On the third day we left the city and headed an hour and a half north to Napa. Along the way we stopped in the super hippy town of Berkeley for some breakfast. I think Berkeley has the highest concentration of middle age women with dreadlocks. This phenomenon is impressive and curious to me. I have a feeling that the shampoo industry packed up and left town a long time ago.
Our breakfast was at a place near Cal’s campus called Venus, and it was really good! As I mentioned before, I’ll have follow up posts on our meals in later days. From Berkeley it was only another hour oand some change until me made it to wine country.
Since we couldn’t check into our hotel until later in the afternoon we decided to hit up a sparkling wine tasting at Domaine Carneros. Actually it wasn’t just a sparkling wine tasting, we also got a flight of their pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon, and merlot. Everything we tried was very good, and our server took the time to explain each of the selections. This is one of the pure tastings that we highly recommend. As we found out later, a lot of tasting rooms in wine country get you in and get you out very quickly. Carneros wasn’t like that.
We then went over to the Oxbow Market for some lunch. We got tacos from C-Casa that were for the most part very good, but not as good as we had hoped. In the Oxbow market you will find several fancy counter-service restaurants with cuisines ranging from mexican to italian to deli sandwiches to oyster bars. There is really something for everybody. Once we ate and walked around I had pretty much got the idea of what the market was all about so I was ready to get moving to our next fun-tivity.
We then drove north to Oak Ridge where the Mondavi vineyard and winery is located. A few days before the trip we booked a tour of the campus because we had heard good things about how thorough the tour was. Because it was raining we didn’t get the opportunity to go out into the vineyard. But that didn’t matter because there was nothing growing on the vines at this time. Throughout the tour we learned about how they made the wine from vine to bottle. It was very interesting and informative. We also learned why you should never have any need to buy any other wine but Mondavi. Evidently Robert Mondavi was the pimp of the modern wine industry in California.
At the end of the tour, like all the tours we took, we made a quick escape without buying any of the wine. We werent being cheap, we just couldn’t bring anything back with us because we only brought carry-ons. For dinner that night we went to Redd in downtown Yountville. It was fantastic!! A great way to end a wonderful day!