ended up here...
Ravenswood
This place was FUH-REAK-UN AWESOME!  I felt like we were guests arriving in a friends home.  Not only did they walk us gently through our flight, they gave us tips along the way.  Then, as they were cleaning up (cuz by this time they were closed) all the tasting room dudes poured a glass.  HOW cool is that?  We chit chatted with em, bought a few bottles, and walked out wishing we didnt have to!  They were that cool!
One of the entry doors, you cant really tell, but the windows have their emblem etched into it, which is three ravens holding each others claws.  It's really cool!
I'm experimenting with my photo taking these days, I ended up with this pic at Ravenswood.  I know it doesn't say anything about the winery, but isn't it cool?
We ended up in the parking lot a little buzzed, newest members of a wine club and two bottles heavier!
Day one of our impromptu trip was a success!
The next morning, we didn't have much time but I still wanted to get up to a few wineries...and more pics hee hee!
Alot of people had talked about Ledson.  Then the pics in the visitors guide really intrigued me.  So that was first on our agenda.  We pulled up and DH was convinced we were trying to enter someones house.
It looked like a castle... really
There's no creativity in this pic, but you can see that it looks castle like.  I have to admit, DH had me second guessing myself, maybe we were about to enter on some unassuming family eating their breakfast.  We tread lightly up the steps and almost tiptoed inside just in case we needed to make a quick get away.  But we were greeted quickly and ushered into the tasting room.  Nevermind it was all of 1030...bring on the wine!  And the grounds....
To me this picture captures the epitome of the romance of a vinyard anyway.  The rows of grapes, the italian villa in the background.  This was my favorite part of Ledson, rather than the the grandeur of the castle house, and to be honest, this was my least favorite vineyard.  They were kinda hoity toity.  I took a few more pics, and we headed down the road.
Kunde...we didn't spend much time didn't even do a tasting here, but got some cool pics.  This one would be a great place for a picnic.
I have grand plans for this pic.

Isnt this cool????

In looking through the guide, there was a winery and olive press that really piqued my interest, so that was the last stop on our tour, and a great way to end our tour too.  
Jacuzzi Family Vineyard...where to start.  The main house is modeled after the familys villa in Italy, so I appreciated that.  Second they have an olive oil tasting room AND a wine tasting room.  Plus they have other stuff you could make a small lunch out of, and plethora of picnic options!  
We started in the olive oil area... amongst the choices, new evoo, (smooth clean crisp, highly recommended) Blood Orange OO was a good choice.  Then of course Basil Parmesan and Roasted Garlic and Rosemary are both good savory choices.  Mmmmm yummy!  Onto the other tasting room....
First off, we had the best tasting expert (IDK what the real term for these diamonds in the rough are, but I thought my title was appropriate...albeit made up) anyway, she was FANTABULOUS!  She walked us through our flight, taught us alot...cuz we're still novices...aint no shame in it!  She was patient with our questions and just fun to be with!  I would have invited her to dinner she was so cool!  (and a breath of fresh air after our Ledson experience) now for the encore...this little beaut in a chocolate cup...
ALLH.jpg this is a late harvest Aleatico if you are into sweet wines, this is DIVINE!  And the label is cool!  We saved the bottle, I thought it would be cool to add a little stopper to it and fill it with olive oil... I just love the bottle!
Oh it was good!!!  I'm thinking I'll join this wine club too!
And the grounds...they were beautiful!  Here are a few pics I have plans for...



Cool Right??

What a great way to end our tasting!  
We bid farewell to Sonoma and headed back to reality...much refreshed and a little buzzed...well I was anyway.   IF you're planning a trip, I'd recommend checking with your hotel, getting a visitors guide, and some BOGO's then finding a little place to have coffee or lunch and map out your trip.  For us, it think the better way to do it was to head north of our hotel, then loop south.  We it passed most of them on the main little highway.  Also, if you get down there, you go through a little town before you hit Jacuzzi (so town north of) there are some great photo ops on the windy road through the town!  SO take it slow and stop if you see something cuz I missed this awesome staircase that I am still kicking myself about!!!!
Tune in next time, I had some crafty things I did, and haven't posted yet.  I'll get em up, but wanted to share somethin a little different!

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About Me

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Hmmm....well I have definitely done things in my life. My favorite of all is being mommy and wife. I am very content in the skin I am in but it took 30 years to get there!